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Burning the Beantown midnight oil



We at Heater Headquarters aim to bring you the best coverage, and after a game like tonight's we had a few thought's we'd like to throw out there for blogging consumption.

Sure, Al Reyes is going to catch most of the slack for tonight's 2-1 loss to the BoSox, despite the fact that is was his first save opportunity in 47 games. But one of the major themes to this game -- and this series -- is the continued ineptitude of the Devil Rays bats. They've score just one run through the first two games of this series. They've managed just two runs in their past 30 innings and five in their last 39, so they're not necessarily raking.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said the ball hasn't been carrying well recently -- either here or in Texas, both known as hitter-friendly parks. And he has a point, because a couple of balls the Rays hit early -- Carlos Pena's fly ball to right in the first comes to mind -- were jacked, but died in the outfield.

In the postgame, Maddon chose to emphasize Kazmir's performance, which was great, and how the way he and James Shields have pitched the first two games here shows hope for the future. Despite their youth, they came into Fenway and both shut down the division-leading Sox.

There were some rumbles in the Rays clubhouse about why Maddon took Kazmir out after six innings when he was cruising. Kazmir's pitch count was highh early on, but he was definitely still in a groove. He had thrown 95 pitches and Maddon said he didn't want to send him out for another inning and risk getting to 110-115 pitches.

Meanwhile, occasionally the Red Sox fans, still worried about the Yankees chasing them, were caught looking at the out-of-town scoreboard on the Green Monster. When the panels changed to show the Orioles leading the Yankees 12-0 (A guy named Aubrey Huff was the hero for Baltimore), the crowd erupted into its loudest until Lowell's home run.

And just one more random thought. The Heater got a glance of the Rocco Baldelli figurine the team's giving away Saturday. It looks pretty sweet -- and authentic -- down to Rocco's gray glove and the 10 seasons patch on the right sleeve, but the way the figurine has to attach to the base, Rocco seems a little ... dare we say ... fragile.

That's all for now. The Heater is going to ice its arm, shutting down for the night and get ready for today's day game.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:32am]


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