The Tampa Bay Rays’ performance in Oakland on Wednesday night summed up Major League Baseball in 2019: it’s all about power and pitching, too, never forget pitching. The Rays got off to a very quick start in the AL Wild Card Game as Yandy Diaz stepped up and hit a leadoff home run to give them a 1-0 lead. An inning later, Avisail Garcia added two more runs to the board with a two-run homer.
In the third, a second homer from Diaz gave the Rays a 4-0 lead and proved he should and could be the MVP of this game if there were one. After an error, the Athletics finally plated a run on a sac fly, but even that was negated in the fifth as Tommy Pham went deep to make it 5-1. No more scoring would take place on the evening, allowing the lowest salaried team in the MLB to clinch an ALDS match up with the Houston Astros as a result. We also need to talk about the pitching, because it was superb for Tampa. Charlie Morton went five innings with no earned runs, while the remaining four pitchers also failed to give up any runs. In total they combined to give up eight hits, none of which amounted to much on the road. Beware of the Rays, they will be no easy out.