The Boston Red Sox (20-27) meet the Tampa Bay Rays (21-28) in the second game of a three game series down in Tampa. The Rays handed the Sox their 8th straight loss in the series opener after Cole Figueroa hit a walk off double to drive in the only run of the game. The rookie came on as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth and picked up a memorable first career RBI.
The reeling Red Sox will try to rebound this afternoon and try to climb out of last place in the division.
- Jake Peavy (1-2, 4.33 ERA) gets the start for the Red Sox. Despite 6 Quality Starts this season, Peavy only has 1 win to show for it.
- Peavy has struggled with his control this year, posting a career worst 1.59 K/BB ratio. His strikeouts are down in general, with a 7.17 K/9 rate that is well below his career level of 8.61, but he's also walking too many hitters. So far he has a issued a team high 27 free passes, leading to a bloated 1.50 WHIP.
- The Red Sox experimented with their lineup last night by putting Brock Holt in the leadoff spot, followed by Xander Bogaerts. Those two entered the game with the highest batting averages on the team, but went a combined 1 for 8. Bogaerts is a player with a bright future that shouldn't' be buried at the bottom of the order, so his move to the two spot is good news. Holt has only played in 13 games, so it's far too early to expect him to sustain his .326 average or .388 OBP, but if he can manage to stay anywhere near that level, he may be the answer to the Sox search for a lead-off hitter.
- The Rays will send out former Cy Young winner David Price (4-4, 4.28 ERA) to start the game. Price has a deceiving ERA that appears uncharacteristic of his talents on the surface. Look closer though and you'll still see a dominant pitcher who enters the game with 77 strikeouts (3rd in the league) with only 6 walks. That's good for a staggering 12.83 K/BB ratio that leads the league by a mile.
- Wil Myers was the big time prospect that Tampa gave up James Shields to acquire last season, but so far it seems he's suffering from the dreaded sophomore slump. He's batting .232/.300/.351 so far this season, which is a far cry from his rookie year. After posting a very respectable 2.0 WAR in only 88 games last year, Myers has been worth -0.6 WAR this year. That's right, negative. He's got too much talent to stay this bad for long, but he's one of several disappointing Rays contributing to the team's slow start.
- Rays closer Grant Balfour was critical of the team's fans for booing him for blowing his second save of the season on Thursday against the Oakland A's, reports ESPN. The Rays went on to win the game in 11 innings, giving Balfour a silver lining to smile about, but the new Rays closer is off to a rough start in Tampa with a bloated 5.89 ERA.
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