The Rays are in town for a four game series against Boston. The Sox have broken out the whuppin' sticks the first two games and reeled off wins 12-2 and 13-5.
In game one, Josh Beckett got his Curt Schilling on and instead of powering 99 mph fastballs at the Rays batters, relied on finesse to shut down the Tampa Bay hitters. The Sox hitters exploded in the 8th inning, pounding the Ray's relief pitchers (one of whom is now banished to the minors) for 8 runs.
In today's game, Clay Buchholz hung on through a horrible first inning, giving up four runs, to allow only one more run and stay in until the 7th for a quality start and the win. Once again, the Boston hitters brought the bash to the game, cranking out 5 home runs to put an exclamation point on the win.
The Rays have dropped to 4-4 after starting the season quite well. And Boston has rebounded to 3-5 with Doubront and Bard hoping to get the guys back to .500 with a sweep of the suddenly staggering Rays.
In the media, the Boston players have continued to be only respectful and professional towards a Tampa Bay team that has an unhealthy rivalry turned up to eleven. The Rays, however, are already in mid-season whine form after only one game with Boston (haven't seen the reports from today's game yet).
Joe Maddon implied that Kelly Shoppach stepped into the pitch that got him on base against David Price yesterday. Price couldn't find home plate with a seeing eye dog and a team of cub scouts, so is it any surprise he drilled his former teammate? Tampa players also blamed Jacoby Ellsbury for his own injury, suggesting he should not have tried to break up the double play at second base. That's Baseball 101 fellas! Since when do you just allow yourself to be thrown out?
Expect to see something about the pitch Hellickson thought should have been a called third strike against Ortiz. Papi jacked a monster double the next pitch and Hellickson was furious.
I've said it before, the JV attitude of the Rays just puts me off. I don't want to hate on my hometown team. I just wish they would play the game and not be so whiny about stuff. Stuff that always and only seems to be about Boston.