Sox Crush Hapless Rays, 12-2, lead ALDS 1-0


The Rays’s World Series’ dream turned into the kind of dark phantasm, where “everything was black and white and it smelled like gasoline.”*–it might even have been the kind of game that demoralizes a team enough to get swept.  Sox 12, Rays 3.  Sox lead ADLS 1-0.

 

Lester had not only pitched brilliantly—allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, 114 pitches/ 71 strikes—he took the game deep, 7.2 innings, and—significantlyallowed his bullpen a fifth consecutive day of rest, which could pay dividends in games two and three.

 

After jumping off to a 2-0 lead on two HRs, the Rays ran out of Post-season adrenaline, misplayed three balls, and the Red Sox took full advantage with smart base running; batting around in the 4th and 5th innings for 8 runs and Lester slammed the door, allowing just one more hit, to give the Sox a W in game One of the 5-game ALDS.

Every Red Sox batter got a hit.

 

Home field advantage was fully evident, as the Green Monster ate up Tampa LF Sean Rodriguez–twice, allowing the Sox to score both times–5 runs in the 4th and 3 in the 5th.

The Rays went up 2-0 on two HRs from two unlikely batters:

In the 2nd inning, Sean Rodriguez, previously hitting [.375] in 8 ABs against Lester, got the Rays on the board in the first inning with a HR to LF; he hit a 95-MPH 4-Seam Fastball.

1-0

In the 4th inning Zobrist, who was .188 against Lester, reached down and lifted a 93-MPH sinker into the stands for a short-distance HR.

2-0

In bottom of the 4th the subdued crowd came to life when Pedroia stroked a shot up the middle for a single.

Then the going got weird—for Tampa.

Perhaps, after winning three straight must-win games, all of them on the road, against the Blue Jays, Rangers and Indians, it is entirely possible that the Rays suddenly crashed from their adrenaline rush.

Could mental fatigue explain what happened next?

Ortiz, just missing a HR, lofted a routine fly ball to Right-center in front of the Red Sox bullpen, where rookie Wil Myers appeared to have it lined up, but, astonishingly, he let the ball drop, untouched on the warning track, and it bounced into the stands for a Ground rule double, pushing Pedroia to 3b.

Myers “boner” mystified everyone; he had held out his right arm–perhaps feeling for the wall–and then– inexplicably–”peeled off,” as if to let CF Jennings make the play. Yes, there was some glare on the field, but Myers, the only Tampa OF wearing sunglasses, did not seem to be effected by the brightness in the sky.

Nothing about his misplay suggested brightness.

VIDEO: http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?topic_id=59663482&content_id=31081213

The fleet center fielder Desmond Jennings raced toward RF to backup the play, but did not call Myers off the ball and was about 15 feet behind Myers in front of the Red Sox bullpen wall, standing still, watching Myers.

When the surprised ball hit the hard dirt on the warning lane and bounced into the stands, Myers looked over at Jennings, who stood staring back incredulously.

The Sox made the Rays pay for it–big time!

Gomes promptly doubled, scoring Pedroia and Ortiz to tie the score at two.

With two out Drew hit a grounder to Loney, who made the backhand flip to the pitcher, but Moore mis-timed his route to first and his whirling foot tag of the bag and Gomes, off on contact from 2b, hustled around 3b and scored.

Will Middlebrooks hit a Home team double off the AL Standings sign scoring Drew.

Although–to Fenway regulars–it was clearly not catchable, Rodriguez mysteriously went hard toward the wall and the ball ricocheted off the monster and past him as he tried, haplessly, to backhand it.

Rodriguez was making a rare start in left field–he started  only 10 career games in the outfield prior to this season–for reasons known only to manager Joe Maddon,

After Ellsbury apparently struck out swinging, backup catcher, “Lobotomy” Lobaton, pulled a Mickey Owens: he let the low and inside third strike elude his glove as it futilely swept across the plate Ellsbury to 1st and Middlebrooks to 3rd.

Shane Victorino singled on a sharply struck ground ball to RF. Will Middlebrooks scored extending the Sox lead to 5-2; Jacoby Ellsbury to 2nd.

Imagine: With Myers letting the ball drop untouched; LF Rodriguez eaten up by the Monster, and the PB blunder by Lobaton, there were still no errors recorded on the scoreboard.

In the bottom of the 5th the Sox put the game out of reach.

Napoli took advantage of the clueless LF Rodriguez by stretching his single into a double, sliding outside the bag and grabbing it with his left hand to beat Zobrist’s sweeping tag.

Maddon ordered a free pass for Gomes.

Batting righty, Salty lined a shot toward the Monster and, incredibly repeating his previous mistake, LF Rodriguez–like a stuntman rehearsing a take–again over-ran the wall and let the ball suddenly reverse course and shoot by him toward the infield.

Napoli, who has attended classes at Green Monster College, knew the Wall Ball would bounce hard and raced home with the Sox 7th run.

Maddon ended his starter’s 4.1 inning, 106-pitch agony, replacing Moore with LHP Wesley Wright.

With Moore clearly struggling with his stuff, Maddon mysteriously allowed Moore to take a beating and throw 106 pitches.

Unintentionally adding injury to insult, Ellsbbury drilled a shot off pitcher Wright’s leg, which continued into CF scoring Salty.

Archer replaced the wronged Wright.

The weirdness continued as the SS Escobar moved in laconically toward a fading grounder and threw too late to first, causing an infield hit,  moving Middlebrooks to 3rd, Jacoby Ellsbury to 2nd.

With the bases loaded, Pedroia worked the count full and the Rays were granted their only minor mercy of the day, when he struck out on a high slider.

8-2

Featuring a great stab by Pedroia for one out, Lester dismissed the Rays with a flourish: striking out Desmond Jennings to end the Rays 6th.

As the Delmon Young lead off for the Rays in the 7th, Sox announcer, Dave O”Brian, noted that a rainbow now arched elegantly over Fenway Park; in an unrelated development, Lester tossed a 1-2-3 and done 7th at the Rays.

In the 8th Lester struck out Lobaton, but then, passing the 100-pitch mark, he seemed to sag; he walked Loney and Jennings.

Farrell went to the mound and thanked Lester, who strode to the dugout into a huge wave of grateful greetings from the sell-out crowd.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Sox piled on with 4 more runs and ran their hit total to 14.

After Jamey Wright replaced Alex Torres:Jacoby Ellsbury singled.
With Shane Victorino batting, Jacoby Ellsbury stole 2nd base.Victorino singled scoring Jacoby Ellsbury.

Dustin Pedroia singled, Victorino to 3rd.

David Ortiz walked. Dustin Pedroia to 2nd.

Mike Napoli walked, Victorino scored, Dustin Pedroia to 3rd, David Ortiz to 2nd.

Jonny Gomes grounded into a double play, Pedroia scored, Ortiz to 3rd. Mike Napoli out at 2nd.

12-2

The Rays added  a moot hit off Ryan Dempster in the 9th and were finished with 2 runs on 4 hits with 5 LOB; the Sox had 12 runs on 14 hits and left 8 on base.

12-3.

Q:  For the Rays, is there a “good night’s sleep” long enough to revive them?

Q:  Does that sketchy character on that dark corner, across from that seedy movie theater, in the Combat Zone still deal that naturally-occuring subastance:  adrenochrome?

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BOX: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_10_04_tbamlb_bosmlb_1&mode=gameday

*John Prine – “I Had A Dream” – 1980 album – Storm Windows

Saturday October 5, 2013All times Eastern. Subject to change.

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Tigers Athletics 9:00pm

GAME ONE PITCHING LINES:

Tampa Bay

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Moore, M

4.1

8

8

7

2

4

0

14.54

Wright, W

0.1

1

0

0

1

1

0

0.00

Archer

1.1

1

0

0

0

2

0

0.00

Torres, A

1.0

0

0

0

0

2

0

0.00

Wright, J

1.0

4

4

4

2

0

0

36.00

Boston

Pitchers

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Lester

7.2

3

2

2

3

7

2

2.35

Tazawa

0.1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Dempster

1.0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0.00

 

WP: Moore, M.
IBB: Gomes, J (by Moore, M), Middlebrooks (by Wright, W).
HBP: Victorino (by Moore, M).
Pitches-strikes: Moore, M 106-67, Wright, W 11-4, Archer 19-14, Torres, A 14-8, Wright, J 30-18, Lester 114-71, Tazawa 3-1, Dempster 10-9.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: ALDS Series Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays