October 10, 2020 | 3:40am
Tyler Glasnow had dueled against Gerrit Cole in an ALDS Game 5 before.
But this year’s pressure-packed start went much better than his last and the Rays are moving on because of it.
Pitching on two days’ rest, after having won Game 2 on Tuesday, Glasnow gave the Rays all they could have asked for. He tossed 2 ¹/₃ scoreless and hitless innings, going one turn through the Yankees’ lineup before handing it over to the bullpen in what turned into a 2-1 win over the Yankees on Friday at Petco Park in San Diego.
“I guess it’s just been the theme of all year, a bunch of guys coming in and just closing the door,” Glasnow said. “That was just such a phenomenal game, definitely one I’ll never forget.”
Glasnow came out sharp from the start, needing just eight pitches to mow down the Yankees in the first inning while hitting 100 mph on the radar gun in the process. He walked Luke Voit in the second inning, but 3-0 swings from Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres turned into easy outs to help Glasnow get through the inning unscathed.
In the third inning, the 6-foot-8 right-hander walked Brett Gardner and struck out Kyle Higashioka before he was pulled after 37 pitches for Nick Anderson, who got DJ LeMahieu to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The 27-year-old Glasnow —a former Pirates teammate of Cole’s after both were drafted by Pittsburgh in 2011 — had never pitched on short rest in his career. Rays manager Kevin Cash said he had landed on Glasnow as the starter because of how he lined up against the Yankees right-handed heavy lineup, but admitted he wasn’t sure what to expect.
“Physically I felt fine,” Glasnow said. “I’m sure adrenaline had something to do with it.”
Glasnow had pitched Game 5 of the ALDS last year for the Rays against Cole and the Astros and was tagged for four runs in the bottom of the first inning on the way to a 6-1 loss. Friday, he and the Rays found redemption.
“We felt most comfortable, as the game unfolded, with Tyler and what he gave us, that we could line this up with our back-end relievers and give us as much of a chance as possible,” Cash said. “Just a really special, well-pitched game by unbelievably talented starters, relievers, both teams alike.”