The Tampa Bay Rays lost 7-4 to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night to put themselves one game away from elimination from the postseason. David Price continued his history of struggling in the playoffs, giving up seven earned runs in seven plus innings. Price is now 0-4 with a 5.81 ERA in playoff starts, which is certainly a concern for the Rays, who could use a consistent ace in their playoff rotation.
The Rays’ offense was a presence on Saturday night, but did not do enough to keep their team in the game. They were able to get eight hits, but hit into three double plays, which always serve as strong rally-killers. The Rays’ defense also continued to be a let down in comparison to the regular season, with both Jose Molina and Ben Zobrist making errors in the game.
On Monday night, the Rays will host their first game of the series with their backs against the wall. Alex Cobb will be starting against Boston’s Clay Buchhlolz in Tampa’s must-win Game 3. Cobb has been extremely effective for the Rays this season, and there is no question that he is going to have to pitch well to continue his success into the postseason against some very good lineups. It is also going to be crucial for the struggling defense to play well behind Cobb, and prevent innings from getting out of control like the fourth inning of Game 1.
The same team that won three straight games to make it to the ALDS is now preparing to have to win another three games in a row to advance to the ALCS. This is not a position that any team wants to find itself in, and the Rays are going to need to be playing immaculate baseball for the rest of the series to have a shot at advancing.