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Rays 2, Red Sox 1: Gritty scrappy grit win

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Odorizzi battles, and Rene Rivera goes from goat to hero.

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Total comments 230
Total commenters 28
Commenter list #TheOneTrueKing, Adam Sanford, Brett Phillips, Brian Andersbot, DFAHowell, Darby Robinson, Drew Laing, GomesSweetGomes, Ian Malinowski, JRTW612, Landlord, MakeitRayn, MrWizzle21, Noles95', Rays1118, Yoko Longo, all pRays, barnecles, downtownres, essenpee, killa3312, lizzieray, magicrays, mattc286, nomo.red.evil, raysfan81, the dobber, youcancallmeRayRay
Story URLs

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
5 the dobber Had to drop by for the mandatory post
3 Brian Andersbot They have five bullpen days, we only have two
2 the dobber You can say that about most of the lineup, really.
2 Brett Phillips TWO TAMPA BAY WALKOFF WINS
2 Brian Andersbot F*CK BOSTON
2 lizzieray I think I'll go buy a lottery ticket.
1 Rays1118 BOLTS WIN BABY!



Happy Drew Smyly's Eve, everybody! For those of you who couldn't tear yourselves away from Requiem for Resurrection of a Hockey Season, you missed a tense game, if not an exciting one.

Second Inning

The scoring started early. Pablo Sandoval led off the second for the Red Sox with a double to right, then advanced to third on a groundout by Mike Napoli. He would score on sacrifice fly to medium-shallow center by Daniel Nava on a play that Kevin Kiermaier really should have done a lot more with.

The Rays would answer in the bottom of the frame, when Evan Longoria got things started with a ground rule double to left-center (no, really!), and would later score on a Logan Forsythe single to center.

Jake's Day

And that would be it for the scoring till the ninth. But not really because the pitching was dominant. Look, let's not pussyfoot around here; Jake Odorizzi was not sharp. Despite the solid line (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 K, 3 BB), he was often behind, and he did not locate well. And even the line wouldn't have been that good if not for a sensational catch by Kiermaier with two on and two out in the fifth.

Which is fine. Everybody has a game when they don't have their best stuff once in a whlie. This was Jake's turn. But so often in a game like this, you hear about a guy "battling though it." Like he willed the Red Sox to hit ten fly balls five feet too short. Uh, no. He did manage to make some big pitches, but he was also plenty lucky tonight, and I for one was pretty relieved when Cash called for Brandon Gomes after the Sox put two on with two out in the seventh for what felt like the pivotal matchup of the game to that point.

7th Inning

With catcher Sandy Leon due up, John Farrell calls on Hanley Ramirez to pinch hit. Gomes (rightly) pitches to Ramirez carefully, but is just missing with his pitches, falling behind 3-0. Then a well-located fastball dots the outside corner for strike one, followed by a nasty split that (of course) causes a swing and a miss and a lost helmet. Full count. What does Gomes go with? Another split? Try to paint the corner with another fastball? Sweep the slider? Haha, no. Instead, Brandon Gomes throws a perfectly located -- backup slider over the inside corner for a called strike three. Just like nobody ever draws up. You know what? In a tight ball game, you take what you can get.

9th Inning

On to the bottom of the ninth, score still tied at one. Allan Dykstra and Kevin Kiermaier singles are sandwiched around a Logan Forsythe flyout, and Tim Beckham is in to run for Dykstra. Rene Rivera is due up. So we're going to get a pinch hitter, right?

No.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I don't care what Ian says about pinch hitter penalties, I cannot believe Rene Rivera is hitting here. This crush that Cash has on his catchers has got to stop. I mean, I love them as catchers, but they aren't here to hit, they are here to catch. Surely we have somebody better on the bench in this situa --

IT'S A DOUBLE STEAL! AND THE BALL IS IN THE DIRT! IT'S GOING TO THE BACKSTOP! IT'S --

A foul ball. Rene Rivera took a check swing at a 58-foot curve ball and messed up the double steal. Now Pedroia is practically holding Beckham on at second like he's a first baseman. Well, not practically, he is holding him on like he's a first baseman. Way to go, Rene. Good job, good effort. Just do me a favor and strike out. Don't muck this up with a double pl --

Oh. Or you could that.

I had your back all the way, Rene!  Rays win! Rays win!

Final thoughts:

  • There was a check swing call on Ortiz in the 8th that was the worst I've ever seen. As Brian Anderson said, if he makes contact with it, it's a double. I don't even have words.
  • Yes, there were a lot of long fly balls. That doesn't make Fenway South any less amusing.
  • Nobody got hurt! I don't think.