News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Tampa Bay Rays News

News » TRULY INSPIRING


TRULY INSPIRING


TRULY INSPIRING
BOSTON - Listen, it's not like Jason Bay needs any special inspiration. Coming into Sunday's Fenway Park meeting with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Red Sox' left fielder had four home runs and 16 RBI in his previous six games during which he was batting .360. Bay was pretty much separating the cork from the cowhide.

He picked it up further when he led off the second inning with a wall-ball double, eventually tying the game when he scored the Sox's first run on a J.D. Drew fielder's choice. But when he came to bat in the eighth inning, the game tied at 3, it seemed like a little inspiration was in order.

Coincidentally, David Ortiz had just doubled, and when he'd reached second, as reliever Brian Shouse was being relieved by Dan Wheeler, the scoreboard guys started showing highlights of the Bruins' impressive win over the Carolina Hurricanes, staving off elimination in the NHL playoffs. Even before that was shown, the crowd had already gotten revved up when the giant video screen showed Big Baby Davis hitting his first career game-winner, taking a Paul Pierce pass and taking the jumper that stunned the Orlando crowd and evened up that series at 2.

The Fenway crowd went bananas, Bay responded by stroking his second wall-ball double and Ortiz raced in with the winning run.

Only problem was Jonathan Papelbon never saw the highlights; they were being shown behind him, behind the bullpen, while he was trying to focus on getting ready to relieve Ramon Ramirez. Apparently uninspired, Papelbon walked leadoff man Akinori Iwamura, then threw away a check to first base, then gave up a single to Jason Bartlett. By the grace of the Bruins and Celtics, Papelbon escaped unscathed with three straight punch-outs, thereby becoming the first Sox reliever to accomplish that feat since Keith Foulke on Oct. 2, 2004.

"That was pretty amazing there in that last inning, what he did," Bay said. "That's why he's one of the best. I'm sure there's other guys in here that really give him a pat on the back, and I'll definitely be one of them."

That said, Bay was also receiving plenty of congrats. But he was, perhaps, acknowledging some of the inspiration from the other teams.

"I've had how many million at-bats?" he said "You try not to let the external stuff good or bad affect you and I did catch myself watching the highlights, so there was a little energy there. I don't think it's something that you get too caught up in. You go out there with the same frame of mind regardless of the situation."

Then he thought about it. "Yeah I think it was already pre-scripted. Someone said upstairs, the way Boston sports has gone the first two games it was a forgone conclusion."

In some ways, the Sox' performance did mirror that of the other teams. Just as the Bruins and Celtics have had to fight their way through injuries, so, too, have the Sox .

"We're a little beat up, that's for sure" said Sox manager Terry Francona. "I think we'd rather win and be beat up than lose and be beat up. I think our bullpen gives us a chance."

Said Ortiz: "I'll tell you what, man, this team so far has been unbelievable. We have a few guys that have carried the whole team. We have Youk (Kevin Youkilis) out for a few games now. Youk is one of the really good hitters and having him out of the lineup is a big difference and you're still playing good games, you're still winning. It tells you that the guys that take that spot are doing a good job. When those guys get back we pretty much go back to normal."

Yet, the Sox went down yet another big man early in this game when Dustin Pedroia strained his right groin while swinging at an inside pitch. Pedroia had originally suffered the tweak a week ago in the New York, after the lengthy rain delay, on the wet and slippery Yankee Stadium Field. "I was getting out of the way of a pitch in New York," he said. "Stuff like that lingers. My thing is you heal while you play.

"I'm playing every game - except for Tuesday (in Anaheim). I got benched." Francona has already told him he won't be playing until at least Wednesday

So it turned out to be a terrific win for the Sox , a series victory over a team that hasn't allowed them one since a three-game Sox sweep here last June. It's just that little matter of Papelbon struggling again.

"I basically put myself in a situation where I had to go in a punch-out mode," he said, having fanned pinch-hitter Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford on mid-90s fastballs. "That's not always the situation I want to out myself in."

Perhaps next time Papelbon will keep an eye on the Bruins and Celtics. A little inspiration never hurt anybody.

Red Sox 4 Rays 3


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 13, 2009

florida-marlins-vs--tampa-bay-devil-rays--6-26-06
Tampa Bay Rays Photos
All the latest Tampa Bay Rays Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright © Devilrayshome.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.