October is upon us and the Rays have already felt the ghostly effects of the season as their old phantom came back to haunt them: hitting with runners in scoring position.
Indeed, hitting in general was a rarity for the Rays in this Game One. Tampa Bay was held to only four hits and all of those coming after the seventh inning. Even without early hits the Rays still squandered chances to bring men across the plate. Matsuzaka gave up four walks overall, three of them in the first to walk the bases loaded. Even so, the Rays could not make contact when they needed it most stranding seven base runners.
This stumble with either make or break the Rays' season. They will make the necessary adjustments, fight back, and prove they are a legitimate team with a legitimate right to be where they are. That, or they will cave to the this veteran Boston team and know that it could have been different.