Daisuke after learning the Rays scored three runs against Felix with just one hit. He knows he can do better. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Now a solid six games back in the Wild Card race and with two other teams closer to taking a spot than themselves, the Rays are all but done for. This despite the fact that the Red Sox were faced with a couple of very questionable pitching matchups along the way.
Tonight's matchup will be the worst yet, however. Any one featuring Daisuke Matsuzaka would have to be the worst even if Chris Archer wasn't an impressive young (and thus unfamiliar) oppponent. With that in mind, I say they've earned this one. If they lose, they lose, and it's no big deal at all.
That being said, Felix Doubront just pulled off a quality start despite offering up free passes to five Rays and half the crowd (insert low-attendance joke here), so it's entirely within reason that Daisuke could do the same, and that the lineup will somehow find it in themselves to push across a decent handful of runs again.
If that scenario ends up playing out...Oh how we shall laugh.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Pedro Ciriaco, 3B||Desmond Jennings, LF|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||B.J. Upton, CF|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Ben Zobrist, SS|
|Cody Ross, RF||Evan Longoria, 3B|
|James Loney, 1B||Luke Scott, DH|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH||Jeff Keppinger, 2B|
|Ryan Lavarnway, C||Matt Joyce, RF|
|Daniel Nava, LF||Carlos Pena, 1B|
|Jose Iglesias, SS||Jose Molina, C|