Dave’s Free Play, Tuesday 7/30/13
I’m not sure whether I was lucky or not in winning my Monday play on the Rays. This game was pretty much dominated by David Price for seven innings, but it was still only a 2-1 contest as Tampa Bay failed to cash in on a seemingly endless number of chances to blow the game open.
Things started to go wrong in the eighth inning as the Boston skies opened up and the game had to be halted. Price came back after the delay and retired one Red Sox hitter. But his velocity was down substantially and he was quickly removed in favor of Joel Peralta, who immediately created a large mess.
If the rain delay was extremely bad luck, everything else after play was resumed was phenomenally lucky. First, Daniel Nava, pinch running for Ryan Lavarnway, somehow misread a Stephen Drew shot that was over the head of the Rays Wil Myers, and ended up not scoring from second base on a double. That’s not easy to do, so chalk up lucky break #1. But with just one out, it sure looked like a tie game when Brandon Snyder lifted a fly ball to left center. Sam Fuld unleashed a strong throw to the plate, but Nava clearly beat it and the game was tied at 2-2. Or was it?
Jerry Meals stunned me, along with everyone at Fenway Park, and however many fans were viewing it on their big screens, with a definitive safe call. Inning over, Rays still lead. Despite some anxious moments in the bottom of the ninth when Boston threatened against Fernando Rodney, the Rays got out with the 2-1 win. The call was clearly incorrect, a fact Meals acknowledged after the game.
I’d have to say the bad call was more lucky than the rain delay was unlucky. Particularly as the bad call was preceded by a fluke baserunning gaffe. And I’ll sure take it!
There was no luck involved in my other play, which was a very clean loser on the Blue Jays. This was over in a blink as the A’s blew up Esmil Rogers right away. So I’ll take the 1-1, 0.0 split and slink away with a smile on my face.
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07/30 05:05 PM MLB (921) LOS ANGELES ANGELS (922) TEXAS RANGERS
Take: (922) TEXAS RANGERS
Just when things seemed like they couldn’t get any worse for the reeling Angels, they did exactly that on Monday night.
In a season that has been a mudslide from pretty much the start, the Angels might just have hit a new mental low last night against the Rangers. The Halos are in play out the string mode as it is, but they at least appeared to be on the way to a nice series opening win against the Rangers. Jered Weaver was terrific and with Texas not hitting a lick of late, it seemed pretty safe to file this one in the win column.
As Lee Corso would absolutely say right here, not so fast, my friend. Ernesto Frieri came in for the bottom of the ninth to protect a 3-2 lead and moments later, it was 4-3 Rangers, game over, and yet another demoralizing loss for the Halos.
CJ Wilson gets the call for the Angels tonight, and he has pitched some very strong ball for quite a stretch. But he’s in tough against the more than capable Derek Holland and everything else would seem to favor the Rangers.
Texas has to be feeling revitalized after the Monday night rally. It came at a great time as the Rangers were off the wrong way sweep at Cleveland. Snatching this victory in such dramatic fashion should provide a major mental boost. As for the Angels, it’s just one more depressing result and this team is now in full fledged fade mode.
The price here is reasonable, mostly due to the presence of Wilson. But unless the talented lefty gets it done all by himself, this looks like a tough spot for what sure looks like a mentally fried Angels squad. I’ll look for the Rangers to pick up the win tonight.