Saturday, April 19, 2014
Red Sox fans must be feeling good today after Friday night's 12-2 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The on the positive side, Boston has a commanding lead in this best-of-5 series. The Rays must win 3-of-4 against Boston.
On the negative (some might say realistic) side, Boston needed to win Friday because it will be the underdog every time David Price pitches for Tampa Bay. And if this series goes five games, Price will pitch twice.
Five reasons for Red Sox fans to feel upbeat:
1. Not only are the Red Sox up 1-0, they showed a lot in Friday's win. See today's column.
2. John Lackey is very good at Fenway Park. See today's notebook.
3. If Boston wins today, the Rays would need to win three straight. The Red Sox have lost three straight games only five times this season, and only once to the same team (at Texas on May 3-5).
4. Jon Lester is in command. On Friday, he threw 21-of-29 first-pitch strikes (thanks Sea Dogs scorekeeper Thom Hinton for the email with that fact).
5. Koji Uehara is well rested and could be used for a six-out save if needed.
Five reasons for the Red Sox fans to be concerned.
1. As good as John Lackey is at Fenway Park, David Price is better (see today's notebook).
2. Friday was a fluke for Tampa Bay's defense, which is normally much better.
3. Big wins in Game 1 mean little for Game 2. Look at the NLDS. St. Louis and the LA Dodgers both won convincingly in Game 1. Now those series' are tied.
4. The Rays had only four hits Friday, but two of them were home runs. Tampa Bay is a team that comes up with the big hit. That will matter in a close game.
5. Did we mention that David Price could pitch two games in this series?
One more link for you: today's game story.
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Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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