Wil Myers' parents were in attendance last night, and were treated to their son's first walk-off hit in extra innings.
Rays fans hope it is the first of many clutch hits the 22 year-old will have during his career in St. Pete.
Luckily for fans, Myers gave them another clutch hit in today's game, pelting a two-run homer to left field in what would be the decisive at-bat in the game.
After last night's pitcher's duel featuring David Price and Tim Linececum, today's matchup featured two pitchers who are prone to getting tagged for a healthy share of runs. Oddly enough, both Guillermo Moscoso (Giants) and Roberto Hernandez only managed to last until two outs in the fifth inning before Bochy and Maddon pulled their starters.
This left each team's bullpen with the task of pitching the remaining four innings with minimal damage. Bochy isn't one to utilize as many pitchers in his bullpen as possible, only using two relievers, whereas Maddon used four relief pitchers in his usual Mad Hatter style of "lefty on lefty, righty on righty."
After Myers' two-run homer gave the Rays a 2-1 lead in the first inning, Brandon Crawford hit a two-run triple to once again give the Giants the lead.
Once Evan Longoria tied the game at three with an RBI single, Jose Mijares came in to relieve Moscoso on the mound. After a few pitches it was clear that Mijares was not comfortable up there, and the mistake he made ultimately cost his team the game.
Sam Fuld pulled a Mijares' fastball to right for a single, which drove in the go-ahead run and put the game in the hands of the bullpen.
The Rays 'pen did not disappoint: Jake McGee pitched a flawless seventh inning, Joel Peralta got himself into a jam in eighth but managed to get out of the inning unscathed, and Fernando Rodney was lights-out in the ninth, notching his 27th save of the season.
It's clear that Wil Myers' call-up has had a profound impact on the team, yet he has remained under-the-radar for the most part during his torrid streak. Since Myers was called-up, he has led the Rays in hitting with a .329 average, while also leading the team in slugging with .533; Evan Longoria is second with .489.
While it's still too early to jump to conclusions, the Rays hot streak can largely be attributed to the presence of Wil Myers. To put things into perspective, Evan Longoria hit .194 with 4 homers and 11 RBIs in July, while Myers hit .352 with 4 homers and 18 RBIs. The run production might slightly favor Myers, but his .406 OBP is over 100 points better than Longoria's at .288. His ability to get on base far outweighs the homers and the RBIs, which is why many believe that Myers is now the one who has put the offense on his shoulders.
As long as Myers can keep this up, Longoria's slump won't be too much of a detriment, especially when you consider that he [Longoria] will undoubtedly get out of his current slump. It remains to be seen whether Matt Moore's injury will impact the team as well, since Moore was tied for the lead in the AL for Wins at the time of his injury (he and Max Scherzer had 14 wins). With the way the Rays are playing right now, though, Joe Maddon has absolutely no reason to panic: his team is neck-and-neck with Boston for first in the division.
Notable Stats from Today's Game:
W. Myers: 1-2, 2-R HR(8), 2 BB
E. Longoria: 1-4, RBI
S. Fuld: 1-4 RBI