Feel like you’re watching a painful and torturous end to the season? With every loss’ and every game the Rays fall further behind, the smaller their already slim chance of making the playoffs becomes. The series started with such promise after Tampa had taken three out of four in Boston. It now feels like a lost cause as they have lost the first two of four games against the New York Yankees.
The Red Sox have tried to help out, losing two of the first three of their series against Baltimore. It’s probably one more than most thought they would lose, but if the Rays can’t come up with a win, it really doesn’t matter. The offense has managed two runs, both in the first game of a doubleheader today, through two games in Yankees Stadium. On Tuesday they were shut out for the third time this season facing the Yankees, by rookie Ivan Nova.
Wednesday they sent James Shields to the mound and had t feel like it was their best chance to win a game of the four. They especially had to like their chances when Phil Hughes was a late scratch and Joe Girardi was forced to employ a bullpen, team pitching approach to the game. The Rays fell behind early but came back to lead 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth.
There it all came crashing down and for the first time since they started their run a few weeks ago, a desperate feeling settled around their situation. A game tying homer off the bat of Eduardo Nunez against Shields and a two-run double from Robinson Cano against J.P. Howell gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Mariano Rivera slammed the door with a one, two, three ninth and the Rays lost another half game to the Red Sox who were yet to play in Boston.
The nightcap features rookie of the year candidate Jeremy Hellickson and 19 game winner C.C. Sabathia, who is trying for a third time to get his twentieth win. Expect it to be a tough night for the Rays’ offense which is already struggling. It will be up to Hellickson to keep the Rays in it and hopefully they can get a break against the bullpen to be able to pull one out.