That was not pretty — not in the least. Boston royally handed it to Tampa Bay Friday afternoon, dishing out a 12-2 shellacking in front of 38,000 fans, at Fenway. Matt Moore wasn’t sharp after three innings of no hit ball, Wil Myers couldn’t field an easy fly ball at the warning track, and the typically dependable fielders allowed the misplays, on a good number of hits, to snowball, ultimately gift wrapping the win for the Red Sox. In all honesty, the Rays probably would have lost regardless — with the exceptions of a handful of mistakes, Lester was on point and they couldn’t put anything together offensively. However, the odds are also good that Tampa Bay wouldn’t have lost as badly, hadn’t they allowed the momentum to shift as it had.
After the game, Mike Napoli said they got lot of momentum from the ball that got past Myers, going on to say, “That was definitely a big play in today’s game.” Fret not Tampa Bay, the Rays are adept at taking things one game at at time — they bounced back 11 times from losses of four or more runs this season. That is to say, the concern over yesterday’s loss is warranted, however it’s not the end of the world. I live blogged the game, and you can check out our blow-by-blow account of the game via our Tumblr site. Otherwise, a handful of game peripherals are below.
- Things were going swell for the Rays until the fourth inning, when Matt Moore — aided by a listless defense — allowed Boston to not only chip away at the lead, but to take a three run advantage over the good guys. Boston did so on six hits, including three doubles, and a strike-three passed ball which allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to take first. The most bizarre play of the day (and inning) came on David Ortiz’s ground-rule double to right-field. Myers called for the ball, but moved out from underneath it, allowing the ball to bounce behind him and next to Desmond Jennings before it bounced out of play (see the GIF below). Many have asserted that perhaps he heard “I GOT IT I GOT IT I GOT IT” from someone other than Desmond Jennings. Whatever the case, heckling, by means of the fans, or even the opposition, is all part of the game. That is, Myers needs to be able to differentiate between his teammates voices, and the voices of others. This misplay never should have happened, period. It was a dumb mistake, similar to those he’s made on a few other occasions this season. Another costly fielding misplay came later in the inning, Stephen Drew reached in an infield single with Moore covering first. Moore was slow to cover and tag the bag and allowed Gomes to score from second while looking back at the umpire.
- Moore came back out in the fifth inning and gave up a one out double to Mike Napoli. Napoli had to slide to get into second and appeared to be out on a throw from Rodriguez on replays. If the blurry shot below shows anything, it’s that the umps made a bad call. However, the “safe” call can be attributed to the placement of Zobrist when laying down the tag.
- The only consolation to yesterday’s game: Chris Archer and Alex Torres looked good out of the ‘pen, combing for 2-1/3 innings of one hit, four strikeout ball. They did something that hadn’t been done after the third inning, and that’s retire seven consecutive batters.
- After 18 postseason-less seasons in the league, Jamey Wright appeared in his first playoff game and looked about as sharp as a butter-knife. Wright gave up four hits, a stolen base, and a walk, allowing the Red Sox to nail the Rays coffin shut. Oof.
- Boston made some interesting choices on the base paths in the eighth inning, with John Farrell calling for a steal and a hit and run with a six run lead. It will be interesting to see how the Rays handle themselves today. As Dave and Andy (on the radio side) eluded to, play like that is what leads to people getting hit by pitches.
The New What Next
David Price looks to build on his outstanding complete game outing Monday against the cro-magnon mouth breather, that is John Lackey. Lackey has averaged five innings in two starts against the Rays this season, relinquishing nine earned runs overall. You can read about the pitching match-up here.
Rays 10/5/13 Starting Lineup
- Matchup city, USA. John Lackey’s best pitch is his slider. Matt Joyce faced 196 sliders from RHP in 2013, and put 12% in play. Delmon Young saw 243 RHP sliders, and put 25% in play. Do the math.
- Ian Malinowski at DRaysBay posted this in today’s edition of The Rays Tank, and I felt that anything that I wrote might not do it justice. From his lips (finger tips) to your ears (eye balls): “Wendy Thurm, a former lawyer, discusses the hearing that recently took place in the San Jose vs. MLB lawsuit. It’s a case that could have an impact on any team’s ability to move cities, and is therefore required reading for anyone wishing to have an educated discussion on the ramifications of Rays’s attendance problems.”