RED SOX PLAY DEAD AS RAYS WIN 13-4; RAYS LEAD SERIES 3-1
(October 14, 2008) – Word of the Day for Game Four of the 2008 ALCS U-G-L-Y.
Game Four of the ALCS was Major League Baseball’s equivalent to Game Six of the 2008 NBA Finals. Just as Paul Pierce was pouring the Gatorade over Doc Rivers, the Los Angeles Lakers were sitting on the other bench with their jaws on the floor, looking stunned. Well that is exactly what the Sox looked like as the Rays kept piling on to, at one point, an 11-run advantage for a 3-1 series lead.
Yes the Sox have come back from the 3-1 hole twice before so you can not count the home-town team out. But these are not the Yankees in 2004. They are not the Indians from last year. Those teams were older and made up of veteran players. These Rays are young and naïve, having a striking resemblence to the 2008 NBA Champion Boston Celtics,
The Red Sox offense looks dead. Nothing seems to get them going not even a homerun from the most unexpected player on the team, Kevin Cash.
When Cash took an Andy Sonnanstine 2-1 pitch and gave fans in the first row of the Monster seats a souvenir, one would think it would get the Sox offense going. But it did not. David Ortiz is still in a horrific 0-for-10 slump. Jacoby Ellsbury has the big goose egg in the hit column and starting to resemble Donnie Sadler more than Nomar Garciaparra. And Jed Lowrie looks like the rookie he is in the ALCS.
This is Lowrie’s first year in the big leagues and every situation he encounters is new so it is not really fair to jump all over him but the others are fair game. Athough he is still considered a rookie by Major League Baseball, Ellsbury is no longer the inexperienced kid he was last year and needs to be held accountable for his lack of production at the plate. B.J .
When hitters are going up against the knuckleballer most hitting coaches will tell hitters “if it’s high let it fly, if it’s low let it go.” The Tampa Bay Rays game plan for Tim Wakefield was they were not going to be passive against the knuckleball. In the first inning, the knuckleball was not quite working for him and the Rays jumped on.
Nothing was working for
After an easy eight pitch second, things began to go back down hill when his diving effort on Crawford’s swinging bunt went for naught as the speedy left fielder was safe at first, prolonging the inning. Crawford stole his second base of the night before Willy Aybar hit his second homerun off
Justin Masterson came on in relief of
The Rays offense would send the Fenway Faithful running to the exits like the ballpark was on fire in the seventh they scored five runs in the sixth against three Red Sox relievers. Manny Delcarmen started the sixth inning explosion by giving up a one out triple into right center by shortstop Jason Bartlett. Following an Iwamura walk,
Delcarmen turned the ball over to Javier Lopez, who gave up a base hits to Crawford and Aybar, scoring both Pena and Longoria. Dioner Navarro drove in the final run of the inning with a ground out to Kevin Youkilis at third before Perez ended the inning with a ground out to Dustin Pedroia at second to end the sixth inning monstrosity.
But even down 10 runs, the Red Sox were not going to give up even if maybe half their fans left the game in the sixth. Ortiz finally broke out of his slump with a lead-off rocket line drive down the first baseline. With Fernando Perez misplaying the ball in right field, it allowd Ortiz to slide into third with the triple. The first time the Sox had the lead off hitter on base all game. Youkilis would drive him in with a ground ball to shortstop for the second run of the game.
Once again there was a little light at the long tunnel’s end as Pedroia and Youkilis appeared to putting some good swings together in the bottom of the eighth inning. Lowrie led to fthe inning with a base hit to center before advancing to second on J.D. Drew’s ground ball back to Sonnanstine. Pedroia drove in the Stanford alum, with a base hit up the middle while Youkilis lined a double off the Green Monster with two outs plating Pedroia from second.
Hopefully the Sox can continue to swing the bats as well as they did in the latter innings of Game Four, when they send Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound in a re-match of Game One against James Shields. Matsuzaka has been the only effective pitcher for the Sox in the ALCS and he needs to come on and stop the bleeding in Game Five to prolong the Red Sox season. Matsuzaka is coming of a a Game One start where he pitched six no-hit innings and finished the game scattering four hits in seven strong innings while walking four and striking out nine. Shields pitched equally well in Game One pitching 7.1 innings allowing two runs on six hits while walking two and striking out six.
RAYS 13, RED SOX 4
WIN: Andy Sonnanstine
LOSS: Tim Wakefield
The 3 Stars of the Game:
- Carl Crawford,
---- 5-5 2 2Bs, 2 RBIs, 3 Runs-scored, 2SB TAMPA BAY
- Willy Aybar,
---- 4-5 5 RBIs, Run-Scored TAMPA BAY
- Evan Longoria,
--- 1-4 HR, 2 RBIs TAMPA BAY