clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Rays 4, Red Sox 3: Celebrate the paradoxically named Labor Day with a Rays walkoff win

Happy Labor Day! Let's celebrate it by not working.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Labor Day everybody! I'm home from college, at a cookout with my family, who keep glaring at me every time I run inside to write bits and pieces of the recap for the game I'm surreptitiously watching on my phone. Every time I come back out more and more of the deviled eggs disappear, and the volume level at which the older women yell is inversely proportional to the level of Jesus Juice left in the box of wine. I've also been trying to help my younger brother draft a passable fantasy football team, even though he's adamant about drafting Peyton Manning with his fifth pick. Finally, my younger younger brother is playing the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy on a loop, which normally wouldn't be a problem except he seems particularly infatuated with Spirit in the Sky, which I'd argue is the weakest of that excellent medley of 70s/80s hits. But hey, I'd rather listen to I Want You Back than explain to relatives why I'm not a doctor yet.

Innings 1-3

Drew Smyly faced off against Rubby de la Rosa, and both pitchers pitched very passable games. Smyly struck out the side in the first and de la Rosa only allowed a hit to Wil Myers (who has been hitting like a AAAA guy for a while now) to lead off the game before retiring the side. The second inning went by in a flash, too, de la Rosa and Smyly looked like they were in a serious pitcher's duel. Unfortunately, after retiring the first eight batters he faced, Smyly walked Christian Vasquez on a full count, and allowed a two-out double to Mookie Betts (he of the grand slam a couple of nights ago) to give the Red Sox their first hit and their first run.

Luckily the Rays were able to quickly strike back. In the bottom of the inning, Ryan Hanigan led off with a sinking line drive to center and Ben Zobrist managed to reach base on a ground ball that never left the infield. Myers, perhaps sensing the sick burn I laid on him a few sentences ago, doubled home Hanigan on a scorcher of a line drive to right. After Matt Joyce stuck out, Evan Longoria singled up the middle to drive home two runs, putting the #RaysUp 3-1.

Innings 4-6

Despite his relatively solid line by the end of the game, Smyly did struggle a bit, especially when compared to how he's pitched in recent days. In the fourth he allowed a home run to Mike Napoli, eliciting an irritating amount of cheers from Sox fans in attendance.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Today&#39;s gathering for a <a href="">#Rays</a>-<a href="">#RedSox</a> game at the Trop, 10,543</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="">September 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Not that there was really anyone in attendance today. Yeesh.

In the fifth Smyly gave up a one-out double to Xander Bogaerts to put the tying run on base, but Bogy ran himself out of it when Hanigan and Longoria teamed up to tag out a steal attempt.

Kiermaier singled to lead off the fifth but was stranded, and that would be all the Rays would do, offense-wise, until the eighth inning. In the top of the sixth, Smyly retired Betts, walked Brock Holt, and struck out Yoenis Cespedes. Maddon thought that it was enough and ended his night after 96 pitches. His line would only read three hits allowed and seven strikeouts collected, but he was helped out of a couple of jams in the middle innings by a few stellar defensive plays. Boxberger came in an picked up a strikeout, to the surprise of literally nobody.

Innings 7-9

Boxberger stayed in for the seventh, and walked a guy but also got two more strikeouts, leading to these things:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>.<a href="">@Brad_Boxberger</a> leads <a href="">#Rays</a> staff with most swings &amp; misses, has 2nd-most K&#39;s among AL relievers. He&#39;s also the deliverer of FREE PIZZA.</p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="">September 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>With that last strikeout, <a href="">@Brad_Boxberger</a> has 92 this season, tying the club record for a reliever...J.P. Howell also had 92 in 2008.</p>&mdash; Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) <a href="">September 1, 2014</a></blockquote>

<script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

All Boxberger does is break records.

Jeff Beliveau entered in the eighth and allowed a single to Mookie Betts, Rays-killer. After retiring another, Steve Geltz came in for the final out of the inning. Alas, with a full count, the new call-up allowed a single to Cespedes, knotting the game up at 3-3. He was able to get Napoli to strike out swinging though, so he's got that going for him which is nice.

In the bottom of the inning Wil Myers got another hit, and the credit for his incredible and instant turnaround can of course be credited to me. Too bad Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria haven't been hearing all the mean things we've been saying about them because they stranded him at first. McGee came in for the ninth and handily retired the side, as well.

The Winning Inning

Balfour entered for the first and only extra inning, and although he allowed a single to Christian Vasquez, he quickly picked off the substituted pinch runner and faced the minimum. Burke Badenhop got the call for the Sox, and promptly allowed a double to Ryan Hanigan. Farrell made the choice to walk Kiermaier, but Zobrist was able to lay down a sacrifice bunt to push the winning run 90 feet away. The Sox again intentionally walked Wil Myers (who reached base 4 times today!) to pitch to Matt Joyce, and on the first pitch this happened:

<object width="400" height="254"><param name="movie" value="undefined/shared/flash/video/share/ObjectEmbedFrame.swf?content_id=35866615&width=400&height=254&property=mlb" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="scale" value="noscale" /><param name="salign" value="tl" /><embed src="undefined/shared/flash/video/share/ObjectEmbedFrame.swf?content_id=35866615&width=400&height=254&property=mlb" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="never"  allowfullscreen="true"  width="400" height="254" scale="noscale" salign ="tl" /></object>

heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Rays win!

Hope y'all enjoyed the abbreviated recap, I gotta go. I just heard glass breaking, and what sounds like some sort of farm animal, which means the slaughterhouse fences have finally fallen, and the day we've been preparing for has finally come.