I am not including the score in the title because I am choosing to focus on the positives. I will talk about the negatives but I’ll get you in a good mood first. As the title says, this was the 1000th game since Tampa Bay Rays dropped the Devil. Word is he is still trying to latch onto a team somewhere as a left specialist. The Rays entered the game with 561-438 record since DFA-ing the Devil. Ben Zobrist has appeared in the most games as a “Ray” 881. Do you get the sense I’m trying to avoid talking about the game?
Coming into this game, I was predicting doom. Erik Bedard was starting in Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox. I joked to my girlfriend that the umpires may bring out a second home plate to accommodate all the traffic it was assured to see. Contrary to my doom and gloom, Bedard actually pitched well. He got three swings and misses from David Ortiz in Ortiz’s first at-bat. He did pretty good, allowing one run while scattering four hits. The problem the Rays face is that he, like the rest of the Rays starters, did not go very deep into the game. He was done after five innings after having 104 pitches, walking three and striking out four. This is where the trouble really began. The Rays tied the game in the top of the sixth and in the bottom of the inning Brandon Gomes was brought on to relieve Bedard. The Rays starters are going to have to start eating some innings because Gomes was flat. He has been used a lot, as has the rest of the bullpen and this is going to be a problem going forward if the Rays don’t get it turned around. From the start, Gomes did not look right. He walked Mike Napoli to lead off the inning and thrn walked Jonny Gomes. Juan Carlos Oviedo was brought in and he wasn’t much better. All told, Gomes and Oviedo gave up four hits, five runs and two walks in the sixth inning. The bullpen as a whole gave up nine hits and six runs in just three innings of work. All told, Rays pitchers threw 198 pitches in the game
Did I mention this was the 1000 game since the Tampa Bay Rays dropped the Devil from their name and became the team we know today? Focus on that milestone and forget the rest. Game 2 tomorrow, 7:10 Eastern start (4:10 on the West Coast). Chris Archer will take on Felix Doubront. Come back here after the game and Rays Colored Glasses will tell you everything you need to know. On Rays Colored Glasses Facebook page, you can find Tampa’s win loss record as of April 29th since 2008, as well compare how many runs the various incarnations have scored and given up. Check it out.