Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day 2008: Rays in First Place

Now, did anyone, even the most cockeyed optimistic Tampa Bay Rays fan, ever think that the title I just wrote here would be true?

Well, it is, as they moved into first after a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles this past weekend, and another stinker by the Red Sox in Oakland, as they lost another series on the road, 6-3. The Red Sox are now in second place, 1/2 game behind Tampa Bay.

No, Jon Lester didn't pitch another no-hitter yesterday. We go through this crap every time a pitcher throws a no-hitter: Can he duplicate what Johnny Vander Meer did in 1938? Who cares. I just wanted a good outing from Lester and a win yesterday. Didn't get either. Lester struggled against the A's yesterday. He didn't have it, allowing a run in the first after David Ortiz' top of the first blast, and allowed three earned runs in five innings.

(Jon also revealed yesterday that his dad John is also suffering from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the same disease he has so far successfully fought. Our thoughts and prayers to Mr. Lester in his fight with it.)

Manny Ramirez had three hits yesterday and two RBI in the loss, and appears to coming out of his slump, which is a good sign. (C'mon Manny, let's get to 500. I'm getting tired of looking at that "498" sign on this blog!) He also made an error in left that cost the Red Sox a run, too. The road woes continue. In the seventh, it was still a 4-3 game when Oakland had a man on and two outs. Javier Lopez came in and on his first pitch gave up a two-run homer to Jack Cust to put the nail into the coffin and end a frustrating weekend where the offense basically didn't show up. They are now 10-17 away from Boston, and have lost 8 of their last 9 road contests. That just isn't acceptable, and must improve.

Now they have a golden opportunity to turn things around on the road, as they play the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field tonight. Seattle just came off an abominable road trip where their pitching staff got slaughtered in Detroit and New York. Bartolo Colon makes his second Red Sox start tonight, against the worst team in baseball.

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