Baseball is a big-picture game that we are forced to experience a little bit at a time, and walk-offs complicate that. They are fun and exciting, but the fact that you are tied after running through a gauntlet of nine innings indicates that something was probably wrong with either your hitting or pitching. Look, if I were Ken Burns I'd probably spend the next twenty minutes using that knowledge to compare baseball to life and wax poetic about the Pre-Modern Era but I'm running very late with this recap. In fact I'm running so late that I had to outsource it to four different people. To save time I split the game up into four segments and had each person write about a segment. Don't worry, because each little section pretty much comes equipped with a pre-existing narrative, to make that big picture stuff way easier to digest.
To save even more time, because I am very, very late with this, I chose these people from the future, because they write for next to nothing, put the money in the bank, and collect the interest-bloated funds decades later. Something seemed a little off about each section but I didn't have time to proofread too closely.
Anyway, onto the recap:
Inning 1: Jake Peavy Throws a Perfect Game
The night started out bad for David Price and (I assume) only got worse from there. David Price was hit around in the top of the 1st as the Red Sox, led by A.J. Pierzynski, put him on the hook for a disastrous 5-run, 34-pitch inning. His messy and inefficient inning continues a discouraging trend of Rays pitchers being unable to last deep into games. Price hit Mike Carp with the bases loaded and failed to record an out until a Jonny Gomes sac fly scored the second run of the inning. But the Sox weren't done yet. On the first pitch, Pierzynski hit a three-run homer into the right field stands, effectively securing the victory for the Sox. This team can be an offensive juggernaut and Price found out the hard way.
On the other hand, Jake Peavy was shut down and effective, in the first and only inning of play. Needing only 11 pitches, he handily retired DeJesus, Longoria, and Joyce, who couldn't even muster up even a single runner in scoring position. Game over, Rays lose 5-0. The next game starts tomorrow at 1:40 ET, and is, as usual, mandatory by law.
Innings 2-6: David Price Throws a No-Hitter
David Price was shut down and effective through his five innings of work and the Rays offense was able to create some scoring chances as well as muster up some timely hitting in the Rays' 5-0 rout of the Red Sox. Brandon Guyer and Logan Forsythe proved to be a formidable 1-2 punch that kept the Red Sox out of the game early. David was able to mix pitches and keep the Sox swinging on their heels. Through innings 2-6, Price allowed no hits, 4 strikeouts, and only 1 walk, needing only 53 pitches to do so.
On the other hand, Jake Peavy was messy and inefficient. This team can be an offensive juggernaut and Peavy found out the hard way. Through these five innings he allowed 7 hits and 1 walk on 88 pitches. Guyer lead off the second inning with a single up the middle and soon scored on Forsythe's sac fly. In the fourth, Guyer hit a hard hit chopper that skipped over the head of the third baseman for a double. With two outs, Forsythe was able to sneak a ball into left field that scored Guyer.
The Rays, as a whole tonight, were able to capitalize on scoring opportunities and didn't leave many men stranded on the base paths. In the fifth inning, the rest of the offense woke up. DeJesus, Longoria, and Joyce led off the inning with back-to-back-to-back singles and were able to push themselves into scoring position. With two outs, Peavy was unable to contain Brandon Guyer, who again was able to come through in the clutch. He plated two more runs with a hard hit double down the left field line that from my seat at the game I thought was a goner.
A curious scoreboard malfunction showed the Red Sox as having already scored 5 runs, which is impossible, as Price did not give up any runs between innings 2-6, which are, as we all know, the only innings played in a baseball game. We've always been at war with Eastasia. Rays manage to win this one, 5-0. Tomorrow Jake Odorizzi will face off against Brandon Workman for yet another 5 inning game. We look forward to your guaranteed compliance.
Innings 7-14: Rays and Red Sox Compete for Prize in Futility, Ignore Inherent Paradox
Well, they say nobody wins when it's a tie game, and it's true, literally. The Rays and the Red Sox combine for eight innings of no-run baseball. The Rays' pitching performances were shut down and effective, but the hitting staff was unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Although the Rays often were able to push themselves into scoring position, they were unable to muster up any timely hitting.
David Price was inexplicably removed after the eighth inning, the very start of his night. A strange mistake in the pitch tracker said that when he was removed he had thrown 115 pitches, which is patently absurd, as he was, to coin a term, "shut down and effective." Luckily for the Rays, the bullpen was also shut down and effective and effectively shut down the Sox offense for eight innings. The only hit was allowed in the thirteenth inning by Cesar Ramos, which when coupled with an error, put a runner in scoring position. Luckily Ramos pitched his way out of the inning, collecting two more strikeouts and earning enough pitching credits for another week's rations. Way to go, Cesar!
Despite the wonderful work by the pitching staff, the Rays offense simply could not score a single run. In the seventh inning, a HBP and a single to center put two men on with no outs, but Craig Breslow was able to neutralize the threat, with no small help from Matt Joyce.
Goodness this is a terrible bunt. Joyce looked pretty lost up there and soon struck out.
In the eighth a single and a wild pitch from Tazawa put Forsythe on second with one out, but nothing came out of that. Uehara came in for the ninth and did Uehara things, and in the tenth Jennings singled and stole second thanks to a well-timed challenge.
Initially called out, the call was overturned, but Escobar grounded to the pitch on the very next pitch. In the thirteenth (!) inning, Forsythe again tried to get something started by doubling with one out, but Burke Badenhop intentionally walked Escobar to set up the double play, into which Ryan Hanigan promptly hit.
After Matt Joyce struck out in the bottom of the fourteenth inning, the game was called, as is tradition. Some baseball fans have questioned the reasoning behind only playing the seventh through fourteenth innings. Of course, as even the youngest infants know, these are the innings that best represent the game of baseball. It is not necessary to play any other innings because they are irrelevant, and we know that they are irrelevant because they are never played. Some older fans even claim that they remember a time when baseball was a nine-inning game, and extra innings were only played if the score was tied through those nine. This is absurd thinking! Who told you this? Point them out to us. Quickly.
Inning 15: Cesar Ramos Throws a Perfect Game
Cesar Ramos pitched a perfect fifteenth inning as the Tampa Bay Patriots edge out the Boston Red Patriots by the score of 1-0. The game, although lasting only a matter of minutes, will last forever in our hearts.
Ramos worked a one-two-three fifteenth. I was at the game, and as he struck out Jonathan Herrera with a beautiful curveball, I heard one bystander call him shut down and effective, which was curious, as I had just been thinking those precise words in my mind. The crowd of 23,569, not one of which who had left Tropicana Coca-Cola Publix H&R Block Consolidated Field, began chanting the phrase "shut down and effective" collectively in a way that sounded pre-planned but could not have been as Ramos unblinkingly walked off the field.
James Loney singled to center and was replaced by Cole Figueroa. Loney has not been seen since but we can assume that he is fine, or that he never existed in the first place. Brandon Guyer bunted to push Figueroa into a scoring opportunity, but confusion between pitcher Andrew Miller and the third baseman allowed Guyer to reach base safely. Jennings, who had tried to bunt but failed, capitalized on that scoring opportunity:
Maybe I should say Jennings and Miller both capitalized. Well, anyway, ball game over, Tampa emerges victorious and aims to go for the sweep of Boston tomorrow.
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