Gm 1: RAYS 2, Red Sox 1 (boxscore)
Gm 2: RAYS 6, Red Sox 5 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Defining Moment? Baseball is a long season filled with many small moments. But occasionally you run into one that feels bigger, kinda like Ben Zobrist’s home run on the first day after the All-Star break in 2008. The Rays have been struggling. Nothing was going right. They couldn’t score runs. Tons of injuries. And then the Red Sox force the Rays to play 2 when it was not necessary. The Rays responded by winning both games and at the end of the season we may look back at these games as the moment that kick-started the season. Thanks, Red Sox!…Karma. Dave Wills: “The Rays, who put up a fight about playing 2, win ‘em both! KARMA IS A, I think we know what Karma is.” Ben Zobrist: “I hope everybody enjoyed their bobbleheads.”…Lucky. The Rays won game 1 by a score of 2-1 and the biggest moment of the game came when Yunel Escobar threw Dustin Pedroia out at the plate on a beautiful relay from Matt Joyce. At first it looked like Pedroia was clearly safe. And replays suggested he might have been safe. But I watched both networks and there was never a clear shot of Pedroia even touching the plate much less touching it before he was tagged. If the umpire in New York is going to overrule another umpire, it is going to have to be obvious and there is no way anybody can argue that there was an obvious view of Pedroia safe…The Mad Australian. After imploding against the White Sox, Grant Balfour needed a big bounce-back moment and boy did he get it saving both games of the double-header with 3 Ks in 2 innings. And boy did he enjoy the second one…Yunel Escobar. Huge home run. HUGE. And as usual, Dave Wills had a fantastic call.
THE BAD: Chris Archer. After winning game 1 and taking an early lead in game 2, Big Tree did the worst possible thing. He started walking everybody in the stadium. He walked the bases loaded and yet, he still looked like he might get out of it when he got Dustin Pedroia to fly out to left field. But then Archer hit Shane Victorino to force in a run and it was all downhill from there. You would rather see Archer give up multiple home runs than walk 3 batters and hit a fourth with a 2-run lead.
THE TELLING: This was the first time the Rays have ever swept a double-header at Fenway. They are now 1-3-3 all time…20 hours after the day started at Fenway Park, the Rays arrived at their hotel in New York City…Brad Boxberger was added to the roster for the second game as the 26th player…The Rays wore their navy jerseys for both games yesterday and are now 6-6 on the road in navy and 0-3 on the road in grey.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Red Sox were not happy about the replay challenge in game 1 that went against them. [TampaBay.com]
- A Boston Herald reporter sat down with Joe Maddon for a chat. [BostonHerald video]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Enny Romero gave up 3 runs in 5.2 innings, striking out 5 and walking 1. The Bulls managed just 3 hits in being shutout…Montgomery split a double-header with Cameron Seitzer and Ryan Brett hitting home runs for the Biscuits.
This play by Cesar Ramos was #8 on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays of the day.