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As the Rays defeat the Red Sox, Yonny Chirinos wins

As the Rays defeat the Red Sox, Yonny Chirinos wins

Yonny Chirinos’ recovery from a pair of severe elbow injuries, which caused him to doubt his ability to pitch again, had been difficult physically and mentally for more than two years since his last appearance in the main leagues.

As the Rays defeat the Red Sox, Yonny Chirinos wins

Via team interpreter Manny Navarro, Chirinos stated, “A lot of nasty ideas enter into your head when you’re in a scenario like that.” However, I never gave up, thank God.

It was emotional and satisfying to be reinstated to the Rays on Tuesday after being placed on the injured list. “Even being in there with my teammates, it’s something that you still can’t believe that it’s happening all over again,” he said.

Even great was Wednesday.

The Rays defeated the Red Sox 1-0 to clinch a three-game sweep, while Chirinos made a comeback appearance on the mound and pitched three strong innings with no runs allowed.

Not only was it his first appearance in the majors since August 16, 2020, but it was also his first major league victory since August 4, 2019, a gap of 1,129 days.

Chirinos remarked, “It felt great.” “All I wanted was to be able to go out there and compete with the squad and help the team win.”

And in a close game, that was crucial.

The Rays have won eight out of their last nine games, 19 out of their last 24 games, and 23 out of their last 33 games overall since the beginning of August, improving their record to 77-58 and a season-best 19 games over.500. They currently sit atop the three-team wild-card field and are five games back of the East-leading Yankees, who they play this weekend in New York.

The Rays scored their run when Francisco Mejia led off with a double, went to third on Ji-Man Choi’s flyout, and scored on Taylor Walls’ shift-beating infield single after struggling from 0-2 to a full count. Boston starter Nick Pivetta held the Rays hitless through the fifth inning. A fantastic at-bat, according to manager Kevin Cash.

Due to workload concerns, the Rays limited Jeffrey Springs’ start to three innings. Chirinos made his comeback at the start of the fourth and retired Alex Verdugo on a flyout. He had 751 days since the last batter he faced, Teoscar Hernandez of Toronto. On August 24, 2020, Chirinos underwent Tommy John’s elbow surgery.

In September 2021, as he was nearing the end of his rehabilitation, he fractured his elbow while throwing batting practice. He required more surgery, which kept him out of action until this spring.

It was incredibly difficult, but all I had to do was maintain my composure, Chirinos remarked. “It took me approximately six months before I ever threw another ball, and I had that mindset of ‘it’s broken. I won’t be able to recover from it. These are the thoughts I was thinking.

He stated he was able to set those thoughts aside and concentrate on pitching when he received the order to begin warming up during the third inning on Wednesday and when he stepped on the Tropicana Field mound. Compete, attack the zone, and attempt to add zeroes to the score, he commanded. I was only thinking that.

Chirinos gave up a single and a walk before getting Rob Refsnyder and Christian Arroyo to fly out to close the fourth.

Chirinos gave a lengthy display of passion to express how much he was enjoying the moment. He hopped a little off the mound, raised his arms, slapped his glove many times, and grinned widely.

Chirinos remarked, “Obviously, really delighted, a lot of emotion.” “Everyone wants to be out there for that,” he said, “because I haven’t been out on the mound in two years. To be able to muster the energy to go out there and have that pleasure again, to go out there and compete. And I succeeded in doing it.

Chirinos threw 35 of 53 pitches for strikes while giving up four singles, one walk, four strikeouts, and one walk. He had a top speed of 96 mph, struck out nine out of fourteen batters on the first pitch, and produced six swings and misses. According to Cash, he appeared nearly unaltered before the injury.

Cash continued, “It was pretty wonderful for all of us,” expressing the joy of the Rays’ players for Chirinos.

Springs remarked, “I don’t know if there are words for what he’s been through, just all the time he’s missed. “Seeing him when I was in treatment last year, too, was incredible. I mean, the good attitude he displayed every day. The same man consistently shows up, puts in a lot of effort, and smiles. There is no one better to ask for. And it was really nice to see him out there back pitching. I’m very glad for him.

Alex Cora, the Red Sox manager, was also.

Cora commented, “Good for him. It’s one of those stories about what happened to him and why he hasn’t been able to act in public recently, regardless of the outcome. It’s advantageous for baseball, for him, and for the company. Undoubtedly, a lot of people are delighted with him. According to Chirinos, all the difficult moments were worthwhile. “It was tears of anguish during the surgery,” he stated. But now we’re crying happy tears.

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