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Game Preview; Tuesday (9/20) vs. Boston

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Boston (87-63) at Rays (63-88)
7:15; Tropicana Field
RAYS TV/PAX

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose,  and sometimes, just sometimes, you beat the Red Sox. And that has been the toughest thing for the Rays to do this year. Well, not last night.  The Rays sent their northeast compatriots back to the Vinoy on a sorrow note, knocking out Sox lefty David Wells early. The Rays pounded Sox pitching for run after run, always  staying one step, but no more, ahead of the Red Sox, and Danys Baez survived a ninth inning homer to seal the win. This had to be one of the best games the Rays have played this year, and certainly one of the most satisfying at the end. The Rays now have a leg up in the series, and if they can pull  of  a series win, they will finish with a winning record in the season series at home. The best news? We don't have to go back to Fenway Park this year, where the Rays are 1-9. And the prospect of beating Curt Schilling tonight? Ever the better.

PITCHING MATCHUP:
BOS-RH Curt "Jackass" Schilling (6-8, 6.20)
RAYS-RH Seth "Big Red" McClung (6-10, 6.61)

BREAKDOWN: Well, we get a little bit of a good pitching matchup today, if Seth is on. Taking the mound for the Red Sox is one of the best pitchers in baseball, though the stats this year are down, Curt Schilling. Now, in honor of jackass taking the mound, I have decided to but up his song for you all to enjoy before I break down his performance.

"You're so Vain" by Carly Simon

You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner

And, you're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you
Don't you

You had me several years ago
When I was still quite naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you
Don't you

Annnnnnnnd......One Finger Salute......we're done. Ever hear the phrase "don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk"? Well, if Curt  Schilling were to  put up numbers like Bob  Gibson did in 1969, he still couldn't cover his millions of blowhard, pompous fits. But forget Gibson's '69, Schilling will be lucky to finish with Mark Hendrickson numbers. The Rays have been a special annoyance to Schilling this year, as he has a 6.16 ERA in seven games, two starts, against those pesky Devil Rays. Last time out in a crucial game against Oakland,  Schilling bombed, dropping four runs on 11 hits in 6.2 innings,  walking and k'ing three. The last time he faced the Rays was August 30th, and I imagine he was not too fond of his outing. In  six innings,  Schilling gave up five runs on nine hits. Ouch. But it is pretty much  the tale of the tape on his year, utter disappointment.

Taking the mound for the Rays is Seth "Big Red" McClung. Big Red will  lead the charge to 70 wins after the Rays avoided 100 losses with last night's victory. The Rays need 7 in their final 11 to match, and 8 to surpass. Big  Red goes to the mound on a little bit of slump, having pitched just 7.1 innings in his last two starts following a great game against Toronto. In those two starts, Big Red has given up 10 earned runs. That includes his awful performance last time out against New York,  when Big Red gave up seven  runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings. Most  of that came  on  to home runs, one of which was a grand slam by Robinson Cano. He also struggled with command, walking and striking out four. He hasn't faced the Sox since that horrible rain-delayed one inning outing against Boston, when he gave up two runs on two hits. That included two home runs, see a pattern  here?

THE BOTTOM LINE: The bottom line is, how sweet would a win tonight be? Not only beating the Sox in front of all  of their fans, but beating Curt Schilling. I'm sorry, but life does not get any better. Then again, should the Rays lose, life does not get any worse. The Rays have faced Schilling seven times this year, so they have a pretty good idea what he  has got. Same deal for the Sox with McClung, and both pitchers have struggled against the other team. So expect a decent level of offense, but the game should certainly be entertaining.  

GO RAYS!!!!!!!!!