It seems like it were only yesterday the Tampa Bay Rays were facing the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day. The excitement of a new season and a heroic homecoming for Denard Span were fresh in mind. Now the Rays are coming off five straight losses. Three one-run losses and then two beatings in New York.
The Rays Opening Week tour heads to Boston, where Fenway Park’s home opener is scheduled for Thursday afternoon. The Rays lost three of four to the Red Sox to start the season in a tightly contested series.
Thursday 2:05 PM: Bullpen (Yonny Chirinos) vs David Price
Saturday 1:05 PM: Jacob Faria vs Rick Porcello
Sunday 1:05 PM: Bullpen (TBD) vs Hector Velazquez
Yonny Chirinos will make his first major league start. The Rays have a rare Friday off day to protect the home opener, but there should be no weather-related issues. It will be cold, so maybe Kevin Kiermaier will remember to put on his Vaseline coating this time.
Rays vs David Price Round 2
Red Sox Starters Last 3+ Years
The Rays offense didn’t fare well against the Red Sox starters in the Opening Series. The Rays scratched across two runs in four games against Red Sox starters. Fortunately the Rays won’t have to face Chris Sale, but do have to face former Cy Young Award winners David Price and Rick Porcello in the first two games.
Price went seven scoreless innings in his first start of the year versus the Rays. Price scattered four hits while collecting five strikeouts without walking a batter.
The Rays offense had opportunities against Porcello, but were only able to score one run in 5.1 innings.
Hector Velazquez held the Rays to a lone run on — a solo homer by Brad Miller — in 5.2 innings. Velazquez will be making his fifth career start.
Craig Kimbrel is great.
Red Sox Relievers Last 3+ Years
Kimbrel got the year started similarly to how most of his appearances against the Rays ended last year. Three batters faced. Three strikeouts.
While the Rays weren’t able to get much across the plate against the Boston starting rotation, they were able to score seven runs against the bullpen.
Somebody please get Xander Bogaerts out.
Red Sox Batters Last 3+ Years
|Jackie Bradley Jr.||1452||53||21||9.7%||23.3%||0.254||0.336||0.452||0.337||108|
During the first series, the Rays held the Boston lineup to ten runs over four games. Xander Bogaerts seemed to have multiple extra base hits every game. If it weren’t for Bogaerts the Red Sox offense might’ve looked worse than the Rays’.
Boston’s big acquisition has gotten off to a slow start. J.D. Martinez is hitting .200/.273/.250 and putting up a 48 wRC+. It’s only 22 plate appearances, but the Rays were able to limit the damage from their middle of the batting order.
Through the first week Xander Bogaerts (183 wRC+), Mookie Betts (181 wRC+), Hanley Ramirez (141 wRC+), and Rafael Devers (126 wRC+) have led the way on the offfensive side of the ball.
J.D. Martinez (48 wRC+), Andrew Benintendi (44 wRC+), Jackie Bradley Jr. (26 wRC+), and Mitch Moreland (-78 wRC+) have gotten off to slow starts.
Maybe the Rays offense can put up a few more runs at Fenway.
The Rays offense only managed nine runs in the four game series to start the year. If it wasn’t for a bases loaded triple by Denard Span on opening day the Rays might still be winless for the season.