Rays Could Look to Pirates for Inspiration

By David Hill

Oct 4, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew (7) beats the throw to Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Moore (55) during the fourth inning in game one of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In the playoffs, there is no such thing as a good loss. In any ‘best of’ series, a loss simply brings a team one step closer to elimination. Even if such a thing existed in the playoffs, yesterday’s game would hardly be considered as such regardless, as the Rays defense did no do any favors for Matt Moore as the Red Sox took Game One by an ugly 12-2 score.

Yet, one game is not the end of the world. As ugly as the loss may have been, the Rays still have the possibility of four other games, and could still come back and take the series. In fact, they are not the only team to take a bad loss in their first Divisional Series game. Just look at the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Making their first playoff appearance since the days of Doug Drabek, Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke, the Pirates were trounced in their game against the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 9-1. Starter A.J. Burnett was removed in the third inning, and the first eight Cardinals hitters to bat in that frame all reached base. Following a fairy tale season and a fairly easy victory in the Wild Card game, it seemed as though the Pirates had gotten a harsh taste of reality.

Yet, although they could have just taken their beating and gone home, considering just making a postseason for the first time since the MLB was comprised of only 26 teams, the Pirates refused to give in. Riding the arm of rookie Gerrit Cole, the Pirates came back from a tough loss to take Game Two by the score of 7-1.

Like the Pirates did yesterday, the Rays can take solace in knowing that however bad the loss was, it was still one game. If they can win game Two, they bring the series back to Tampa with a split. There is still a lot of baseball yet to be played – let us not lose sight of the fact that this was just one game.