Rays shatter club record with 19-K outing

July 28th, 2020

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays' organization has been known for its pitching over the past decade, but the 2020 staff has a chance to be the best in franchise history.

Led by , Tampa Bay's pitchers combined to strike out 19 during Monday’s 14-5 win over the Braves at Tropicana Field, a club record for a nine-inning game and just one punchout shy of the Major League record. The 19 strikeouts is the most in baseball in a nine-inning game this season.

“This group, on a given night, can be pretty special in that category,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “We just have some really good quality stuff that we can feature on any given night.”

Glasnow led the way with nine strikeouts over four innings and showed why he was a trendy preseason pick to win the American League Cy Young Award. The right-hander went 6-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 12 starts last season, and on Monday, he picked up right where he had left off.

“I thought he was outstanding,” Cash said. “He probably had more in the tank, but I think we did the right thing talking with [pitching coach] Kyle [Snyder] and getting him out after four innings. It’s tough to match that in-game intensity. If anybody’s going to do that in their workout or bullpen session, it’s going to be Tyler.”

Glasnow’s four-seam fastball was his dominant pitch Monday, and it flashed 100 mph during a first-inning strikeout of . Glasnow threw the pitch 40 times on Monday, recording 11 swings-and-misses. The right-hander's average fastball was 97.6 mph, 0.7 mph faster than his average in 2019.

“I worked on a couple things in quarantine, and even when I first got traded over. Just like my line to home and trying to get my hips stronger, and I think it was just a slow process,” Glasnow said. “But I think quarantine was a really good time to work on a lot of it. I feel good with it now and the timing felt really good today.”

The right-hander also used his curveball 29 times, four to record strikeouts. Glasnow threw his changeup three times, all to left-handed hitters. The changeup is a pitch Glasnow worked on throughout spring in hopes that it will serve as a nice complement to his fastball-curveball combination.

“He was almost like [Jacob] deGrom was the other day,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s as good as I’ve seen him. He was effectively wild. But he’s got a really good breaking ball, and the fastball was jumping out of his hand. It was pretty good. He threw a lot of pitches for the time he was out there, but the stuff was electric.”

While Glasnow got it started with nine strikeouts, followed up with a pair of punchouts in the fifth inning. With a big lead, pitched the bulk of the relief innings, and he fanned seven over three frames. In the ninth, pitched his third scoreless inning of the season and struck out Ender Inciarte to set the new club record.

“Thankfully, they’re on our team,” Rays infielder said. “I say that to Willy [Adames] probably 15 times a game as I’m standing behind some of the pitchers that we have out there."