Friday, September 16, 2011

A 162-game Baseball Season Can Swing on One Game

The Red Sox lead the Rays by three games in the Wildcard hunt heading into tonight’s game, but the situation would have been a whole lot more interesting if their game on July 17th ended differently. On that day two months ago, Boston won a 16-inning marathon, 1-0. Josh Beckett - who happens to start tonight after an 11-day layoff - and others combined on the 3-hit shutout.

(The game lasted 5 hours and 44 minutes, about the average time of a 9-inning Yankees-Red Sox game.)

The Rays came to bat 54 times on that day and blew every opportunity to knock in a run. Evan Longoria, Reid Brignac, Johnny Damon, and Justin Ruggiano all left runners in scoring position in the 9th inning or later.

At one point, 24 consecutive Rays were retired.

Scoring a run in any of the first 15 innings would have won it. But, they couldn’t deliver.

Had they won that game, they could have been 1-game out which would have made tonight even more exciting than it is.

Unfortunately, a July choke-job will almost definitely cost the Rays a taste of October and us a really meaningful game tonight.

A lot of this going on in the AL East this year.

Babb Note: Leadoff walks will kill you. The only run of the game (Josh Reddick) scored after being walked to start the 16th.

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