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Home » July 2010 Game CommentsJuly 2010 » Floundering in Florida

Floundering in Florida

Many words that start with “f” come to mind when I think the opening game of this series against Boston’s foils in the American League East, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Frustrating, as in how I feel when Daisuke Matsuzaka pitches. The starter had his typical first-inning fits: walking leadoff batter Ben Zobrist, allowing a double off the bat of Carl Crawford for the first run, then walking Matt Joyce after getting two outs. The fatiguing inning curtailed Matsuzaka’s outing such that he only lasted 5 innings with a forgettable line of 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

Fantastic, which is how Eric Patterson must have felt about his first two-homer game. The light-hitting utility man mustered the four-baggers against Rays ace Matt Garza and middle reliever Andy Sonnanstine. If Zobrist and Crawford hadn’t made web gems ahead of Patterson’s third-inning shot the Red Sox newcomer would have given his team the lead rather than the 1-1 tie. Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Beltre, and Bill Hall came through with more two-out mayhem, increasing the lead to 4-1.

Frazzled, an apt encapsulation of Garza’s pitching performance, his worst since his 1⅓ inning outing against the Florida Marlins on June 18. The Red Sox touched Garza up for four runs but couldn’t maintain the lead.

Fiercely, how the Rays bullpen responded to the visiting lineup. Five Tampa relievers shut out the Red Sox for four innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out six. But at least at Fenway we have proper bullpen structures.

Flabbergasted. Do they really need to have the shift on Carlos Pena with runners on first and second? If so, why didn’t Marco Scutaro and Hall figure out who would cover second in case the ball was batted to one of them? Such coordination was all the more fundamental since Pena’s ground out resulted in just one out, advanced the runners, and allowed Jason Bartlett arc a sacrifice fly to right to notch what would be the winning run.

Frak this field, this team, and the cowbells.

Game 83: July 5, 2010
Red Sox
5L: Ramon Ramirez (0-2)
2B: Eric Patterson (6)
3B: Kevin Youkilis (5)
HR: Eric Patterson – 2 (6)
6W: Randy Choate (2-2)
H: Joaquin Benoit (5)
S: Rafael Soriano (22)
2B: Carl Crawford (20), Willy Aybar (6), Sean Rodriguez (14)

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