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#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Articles tagged: Kevin Kiermaier

Kevin Kiermaier reacts to rule that cost Rays in Game 3

Kevin Kiermaier sighs

Kevin Kiermaier was the batter at the center of a controversial play in Game 3 of the ALDS on Sunday night, a situation he described as a “heartbreaker.”

Kiermaier was batting with two outs, Yandy Diaz on first, and the game tied at four in the top of the 13th between his Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. Kiermaier launched a Nick Pivetta pitch off the wall in right field at Fenway Park. But the ball hit off the wall, caromed off Hunter Renfroe’s body, and bounced back over the wall.

The ruling was a ground-rule double. Additionally, MLB rules state that in a situation where the fair ball bounces off a player and goes out of play, any runner only gets to advance two bases from the time of the pitch. That’s why Diaz was put back on third base instead of being credited with the run he likely would have scored (full explanation here).

The Rays’ next batter was Mike Zunino, who struck out to end the inning and keep it tied at four. Christian Vazquez then won the game in the bottom of the inning on a 2-run walk-off home run (video here).

Kiermaier spoke with the media after the game and shared his thoughts on the heartbreaking outcome.

“I’m just in awe right now. That’s the ruling. The umpires explained it to me, so I can’t go against that. The rules are what they are. But, man, that’s a heartbreaker. I can’t believe that happened where we don’t get the chance to score right there,” Kiermaier lamented.

The Rays outfielder was disappointed that the rule hurt his team. He also was bummed that he narrowly missed a 2-run home run.

“For one, I crushed that ball. I was hoping to see it leave the yard. A lot of snap and crackle but no pop. For that to happen right there, it just doesn’t make sense to me. But the ruling is what it is.

“It would have put us in a much bigger situation, put the pressure on them there in the 13th inning. For the ball to bounce off the wall, and then hit a player and go over again, I just can’t believe that is a ground-rule double. I mean, Yandy would have scored standing up. It’s a heartbreaker, plain and simple.”

Kiermaier’s Rays now trail the Red Sox 2-1 in the series. Game 4 of the series in Boston is on Monday.

Kevin Kiermaier has message for Blue Jays after being hit by pitch

Kevin Kiermaier

Kevin Kiermaier has a simple message for the Toronto Blue Jays after they hit him with a pitch on Wednesday.

Kiermaier was hit in the middle of the back by a pitch from Toronto reliever Ryan Borucki in the eighth inning of Tampa Bay’s 7-1 win over Toronto (video here). The plunking was retribution for Kiermaier taking a scouting report card the Jays dropped on the field on Monday.

So, what does Kiermaier think of it all? He said that the Blue Jays hitting him was a “weak move.”

More importantly, his message is that he wants to see the Blue Jays in the playoffs.

Tampa Bay is the AL East leader, while Toronto is battling for a wild card spot. The Blue Jays would need to win one of the wild card spots and then win the wild card game to match up with Tampa Bay in the ALDS. It is conceivable that that happens, but that’s on the Jays to keep winning.

Kiermaier would completely support Toronto doing all that because he wants to see them again and exact revenge on the field.

Video: Blue Jays throw at Kevin Kiermaier over card incident

Kevin Kiermaier blue jays

The Toronto Blue Jays still had some lingering bad feelings toward the Tampa Bay Rays over what has been dubbed “cardgate.”

The issue started Monday, when Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier picked up a card that included all the scouting reports for Tampa Bay’s hitters. Keirmaier kept the card, which had been dropped by Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk, and the team refused to return it. Kiermaier claimed he had initially picked up the card believing it was his, but refused to give it back once the team had it.

The Blue Jays were angered by the whole situation, and they took matters into their own hands on Wednesday. Reliever Ryan Borucki hit Kiermaier in the back with a pitch, leading both benches to clear.

Borucki was ultimately ejected from the game, which set off Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker.

It’s pretty silly that Walker is upset about this. If a pitcher throws at a batter, they run the risk of being ejected. It’s hard to imagine anyone would dispute that Borucki’s pitch was intentional given the circumstances.

The Blue Jays will probably consider the issue settled at this point, but don’t be surprised if this just makes the Rays angrier. The two teams do not meet again during the regular season. Intriguingly, however, there is a real chance these two teams could meet in the ALDS. The Rays currently hold the best record in the AL, while the Blue Jays are in line for a wild card spot. If Toronto can get that and win the Wild Card playoff while the Rays clinch the best record, they’d be in line to play again.

Blue Jays ticked at Kevin Kiermaier for taking their scouting report

Kevin Kiermaier scouting report

The Toronto Blue Jays are upset with Kevin Kiermaier for taking one of their cards.

During the sixth inning of Monday’s game between the Jays and Tampa Bay Rays, Kiermaier was trying to score after an error and was thrown out at home to end the inning. After being tagged out, Kiermaier noticed a piece of paper near the plate and grabbed it.

It turns out the piece of paper contained the Blue Jays’ scouting report for every Tampa Bay hitter. The notes sheet fell out of Alejandro Kirk’s wristband.

The Jays apparently sent a batboy over to ask for the paper back but were turned down.

On Tuesday, Kiermaier addressed the matter. He said that it happened quickly and he thought the paper was his scouting report, so he took it. He also said that he wasn’t about to give it back to Toronto once he had it.

There are a few things. First off, if the Jays are going to make a scouting report notes card and carry it around on the field, then they need to take good care of it. Kirk dropped it on the field and left it behind. That’s his problem.

Secondly, couldn’t Kiermaier have just taken photos of the notes sheet and then given it back? That might have been the best of both worlds. But he definitely did not have any obligation to give that paper back.

Kevin Kiermaier forced to leave game due to eyelash issue

Kevin Kiermaier

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier had a somewhat unusual reason for leaving Saturday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays: a troublesome eyelash.

Kiermaier said he had first experienced discomfort while shagging balls during batting practice when an eyelash got into his eye. Kiermaier rinsed the eye out, but that just made things worse.

“A couple minutes in, I was like, dang it, I got an eyelash in my eye,” Kiermaier said, via the Associated Press. “There was an eyelash in there and then we rinsed my eye, and then it disappeared or kind of went into one of these crevices or whatever. Once that happened, everything took a turn for the worse.

“I don’t know how or if we scratched, that’s definitely what it feels like. I keep telling people it just feels like a piece of sand on the inside of my eyelid. Every time I blink, just pressure, irritation, a scratching feeling.”

Kiermaier said things were slightly better Sunday, but he still felt discomfort. He did not play due to a scheduled day off, though he was available off the bench.

Normally when an athlete suffers an eye injury, it’s the product of getting poked or hit there, not this. It certainly qualifies for addition on the long list of weird sports injuries.

Kevin Kiermaier could be next Rays player to be traded

Kevin Kiermaier

The Tampa Bay Rays completed a blockbuster trade on Sunday night when they sent former AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell to the San Diego Padres, and that may not be the only big deal they make this winter.

With Snell headed to San Diego, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Rays have now placed center fielder Kevin Kiermaier on the trade block.

Kiermaier is a career .248 hitter who is known mostly for his fantastic defense. The 30-year-old has won three Gold Glove Awards and made it clear he felt he was overlooked for a fourth last season. Though, his hitting over the past three seasons has left a lot to be desired.

Kiermaier batted .217 with three home runs, 22 RBI and an ops of .683 in 49 games last season. His batting average is just .221 over the past three years, so any team that acquired him would likely be in desperate need of a defensive outfielder.

The Rays tend to keep low payrolls, which is likely the main reason they traded Snell. Kiermaier signed a six-year, $53.5 million contract with Tampa Bay back in 2017. That was one of the biggest contracts in franchise history. He is owed more than $10 million each of the next three seasons, so it’s not a shock the Rays are looking to move him.

Kevin Kiermaier feels snubbed after not receiving Gold Glove nomination

Kevin Kiermaier

Kevin Kiermaier is regarded as one of the best defensive outfielders in Major League Baseball, but the selection process for the Gold Glove awards don’t agree.

Kiermaier was not a finalist for the award when they were announced Thursday. On Friday, he made clear that his defensive excellence is something he values — and he’s not happy that the award for it is ignoring him.

“I was very surprised,” Kiermaier said, via Jesse Rogers of ESPN. “And once that emotion left me, I was disappointed. I was upset. I feel like what I did out there, defensively, was underappreciated this year.

“I wasn’t flawless by any means, but I thought I was darn good out there, and not to be considered top three … I don’t know. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t upset about it.”

It’s worth noting that the Gold Glove nominees this year were determined solely by defensive metrics. Players and coaches typically have a vote, but due to the shortened schedule and lack of play against other divisions, that was eliminated for 2020.

Kiermaier is a three-time Gold Glove winner, so it’s not as if he’s lacking in hardware. It’s more about the respect level. Defense is Kiermaier’s calling card, after all.

How good is the Rays outfielder in the field? He volunteered to run some routes for Tom Brady. It would’ve been totally justified if Brady had taken him up on it.

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier thinks Astros are not as tough as last year

Kevin Kiermaier

Kevin Kiermaier is looking forward to another shot at the Houston Astros.

The Tampa Bay Rays outfielder voiced confidence in his team’s upcoming ALCS matchup against Houston on Saturday. Kiermaier noted that the Rays had gotten better since last season while Houston’s rotation had taken a hit.

“We’re better this year than we were last year,” said Kiermaier, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com. “They have a lot of talent, but they don’t have Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander … I like how we match up against them. I think it’s going to be a great series.”

The Rays and Astros met last year in the ALDS, and the latter won in five games. Since then, Cole signed with the New York Yankees and Verlander underwent Tommy John surgery. But the Astros still have All-Stars like Lance McCullers and Zack Greinke in the rotation. Framber Valdez also emerged as an ace this season, and Houston’s bats remain a force to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile, the Rays are feeling confident after winning their division and knocking off the rival Yankees in the ALDS. They are getting big boosts from less-heralded players such as Brandon Lowe and Mike Brosseau and overall have a very deep team. Tampa Bay may also have a personal axe to grind with the Astros this series.

Rays Gold Glove OF Kevin Kiermaier tweets Tom Brady offering to run routes for him

Kevin Kiermaier

Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier is showing some love to the new star in town.

Kiermaier tweeted at new Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady on Thursday offering to run some “crisp” routes for him whenever the time is right. He also hilariously touted himself as “a 2008 All-State free safety.”

It should be quite an enticing offer for the six-time Super Bowl champion, as Kiermaier is one of the fastest and springiest outfielders in all of baseball. He also won his third career Gold Glove Award for Tampa Bay in 2019.

As for Brady himself, he is already diving headfirst into the Tampa Bay culture after signing a two-year deal with the Buccaneers, and aligning himself with Kiermaier, a beloved, career-long Ray, would be a great way to continue that.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have teamed up yet again! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier calls out team after another loss

Tampa Bay Rays logo

The Tampa Bay Rays cannot afford to lose any more ground in the American League Wild Card race, and outfielder Kevin Kiermaier knows it.

After the Rays lost on Tuesday to the lowly Seattle Mariners, Kiermaier called out the team for their recent stretch of play.

“We’re not playing good baseball right now,” he said, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “That’s safe to say.”

Tuesday’s defeat was the second in a row for the Rays and their fourth in the last six games. The team now holds just a half game lead over the Oakland Athletics for the second and final AL Wild Card spot.

The reinforcements should be arriving soon for Tampa, but that may not matter if they cannot get their act together and lock down a playoff spot.