The Rays started off their first series against the Red Sox at Fenway Park this past weekend, a place the Rays only won 4 games last year. I was coming into the series wanting to win at least 2 and getting a series split but the Rays did much better than a split and swept the Red Sox for the first time in Boston. I couldn’t be happier. This is the start I have been preaching about. The Rays are now 10-3 and reside alone with the best record in baseball.
I must say this was a very impressive series. The bats were very alive and the starting pitchers survived deep in the games allowing the bullpen to stay off the field. The 5 and 6 spots in the Rays lineup really did the damage against the Bo Sox with BJ Upton banging 2 hr’s and driving in 5 RBI’s. Upton already has 4 homeruns, a mark he didn’t reach until the end of June last year. The real surpirse came from argueably the most hated guy amongst the fans, Pat Burrell. He hit a 2 run blast at the top of the 12th inning to lead the Rays victorious in game 1. He would end the series with a total of 5 hits, that included a 3 hit game, the most hits for Burrell in a Rays uniform, also driving in 5 runs and hitting two doubles. If Burrell and Upton keep this up, opposing pitchers are going to have a hell of a time facing this line up.
Rays starting pitchers made a very good argument as the best rotation in baseball. The starting pitchers allowed a total of 7 runs thoughout the series. Matt Garza went another eight innings, giving up no runs and Wade Davis made his case as a viable candidate for rookie of the year with his battle against thier ace, Josh Beckett in the first game. Garza is now 3-0 with a .75 ERA. We really needed this from our starting pitchers in the series especially with all the hype Boston gets for their over priced staff. And I think the Rays showed everyone what a real pitching staff consists of. Pitchers that go deep in games and keep a consistency in the pitches. Rafael Soriano recorded another 2 saves in this series as well.
I dont know about you, but I loved seeing the Boston fans, with their ugly ass hats on, sitting in the rain, watching their team get smacked around in all the games. At least you guys did a good job with the ridiculous sing-a-long of “Sweet Caroline”. Seriously, I think Neil Diamond, the writer of this song is sick of hearing this crap. The Red Sox scored a total of 9 runs in four games. This doesnt sound like a playoff team to me. After actually watching this team, I got them finishing behind the Blue Jays for the 4th spot in the division. Its early in the season but as we seen with the Rays last year, a rough start determines how the season ends. Not in the playoffs!!! Lets hope this is true with them. They cant think being outscored 24-9 by the Rays is not a big deal. “It just feels real nice,” said Carl Crawford, who has been on the receiving end of many a Rays loss at Fenway Park. “I’d have never thought I’d see a day where we’d sweep the Red Sox in their home stadium.” Well you seen it Crawford, and be prepared to see many more as the Rays are on a 7 game road win streak and the first time the Rays have gone back to back sweeps on the road. Winning on the road was a big problem in years past, and this should give the team great condidence going into the series versus the White Sox and finishing the road trip with 3 sweeps.