I punted the recap of the Rays-Royals game this morning in favor of talking about my kids, so let’s make up for it. Short version: the Rays remain en fuego.
Longer version: did someone catch the plate of that truck that ran over Luke Hochevar (2.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1K)? Back-to-back triples for Jason Bartlett Carl Crawford in the five-run second inning. Crawford added two doubles and a single to fall a dinger short of the cycle. And then there was the Reid Brignac attack (2 for 5, 3 RBI).
But it wasn’t all offense. Matt Garza had great stuff last night, striking out nine Royals in six innings, and the bullpen — led by an impressive Joaquin Benoit — shut KC out for the final three frames.
Tampa Bay is 17-5. The season is less than a month old, but the Rays have a 2.5 game lead on the Yankees and the Red Sox are six games back in the rear view mirror.
Hisashi Iwakuma tells the Japan Times that the Mariners have made him an offer to return.
Iwakuma became a free agent earlier this month after the Mariners, not surprisingly, declined his $10 million option for 2018. Iwakuma says that it’s “not a done deal,” but “hopefully I will be able to make a positive announcement soon.”
Iwakuma, who turns 37 early next season, made only six starts in 2017, posting a 4.35 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.6 SO/9 over 31 innings. He went on the disabled list in May and never returned to action, undergoing arthroscopic debridement surgery in September. He hopes to be recovered fully by spring training.