ALDS Game 3 preview: Yankees fan talks Red Sox vs. Rays - Lady Loves Pinstripes ALDS Game 3 preview: Yankees fan talks Red Sox vs. Rays - Lady Loves Pinstripes ALDS Game 3 preview: Yankees fan talks Red Sox vs. Rays - Lady Loves Pinstripes
 

ALDS Game 3 preview: Yankees fan talks Red Sox vs. Rays

20110715 - Rays vs. Red Sox - 022

Rays vs. Red Sox – 022 (Photo credit: OkiGator)

The only encouraging thing to come from this ALDS series for the Tampa Bay Rays thus far is that they are getting the heck out of Boston, and Fenway Park at least for Game 3.

With the Red Sox up 2-0 in the five-game Divisional Series, the Rays have their backs against wall, a spot Tampa Bay is familiar with.

Anyone watching the first two games would be hard pressed not to agree that the Red Sox are the superior ball club, just as they were all throughout the regular season.

The Red Sox have manhandled Rays pitching scoring 19-runs in total in the first two games. The Rays drove in six runners in total.

Bottom line is the Rays have their hands full. And unfortunately, unlike the 29 other MLB teams, home field advantage is meaningless down in Tampa Bay, as the Rays play in a dump and a minuscule fan base.

But in the words of Rays skipper Joe Maddon following his team’s 12-2 to start the ALDS:

“I’ve learned one thing, or a main thing regarding baseball — 24 hours can make a huge difference. That’s just one game, baby. That’s just one. We’ll be back tomorrow, I promise you. We’ll be ready to play. We will not be affected mentally by tonight’s game. We’ll be ready to play.” (mlb.com)

So the Rays focus will be on winning Game 3 tomorrow night, and take it from there.

Starting pitcher Alex Cobb, who pitched brilliantly leading Tampa Bay to a win in the AL Wild Card game vs. the Indians, will be on the hill for the Rays.

Cobb was not fazed by the pressure of starting the Wild Card elimination game in Cleveland, so this is the guy any team would want on the hill for the next win or go home situation.

Here are Cobb’s season stats and how he has done in his career vs. the Rays:

(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

Alex Cobb - 2013 Regular Season - Pitching Stats
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
BA
1132.76222210143.1120464413451340.228

Cobb vs. Red Sox - Career Stats
 
PA
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
Total133111298011721250.2610.3830.3600.744
Dustin Pedroia201850002220.2780.3500.2780.628
Daniel Nava151441003020.2860.3330.3570.690
Stephen Drew141231001250.2500.3570.3330.690
Jarrod Saltalamacchia141021000450.2000.4290.3000.729
Jacoby Ellsbury131330012030.2310.2310.4620.692
Shane Victorino131143000210.3640.4620.6361.098
Mike Napoli12932004340.3330.5000.5561.056
David Ortiz11610001500.1670.5450.1670.712
Will Middlebrooks10920001100.2220.3000.2220.522
Mike Carp5520003020.4000.4000.4000.800
Quintin Berry3200000100.0000.3330.0000.333
David Ross3200000110.0000.3330.0000.333

The Red Sox will counter with two-time All-Star Clay Buchholz.

Buchholz has only made four starts since coming back from a right bursa sac strain, which sidelined him from June 8th  – September 10th.

In those starts he went 3-1, with a 2.75 ERA, giving up two homers, five earned runs and seven walks.

Buchholz faced the Rays at Tropicana Field in his first start off the DL. In the win, he threw five innings, allowing three hits, one walk and fanned six Rays.

Take a look at Buchholz career numbers vs. the Rays, as well as his career numbers at the Trop.

(All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com)

Buchholtz vs. Rays - Career Stats
 
PA
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
BA
OBP
SLG
OPS
Total2341974210011529500.2130.3100.2790.589
Ben Zobrist423641002660.1110.2380.1390.377
Evan Longoria3834730014130.2060.2890.2940.584
Matthew Joyce272261002460.2730.3700.3180.689
Jose Molina242271004180.3180.3330.3640.697
Yunel Escobar211630012410.1880.3500.3750.725
Desmond Jennings201741000130.2350.2780.2940.572
David DeJesus141141000310.3640.5000.4550.955
Kelly Johnson141010000350.1000.3080.1000.408
Sean Rodriguez121031001030.3000.2730.4000.673
Delmon Young9910002020.1110.1110.1110.222
James Loney8610000210.1670.3750.1670.542
Sam Fuld5411001110.2500.4000.5000.900
Buchholtz @Tropicana Field - Career Stats
W
L
ERA
G
GS
CG
SHO
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
BA
432991055.2371514314530.189

You would think that over his seven-year career that Buchholz would have clocked more starts against the Rays, considering they both reside in the AL East.

But Buccholz has been injury prone his entire career, as he might have spent more time on the DL then the pitcher’s mound.

His career numbers down in the Rays dome are solid, but with his injury history I am surprised the Red Sox did not start in Boston. The Trop has an Astroturf field, which is harder on players bodies then natural grass and with Buccholz just getting off the DL after months, I would not take any chances.

So it will be a duel of the righties tomorrow night in Tampa Bay. The Red Sox will be going for the sweep, while the Rays are just trying to survive to see another day.

MY PREDICTION:

The Rays survive by beating the Red Sox 4-2. Game 4 here we go.

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