Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Shooting from the lip: Rays-Red Sox Game 2

Random thoughts while watching Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the Rays and Red Sox.

Biggest reason

The Rays look like a team that simply has run out of gas — physically, emotionally, mentally. In two games in Boston, they looked nothing like the team that racked up 92 wins with strong pitching, near perfect defense and timely hitting. Instead, the pitching was spotty (25 hits allowed in two games), the defense was awful and they hit in small bursts. You could hardly blame them. The Rays spent 12 days on the road. They went from, in order, Tampa Bay to New York to Toronto to Texas to Cleveland to Boston and back home. That's a total of 6,303 miles. Along the way, they played — and won — three do-or-die game in three cities in four days. No wonder they look like they keep hitting the snooze button on this series.

Oh, there's one other thing to consider as a reason why the Rays are down 2-0. Maybe the Red Sox are better. There's a reason why the Red Sox easily outdistanced the Rays in the American League East, you know.

Worst location

It's hard to gripe about Fenway Park with the Green Monster and odd angles and weird distances and whatnot. After all, the park has only been there for, what, 101 years? Plus, the Rays play there just about more than any other park other than Tropicana Field and they get the same chances to bat the Red Sox do. Still …

I don't ever want to hear anyone whining about the catwalks at the Trop. Those things come into play a handful of times a season. But how many fly balls that should be outs clank off the Green Monster? The Red Sox hit two of those Saturday and both led to runs. Having said that, the Rays, through two games, acted like they had never seen Fenway, let alone played there.

Best replay

Although Rays fans probably didn't dig it, one of the better TV moments of the day was watching a replay of Rays pitcher David Price reacting to Ben Zobrist throwing a ball away on a potential double-play ball in the fourth inning.

Playing the rhyming game, Price said something like, "Oh wham!''

Worst day

Rough day for Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist. Not only did he have an error, he left five runners on base, including an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded and the Rays down, 6-4, in the seventh inning. It was the pivotal play of the game, although it was a fairly routine 4-6-3 double play and not quite the play of the century as the TBS announcers made it out to be.

Best reaction

You gotta love Rays rookie outfielder Wil Myers. Give the kid credit, he took some major ribbing from the Boston crowd and handled it with class and grace. The Fenway Park crowd started riding Myers early in Game 1 when he backed off catching a fly ball. They jeered him with "Myyyy-errrrs, Myyy-errrs'' for the rest of Game 1 and for Game 2. Yet, he showed what kind of person he is by signing autographs for Red Sox fans before Game 2 and then flashed a big smile after he got a standing ovation for catching a routine fly ball in the fifth inning Saturday.

Most telling number

Rays starter David Price got stronger as the game progressed, but here's how you know he struggled early. (Well, other than those six runs he gave up in the first five innings.) According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Red Sox swung and missed at only two of Price's first 57 pitches.

Three things that popped into my head

1. Was that the last time we ever saw David Price on the mound in a Rays uniform?

2. The Rays should absolutely do what they can to bring back Delmon Young, unless he asks for just too much money. But if he is willing to play for a few million, the Rays sure could use him. He's the closest thing they've had to a legitimate designated hitter in a long time.

3. This is the second time the Rays have fallen behind 2-0 in a playoff series. The last time was 2010 when they dropped the first two games at home to the Rangers then won two in Texas to force a deciding Game 5. Bold prediction: the Rays will force Game 5 again in this series.

Shooting from the lip: Rays-Red Sox Game 2 10/05/13 [Last modified: Saturday, October 5, 2013 11:29pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Kids still playing for all the marbles — literally

    Human Interest

    In this world of pompous athletes, overbearing coaches, money-grubbing owners and a win-at-all-costs mindset, it's easy to become jaded.

    Eli Murphy, right, leans in to give Sierra Ricci the traditional king and queen kiss at the National Marbles Championship in Wildwood, N.J. Both of Allegheny County Pa., they won the girls and boys championship of the 94th annual National Marbles Tournament. [Associated Press]
  2. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  3. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  4. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary season

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    fit test: Top draft pick Cal Foote puts on his Lightning jersey.
  5. Rays designate catcher Derek Norris for assignment

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — C Derek Norris tied a career-high with three hits in Friday's 15-5 win against the Orioles then was designated for assignment after the game to make room on the 25-man roster for C Wilson Ramos.

    Derek Norris, right, celebrates with Logan Morrison as he scores in what could be his last game with the Rays.