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Quick Strikes: Welcome to Ray Charge

This is a baseball site now.

Houston Astros v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Rooting for the Tampa Bay Lightning is too stressful. The Cup or bust pressure from the fanbase and the rest of the league has us overwhelmed. Yes, the team is great. But what if they don’t win the Cup this year? Can you imagine the taeks? And because hockey is a very dumb sport, they probably won’t!

So instead of continuing to deal with this stress for the next few months, we’re rebranding as Ray Charge. Baseball is a chill sport. Slow moving. Deliberate. 162 games! That’s a lot! Who cares if they lose one?

And the Rays are so much fun right now. They’re at the beginning of their competitive cycle. Kind of like where the Bolts were four or five years ago. Expectations are low. If they make the playoffs, great! But if not, this team is super young and looks ready to compete for years. Unlike the Lightning, who are right in the most crucial part of their competitive cycle. They have to win NOW. And every season after this will just be an exercise in trying to keep the band together to make another run.

So with that, here’s some baseball news. And to fit our new focus, we’re changing the name of our daily links from Quick Strikes to...uh, Quick Strikes. Because we’re a baseball site now.

The Rays

The Rays, the team we cover here at Ray Charge, won yesterday against the Houston Astros. They won three of the four games in the season opening series and are off to a great start. Yesterday, they put together a 3-1 victory powered by a hat trick from Austin Meadows who was responsible for all three goals.

Yonny Chirinos gave Yanni Gourde a run for his money as best Tampa Bay athlete with his first name throwing seven clean innings against the excellent Astros lineup. Here’s some thoughts from our colleagues at DRays Bay.

The 2019 Rays are good.

Yonny Chirinos, who was not expected to go more than a handful of innings on a bullpenning day, went seven innings and gave up a solitary home run to Jake Marisnick in the third innings. Other than that he was mixing his pitches to great effect, and Mike Zunino is already looking like a tremendous partner for these pitchers in his place behind the bag.

The only downside of the game was Joey Wendle suffering a lower-body injury in the sixth period. He did not return to the bench after the injury and we’ll have to wait for morning run to get an update on his status.

Other Baseball News

Christian Yelich is still good at baseball. Some people thought after the offseason, he might not be good anymore. But those people were wrong. Yelich fired a slap shot into the stands (that’s good in baseball) for the fourth consecutive game to start the season tying an MLB record and then won the game in the final period.

Astounding. Stupefying. Breathtaking. Remarkable. Superlative. Phenomenal. Incredible.

How many different ways can we come up with to continue defining the mind-bending exploits of Christian Yelich?

Chris Paddack made his MLB debut and was as advertised. Much like Yelich, Paddack is also good at baseball. But in a different way! He throws the ball instead of hits it. Baseball is so fun!

In his major-league debut, Chris Paddack lived up to the hype.

No San Francisco Giants reached base until a 4th inning walk, and Paddack spent the first three innings toying with hitters and striking out batters at will. He ran out of gas a little bit before getting out of the 5th, giving up a single and a double for the only run scored against him.

Hunter Strickland will be out long term for the Mariners with an upper-body injury.

Mariners closer Hunter Strickland will be sidelined up to “a couple months” after an MRI exam revealed a Grade 2 strain of his right lat muscle, manager Scott Servais said Sunday.

Strickland said doctors didn’t set any timetable on his return, but he was taking solace in the fact it wasn’t a Grade 3 strain, which would have required surgery.

“It’s not the best news, not the worst,” Strickland said. “I’ll just try to find the positive in it and look forward. At least I’ll get to come back this season. You have to find a positive, because it sucks either way.”

Tim Tebow is heading to Syracuse to play with the Crun...I mean, the Mets. He’ll be playing AH...I mean triple-A ball hoping to prove he deserves a chance with the big club. He doesn’t. And this is more marketing than anything else. But hey, good for him.

Tebow will start his third season of minor league baseball with the Syracuse Mets when they open their season Thursday afternoon at NBT Bank Stadium. His exceptional celebrity dovetails with Syracuse’s first season as New York’s Triple-A affiliate, creating a summer-long spectacle unlike any this city has seen.

This woman makes Kobe Bryant’s famous non-flinch look like nothing.