The Rays dropped their fourth consecutive game Monday, dropping their home record to an abysmal 1-6 and overall record to 6-8.
The game, which clocked in at 2:48, didn't feature a ton of action overall. There was just one extra base hit -- a Shane Victorino double in the ninth -- and the only run was scored via an error. Let's take a look at how the Red Sox scored that run.
After retiring Brock Holt on a line drive to short, and a subsequent infield single and walk, Chris Archer faced Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia slapped the 0-1 pitch back to the mound, giving Archer ample time to set himself and make a perfect throw to second base. Ryan Brett, who was standing on top of the bag, fielded the throw but was unable to accurately turn the double play thanks to a nice take out slide by Mookie Betts. Brett's throw off-balance throw to first skipped past Logan Forsythe, allowing ex-Ray Ryan Hanigan to score.
Brett was at the base in plenty of time, but made the mistake of standing on the back-middle of it, not allowing himself any room or momentum to throw the ball once he caught it. Betts was bearing down on him and the rookie had nowhere to go. Instead of standing directly on top of the bag Brett should have taken a slide step toward the mound as he caught it, allowing himself an angle to get a throw off. I hate praising Red Sox players, but that's not a play that Dustin Pedroia falters on. Unfortunately it cost the Rays the game. Not that their offense did them many favors.
They collected just four hits and only had one at bat with a runner in scoring position, which ended in a bases loaded ground out in the sixth. It looked like they should have had at least one more opportunity that frame, but Brandon Guyer was called out at second base on a force play. The replay appeared to show Guyer's toe sliding into the bag before the ball hit the back of Pedroia's mitt, but he was ruled out and the call stood upon a challenge from Kevin Cash. This whole challenge business isn't going well for Cash, as he's now 0-8 to start his career.
I've ranted about it many times on Twitter, but the call on the field should not matter one bit. Whoever is reviewing the play back in New York should not know what was called on the field. Needing enough evidence to overturn a possibly incorrect call is moronic. Let a totally independent person whose viewpoint hasn't been tainted with the knowledge of the call on the field make the final ruling.
The final score could have been a lot worse but Rays pitchers did a good job of maneuvering around tough situations. Archer inparticular did an excellent job. The seven hits allowed in 5.2 innings is a bit more than you'd like, but other than that he pitched very well. When his slider is on point it's a thing of beauty. Tonight was one of those nights. He threw 44 of them and got 28 swings and 13 whiffs. The slider came in especially handy in the fourth and fifth innings. He struck out three straight in the fourth, all swinging on the slider, with a man on second. Then struck out Pedroia and David Ortiz on the same pitch with a man on second in the fifth.
Just about everyone had a better game than Brett. Aside from the poor throw to first, Brett got picked off after his infield single and dislocated his shoulder in the process. Another Rays player hits the DL and the sun sets in the west.