RAYS 4, Red Sox 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Pop Goes The Weasels. Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco went back-to-back and belly-to-belly in the 5th for the only runs the Rays would need. And not only did the Rays need the win as every other team in the Wild Card race also won, but it was nice to end the Red Sox anniversary season in Fenway Park with 2 straight losses…The Bullpen. After Kyle Farnsworth struggled against the 2 batters he faced, 4 relievers came on and pitched 4 shutout innings, retiring 12 of 13 batters they faced, striking out 7.
THE BAD: The Strikezone. You guys know I don’t clobber the umpiring too often even when there are bad calls. Bad calls happen. But the strikezone last night was atrocious. And the biggest piece of evidence is Jeff Keppinger. In his first 391 plate appearances this season, he struck out looking 11 times, or once every 36 times to the plate. And yet last night he struck out looking twice…Playing To The Opponent. How is it possible that the Rays are now 39-30 against the AL East, and are just 13-17 against the AL Central, arguably the weakest division in baseball? And oh by the way, the Rays’ next four games are against the White Sox.
THE TELLING: It was an amazing coincidence that Jose Molina tweaked a muscle in his leg the night before Alex Cobb was back on the mound…The Rays finished 9-9 against the Red Sox this season…Despite winning, the Rays chances of making the playoffs actually went down from 12.6% to 10.4% as every team in the hunt won last night. The Rays remain 3 losses behind the O’s and A’s, and 1 loss behind the Angels.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jose Molina is still say-to-day, and Sam Fuld was available to pinch-hit last night and should be back in the lineup this weekend. [TampaBay.com]
- Dave Martinez will not be the next manager of the Astros. [TampaBay.com]
- The Mets will not pursue BJ Upton this off-season. But considering their financial issues, we already knew that. [CBSSports.com]
- A couple of odd lines in this piece on Sam Fuld including “Fuld is heart of Rays,” and “pound for pound, nobody in the Tampa Bay clubhouse commands as much respect as Sam Fuld.” [UnionLeader.com]
- Anybody wanna work for the Rays. [TeamworkOnline]
- You might be surprised how much some of these athletes have made in their careers. Big deals are not reserved for superstars. [BI Sports]
- Look for LeGarrette Blount to start seeing more action in the near future. [JoeBucsFan]