Saturday, October 5, 2013
Rays Self Destruct Like You Read About In Humbling 12-2 Game 1 Loss To Red Sox
It had been too long. The Red Sox last appeared in a playoff game in 2009 and they hadn't won one since the previous season. It felt like they had been off basically that same amount of time since this season had ended but Boston put to bed any stupid questions about their extended rest by bludgeoning the Rays 12-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS this afternoon at Fenway Park.
Tampa Bay actually scored the first two runs as Sean Rodriguez (second inning) and Ben Zobrist (fourth inning) hit solo homers. From there, Jon Lester (1-0) settled in for a gem (7.2 innings, 2 earned runs, 3 hits, 7 strikeouts, 3 walks) while Matt Moore (0-1) and his defense fell apart. The Rays' prized young lefty couldn't get out of the fifth inning, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 4.1 innings.
Boston did most of its damage in the fourth (5 runs) and fifth (3 runs) before tacking on some runs in garbage time (4 in eighth). The Red Sox didn't hit any homers but who cares since they piled up 14 hits including five doubles and five walks. As a team they went 8 for 17 with runners in scoring position. Every Red Sox player had at least one hit and one run with Dustin Pedroia (2 runs, 2 hits) the only one without an RBI.
Leading the way in the win was Shane Victorino who went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, run and stolen base in his Red Sox playoff debut. Jacoby Ellsbury was 2 for 5 with run and RBI while Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 2 for 4 with three RBIs, double, run and walk. David Ortiz (double, walk) and Jonny Gomes (2 RBIs, double, walk) both scored twice.
Let's not get too ahead of ourselves and assume that the Rays will roll over and die after one loss after they won three elimination games in a row earlier this week. If there's one team in MLB that you can count on to bounce back from a blowout loss like this, it would be them. Plus, it doesn't hurt that they have David Price going tomorrow (5:37, TBS) vs. John Lackey in pseudo must-win game.