Apparently, the Red Sox have been waiting for the Rays for the past few months. Today was the Red Sox Home Opener and the Red Sox showed their fans why they shouldn’t push the panic button yet. Josh Beckett, the starting pitcher, was booed by the fans; I doubt they’ll be booing him the next time he pitches. This had to be the worst game for the Rays ever (maybe not, but for me, it hurt).
The Rays proved once again that there are just some games in which they just can’t hit the ball. Ben Zobrist singled then scored when Jeff Keppinger doubled, taking an early lead in the 2nd inning. This would be the only run the Rays would score in the whole game.
Beginning in the 3rd Inning, the Rays began to fall apart. Kelly Shoppach, former Ray, purposely leaned in and got hit by David Price (Another reason why I hate Shoppach). After that, Price never found the strike zone. Suddenly, the Red Sox came to life and started hitting – by the end of the 3rd, the Red Sox scored 3 runs. The Rays still had a chance to win the game, even when Burke Badenhop gave up a run in the 4th, leading to the Red Sox 4-1 lead. But the Rays never hit the ball. Every year it is the same thing, the Rays can’t hit. The batting averages are one of the lowest in baseball and the games the Rays have lost, it is usually because the Rays scored one or less runs (ask David Price, he did not receive much run support last year). The bottom of the line-up is a guaranteed three outs. Nothing has changed in the past several years. Yes, I understand the Rays are known for their pitching and defense, not for power hitting; but seriously, how many games this year are the Rays going to score 2 or less runs? How many no-hitter games are going to be the highlight reel at night? When is the organization going to address this problem? In 2011, the Rays were shut out 15 times, tying with the Oakland A’s for 2nd in the A.L.; they were only behind the Seattle Mariners. The Rays were held to 2-runs or less 52 times in 2011, meaning the Rays scored 2 or less runs in 32% of the games they played last year.
So with no run support for the second game in a row, the Rays bullpen was called upon. Though Badenhop gave up one run, Wade Davis did not. Davis had his best outing of the season, cruising through the Red Sox line-up. Davis kept the game 4-1 for the Rays, but the bats remained silent. The only hightlight of the game was when Jason Ellsbury attempted to break up a double play, but instead Reid Brignac fell on him, injuring Ellsbury.
O, the other highlight of the game was when Kelly Shoppach stole a base – he slid several feet before the second base and ended up on his face. Find it online if you need a laugh. The sad thing is that Shoppach, who was 100% useless with the Rays for two-years, was the big hero today. He scored runs, hit doubles, actually played as a catcher today. Seriously, where the heck was that when he was with the Rays? Ugh, I just hate him.
Anyways, so the game got super ugly in the 8th inning when Joel Peralta was sent in to pitch. Instead, he failed to find the strike zone. Suddenly, all the anger of the Red Sox players of how Red Sox nation collapsed last year was released. Every single player got to base; there was a wild pitch and several walks given up by Peralta. The Red Sox were smiling for the first time since August 2011. Josh Lueke, who I do not like because of his past history, was sent in to end the inning. Instead, it went on until the Red Sox were winning 12-1. The last time Rays gave up 12 runs to Boston was on 9/6/2010. O, Ben Zobrist, one of the very few players who decided to show up today, hit a homerun in the 9th, making it 12-2.
What I Like:
- Shoppach falling on his face after his stolen base
- Ben Zobrist scoring two runs today; Zobrist has to be one of the most dependable guys. He may not be a power hitter like Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria, but he still gets a goo number of hits every year.
- Wade Davis: Davis has being pitching about average so far this season but he was on fire in this game. It was 1-2-3 out nearly every inning he pitched.
What I Didn’t Like:
- Kelly Shoppach: The former Ray decided to play baseball after two years of not participating in the game. He reached base four times, with three hits and one walk. He purposely got hit, which just ruined everything (David Price just said he leaned in on the post-game interview so I’m not crazy). According to Tampa Bay Times on Twitter, Shoppach had two 3-hit games and no 3-run games with the Rays. Today, he had 3 hits and scored 3 runs against him. I should of booed him harder last year.
- Losing to the Red Sox: The Rays always beat the Red Sox, a team filled with chicken-loving, beer-drinking players. Hopefully, the Rays win the rest of the Series so I can go back to making fun of them.
- Rays not hitting…again.
Anyways, Rays should rebound from this and go off to the playoffs so really there isn’t too much concern. But, if the Rays want to win the World Series, they need to start hitting the ball. The Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, Angels, Phillies, and Cardinals are all known for hitting so there is no way the Rays can win games against these playoff teams by scoring 2 runs or less. Its crazy to think that all the pitchers should not give up a single run every game.
O, Alex Rodriquez is now tied with Ken Griffey Jr. with homeruns. But, I don’t care because A-Roid is a cheater and probably has no testicles because of all the years he abused steroids.