Oh the missed chances.
The Rays batters would get plenty of chances to do some damage against the knuckleballer Steven Wright, but would leave plenty more meat on the bone.
The offense would get started with a absolutely crushed double down right field by the mighty Brad Miller, scoring Kiermaier.
In the 2nd inning, Bobby Wilson would hit a double high off the Monster and Logan Forsythe would do one better and send one just a bit higher, over the Monster for a 2-run HR (allowing Bobby a well earned trot home).
The offense would continue to hit Wright well in the 4th, but that aforementioned meat on the aforementioned bone would also come into play.
In the 4th, Logan Morrison would launch a HR to RF, and Tim Beckham would follow that up with a well struck single to extend his hitting streak to 10 games.
Unfortunately, Tim Beckham would not end the inning as well as he would start it. With 2-out, Kevin Kiermaier would hit a sharp single past a diving Pedroia, Beckham would head home from 2nd. Kiermaier being Kiermaier would try and stretch it to a double, but unfortunately be thrown out at 2nd. Oh well, good hustle and a run scored.
Wait, no run was scored? Beckham slowed up and didn’t touch home before KK was thrown out? Again?!? Oy vey, Timmy. Oy vey.
Beckham would stay in the game. I greatly disagree with this decision. You can make the argument that you can teach or discipline a player in private, after the game, and not try and show them up or embarrass them. However, Kevin Cash lost that ability when he already did the in-game discipline with Steven Souza Jr earlier this season.
Cash pulled Souza for “not running hard enough” or something after he hit a routine pop-up than fell in, and Souza still hustled enough to get a 3B out of it. And yet Tim Beckham would do something much more egregious, a mistake he made for the 2nd time in a week, and not get pulled.
I do not see how you can defend leaving Beckham in this game.
Drew Smyly pitched into and out of a lot of trouble today. He would showcase the awesome 2nd half Smyly, getting some weak contact from some really dangerous hitters. He would also put himself into some really bad positions.
Smyly would relinquish an early lead in the bottom half of the inning. After getting ahead 0-2 on Xander Bogaerts on fastballs down and away and up and in, Smyly would leave a fastball right over the plate. Bogaerts would send that mistake over the Monster in a hurry.
Drew Smyly worked himself into and out of a top spot in the 3rd. After a single and a walk, Smyly faced off against Ortiz with 2-on and 1-out. Using a nice mix of cutters and four-seam fastballs around the zone, Smyly got Ortiz to pop up weakly to shallow LF.
Smyly then was able to escape the jam by getting Longoria’s favorite player, Mookie Betts to pop-up to LoMo at 1st.
Again in the 5th, Smyly be the captain again sailing the Rays ship into some rocky waters, giving up singles to Bradley Jr and Pedroia, and a walk to load the bases to Mookie Betts. He would then navigate that ship around those rocks and see some open ocean ahead of him, striking out Bogaerts and popping up Big Papi.
And then he would steer the ship right into a giant Hanley Ramirez shaped rock. I think this metaphor is starting to fall apart.
In the 8th, a hustle infield hit from Franklin, a walk for Beckham and Duffy, would load the bases with 2-outs for Logan Forsythe. Frosty would deliver.
Lining a beautiful hit back up the middle into centerfield, Forstyhe would plate two runs (including a hustling Beckham) to tie the game to a chorus of the one of the sweetest sounds on this planet: disappointed boos from the fans at Fenway.
Unfortunately, Erasmo Ramirez would immediately work himself into trouble in the bottom half, walking Hanley Ramirez on a ball 4 that wasn’t close. A sac bunt and two singles that found enough daylight later, and the Red Sox had a 7-6 lead.
With Enny Romero warming in the pen, Cash would decide to leave Erasmo in to face the lefty Jackie Bradley Jr.
JBJ would deliver a sharp hit past a diving Franklin at 1st to drive in another run. The Rays would bring the infield in with runners now on 2nd and 3rd, still just one out and Erasmo still trying to work out of the mess he created.
Tim Beckham would be in the spotlight for another play, this time though in a positive light, making a very nice play on a sharp grounder from Pedroia, throwing home to get Aaron Hill at the plate.
9th inning and Final Thoughts
Kimbrel would take the mound with a two run lead, and the game ended exactly how you would imagine that situation playing out.
The Rays would lose the game, and would do so in large part due to their own faults.
I was harsh Tim Beckham’s base running blunder, and I’m sure the comments will be also fairly harsh as well. I do want to point out that aside from an incredibly bone-headed play, Beckham had a really good game both at the plate (2-3 with a BB) and in the field.
This last month is going to be about auditions for the 2017 season, and what roles should be filled by what players. Wins and losses matter less at this point than the actual play on the field.
Still sucks to lose the Sox.