Before reading this article, let’s make one thing clear. I am a Boston Red Sox fan and have always been. That will never go away. However, being a Boston fan, there is always that tiny part of me that tends to get a little bit cautious. Winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007 thankfully took away most of my worrying, but it doesn’t completely take those feelings away. I’m still a little nervous.
What makes me nervous is that Boston is up 2-0 in the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it seems as though a lot of fans and even the media that believe this series is over. There have even been comments from writers who should certainly know better than asking what is the point of even going to Tampa.
Those comments must be being made jokingly, but it seems people are forgetting who the Red Sox are playing. This is Tampa Bay, and these guys are good.
This is the franchise that eliminated Boston in the ALCS in 2008. At that time, Boston was the defending world champions. They also eliminated the Red Sox in 2011 by coming back to win the game that they needed against the New York Yankees.
One advantage that you could say about Boston is how loose they are. Some teams in the postseason are uncomfortable being in these situations — not the Rays. They seem to be as loose as Boston is and they have the right manager for that clubhouse in Joe Maddon. If they are nervous, they sure don’t show it.
I love how they seem to play for the love of the game and last year when Boston was absolutely terrible, there was some twinges of jealousy over how much Tampa Bay seems to just love playing baseball.
Boston still has its work cut out for them, so don’t be handing them this series victory yet. Tampa Bay has been on the road now for a long time and they will finally be back at home, and that has to give them some energy. Boston is facing a tough customer in Alex Cobb, who has been one of the best starting pitchers in MLB since the All-Star Break. As well, Tampa Bay will be away from Boston, where they admit they were out-Fenwayed.
Boston needs to keep on attacking like they have been, piling up runs and taking advantage of every opportunity presented to them. They can’t let this team back in. Furthermore, they have a tough customer in David Price who must surely feel like he has something to prove after losing Game 2, and who is probably chomping at the bits for another chance.
Hopefully, Boston can win this series and put the ghosts of Tampa Bay behind them. They just shouldn’t be too cocky about how things are going. These aren’t the Cleveland Indians or the Texas Rangers who just don’t have the starting pitching to match up. Boston has Tampa Bay on the ropes. They need to throw that knockout punch, and the sooner the better.