I’m feeling ‘em. Aren’t you? Does anyone else get a big pit in their stomachs at the thought of playing the Rays? Not that I feel like playing the Rangers or the Indians would have been a walk in the (Fenway) park, but there’s just something extra worrisome about those devils from Tampa Bay.
For every encouraging statistic or anecdote, there’s at least one discouraging one. The Red Sox went 12-7 against the Rays. Yay! Boston’s own Bob Ryan picked TB to win the ALDS. Yikes!
In the last 30 days, Jon Lester is 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 32 Ks. Yay! The Sox have 6 hits against Matt Moore and twice as many strikeouts in 50 at bats. Yikes!
Evan Longoria has 0 hits in 5 at bats with 4 Ks against Clay Buchholz. Yay! He also has 4 hits off of Felix Doubront, 3 off Ryan Dempster, and 2 each off of Lester and Jake Peavy. Yikes!
The Rays have a .392 batting average against John Lackey this season with a 1.025 OPS! The whole Red Sox team has a .167 average against David Price! Jackie Bradley Jr., Jacoby Ellsbury, Will Middlebrooks, and David Ortiz are all batting under .250 against Alex Cobb. Yikes! Yikes! Yikes!
But before I need to reach for a paper bag, I must remind myself that this isn’t the regular season. This is October. The Sox have been planning, practicing, and growing beards for this since April. They’re ready. I’d better be too. I’ll put the scary stats and talking heads away, don my well-worn Red Sox cap, and shout: “play ball!”