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USATSI

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow continued his brilliant start to the season on Monday night, shutting down the Texas Rangers as part of a 1-0 victory.

Glasnow held the Rangers to just three baserunners, two hits and a walk, over 7 ⅔ innings. Along the way, he struck out 14 batters and coerced 27 whiffs on 55 swings. His fastball led the way with 14 swinging strikes, but his new slider-cutter generated six of its own. 

Most arsenal additions amount to much ado about nothing; that doesn't appear to be the case here, as the slider-cutter gives Glasnow a third look to offer hitters, as well as a way to split the velocity gap between his fastball (97 mph) and his curve (83 mph). Coming into the night, opponents had hit .182 against the slider-cutter with a 33 percent whiff rate. (Of course, it says a lot about the quality of his fastball and curve that the aforementioned .182 figure represented the highest mark in his arsenal by more than 60 points of batting average.)

Take a look at how the three played together on Monday:

Glasnow entered the evening with a 0.75 ERA and a 7.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio in his first two starts. After Monday's outing, he's now compiled a 0.46 ERA and a 14 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19 ⅔ innings. If that wasn't impressive enough, he's done so while punching out nearly 43 percent of the batters he's faced.

Perhaps the best way to sum up Glasnow's dominance this season is to note that the Rays rank middle of the pack in rotation ERA despite every other member of their starting five (Rich Hill, Michael Wacha, Ryan Yarbrough, and the now-injured Chris Archer) sporting ERA of 5.00 or higher. (Prospect Brent Honeywell received an "open" on Sunday and threw two scoreless innings before being lifted and later demoted.) Remember, the Rays traded Blake Snell and declined Charlie Morton's option over the winter, leaving them in a vulnerable position. They'll have to get the rest of their rotation in order before long if they're going to remain in the race of another American League East title, but again, it speaks to how Glasnow has pitched that their staffwide numbers aren't worse.

The Rangers, by the way, had to be experiencing some sense of déjà vu. Texas didn't record its first hit of the evening until the fifth inning. The Rangers were no-hit by San Diego Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove on Friday.

The Rays and the Rangers will continue their four-game set on Tuesday night.