Tampa Bay Rays live to fight another day against Texas Rangers

By ericschmidt

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The Tampa Bay Rays have lived to fight another day in their series against the Texas Rangers, but boy was that close! Tampa waited until the 8th inning to finally get a lead for the first time in the series with a John Jaso single. Matt Garza pitched 6 strong innings, a pitching outing that was sorely need by the Rays.

A serious shortcoming of the Texas Rangers squad was finally exploited on Saturday as the Tampa Bay Rays managed to get deep into the Rangers bullpen, so deep in fact that the Rangers would have been left with only one pitcher had the game gone into extra innings. The Rangers set their post-season roster and elected to go with an extra pinch runner instead of an extra bullpen arm, that might prove to be a major mistake.There is a possibility that Texas might only have 5 relief pitchers available for today’s game.

You have to think that 3B Evan Longoria is due for a big game. He’s 1-12 so far in the postseason batting a paltry .083.

The game four pitching matchup features Wade Davis (12-10 4.07) facing off against the Rangers Tommy Hunter (13-4 3.75) There was discussion about whether or not the rangers would bring back their ace, Cliff Lee to pitch in game four, but Lee has never pitched on three games rest in his career. Hunter has been a solid starter this season and finished the season strong, going 1-1 2.53 in his last four regular season starts. However, Dis finished the season strong as well with an ERA of 3.21 in his last six starts.

Was yesterday’s come from behind victory enough to give the Rays the confidence they were lacking in games one and two? Can Davis turn in another strong pitching performance? Will Longoria finally start hitting? We’ll find out the answers to these questions starting at 1:07 this afternoon. And why must this afternoon’s game be played at the exact same time as the Buccaneers game? The sports gods can be fickle.

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