What hurt more today, the failure to get a ball out of the infield (I’m exaggerating but not by much) after the first inning?
Or the utter meltdown by not one but two relievers?
It started out more promising. I barely had time to think how unimpressive the Rays lineup looked without Franco, and with Diaz having a day off, when this lineup had scored three runs! J Lowe led off with a single, Randy Arozarena walked. The two pulled off a double steal ahead of a B-Lowe 2-RBI single. Harold Ramirez knocked in one more run with a double, and the Rays had a 3-0 lead.
Aaron Civale, meanwhile, pitched a perfect three innings, perhaps the best three innings we’ve seen from him as a Ray. Red Sox hitters seemed helpless to stop themselves from swinging at his curve ball. But they became less helpless in the fourth inning. He completely lost the strike zone for two batters, and then gave up a hard single to make the score 3-1.
Civale did well until the sixth inning, when he gave up a lead off double (to deep center, where newly minted centerfielder Luke Raley seemed lost. Could Siri have caught that?) and then a walk, so Kevin Cash decided to give new guy Chris Devenski, the fellow who lost the Saturday game for us, another chance.
Bad, bad idea.
First batter, Tristan Casas, hit the dreaded three run bomb and the Red Sox had the lead, 4-3.
The Red Sox added to the lead in the eighth. Kittredge walked Devers, who stole second, advanced to third on a sac fly and scored on a “single” that was really Raley failing to catch a ball.
Is Raley really a better choice there than J Lowe?
At any rate, it hardly mattered when Yoshida homered to bring the score to 7-3.
And as the Rays failed to get any rally going beyond the first inning, I do have more time to contemplate how unimpressive the Rays lineup looks.
Hat tip to Civale, though, who did get 12 strikeouts in just under six innings, although I could have lived with the three walks (and indeed those walks came back to bite him, and the rest of us).
This game should have been a W. It was not. I’m not even angry, it’s not Devenski’s fault we have no one better to bring in. It’s not Brujan’s fault we get him instead of our All Star shortstop.