Summer is finally upon us which means nothing to do now but baseball, baseball, and baseball. Rays baseball to be specific. The Rays clubbed the Sox today to remain undefeated in the new blue alternates. The offense got to Red Sox starter Jon Lester again and Scott Kazmir struggled but got by. The Rays did manage to even the series after letting yesterday’s game get away from them. Let’s get to it.
What Went Right:
When you put up 14 runs on 17 hits, the offense will always be the first thing to talk about. Every Ray besides Gabe Gross had at least one hit. Even during last night’s game, you could see great at-bats being put together and it carried into today’s game. Let’s start with MVP also known as Evan Longoria. He went 2-4 on the day and extended his MLB-best 39 RBI to 44. Yes, five more ribbies for the reigning R.O.Y. Longo plays his best ball against the big boys and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
Carl Crawford continues to rake after going 3-4 and scoring three runs. The thing that impresses us and the rest of the Rays bloggers is the amount of walks C.C. has been drawing this season. After working one today, he’s now up to 13. Let us not forget his season-high is 37. If Crawford can keep up his pace, you can expect to see his stolen base numbers rise too.
I’m just going to finally come out and say it, the Rays possess the two best bench players in the league with Ben Zobrist and Willy Aybar. Both came in to pinch hit and both recorded a hit. We all know about Zorilla’s big bat as of late but let us not forget how valuable Aybar is, as he is another switch-hitting super-utility guy at Joe Maddon’s disposals.
Working in and out of trouble was Scott Kazmir who threw well enough to pick up his fourth win. In the first two innings, Kaz worked out of trouble stranding two runners in each frame. Then in the fifth is when it almost came undone. After giving up two runs with two outs, Rocco Baldelli reached on an error on a play Longoria makes nine out of ten times. Then Kaz walked Jeff Bailey on a very good looking 3-2 pitch. However, Kazmir was able to induce an inning-ending groundball from Jason Varitek. Final line: 5IP, 8H, 3ER, 3BB, 2K, 100P-58S.
What Went Wrong:
Joe Nelson struggled out of the pen in relief of Kazmir throwing only a third of an inning. He gave up two runs on one hit and two walks. He threw 20 pitches, eight went for strikes.
Fox national blackout, and the Fox broadcasting period. We all know how awful, biased, and uniformed those goobers can be and it’s so terrible to have to do endure it. With the Sox down 8-1, each run scored was said in a tone as if the Sox were going to pull off an incredible comeback. Oh and to back it up, they decided to flash a little blurb on the bottom of the screen about last year’s game five in the ALCS in which the Red Sox came back from seven runs down to win. It’ll be interesting to see which way they swing next weekend against the Indians.
The rubber game of the series in which the Rays look to win the series against the Sox for the third time this season, and the sixth in a row dating back to last season (that number could be off by one). Matt Garza (3-2) squares off against Josh Beckett (3-2) in what is a great pitching matchup. Garza has absolutely dominate the Sox this year and throws well in Fenway. The Rays also got to Beckett for 10 hits, and seven runs the last time they faced off.