We have always stated that we would rather our favorite teams get blown out then lose a close game. Also, if you are going to lay a stinker, you might as well do it against one of the better starting pitchers in the major leagues. The Stinker? You need look no further than the bottom of the third inning tonight. Here are the numbers from that inning…5 hits, 3 walks, 2 errors, 1 one wild pitch, 43 pitches and 7 runs. I can just hear Doug Waechter now. “How can I win the game if I don’t get any run support?” It was ugly. It was hard to watch. It WAS a Stinker. Enough said. Let’s move on. Tonight’s game and tomorrow’s are why the first game of the series was so important to the Rays. We knew tonight would be tough with Curt Schilling on the mound. However, tomorrow scared us just as much with Tim Wakefield on the mound. For his career, Wakefield is 13-1 against Tampa Bay with a 2.96 ERA. If we had to guess, we would say that Wakefield probably has a good record in his career against teams with lots of young inexperienced players. The types of players that tend to be impatient at the plate. Patience is a requirement when facing a knuckleballer. Still, a number of Rays have had success against Wakefield. Jorge Cantu is 5-16 (.313), Carl Crawford is 18-50 (.360) with a home run, Jonny Gomes is 3-9 (.333) and the veteran Travis Lee is 10-27 (.370) with 4(!) home runs. Look for Lee to make his second appearance as a cleanup hitter for the D-Rays. On a brighter note, Scott Kazmir makes his 7th career start against the Red Sox. That is the most starts against an opposing club. He is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA. Both of his wins have come at Fenway Park. Normally we would worry about such a young pitcher pitching against such a good offensive team in a historic park such as Fenway. If Kazmir pitches poorly, it won’t be because of nerves.

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