Rays and Sox Preview-Game Two a Blessing In Disguise?

Mark RussoContributor IOctober 13, 2008

First of all i want to tip my hat to every single player on both the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.  That was one of the most exciting nail bitters i have ever seen and i have a band-aid on every finger because of it.  I was happy to be just a spectator and could only imagine the feeling of being at Tropicana field for that game.  Now i am sure everyone thought this would be a defensive/pitcher battle with Kazmir and Beckett being the starters.  But we all know that was not the case.  With five lead changes in the first five innings in the game no oe knew what the outcome would be in the end.  This was basically a slugfest until about the seventh inning when the bullpens took over for both teams and did a phenomenal job. 

    This is the blessing in disguise folks.  What was the biggest aspect of the Boston Red Sox that everyone was concerned about?  How about the bullpen that has been inconsistent all year to say the least.  In this tight game the bullpen managed to hold the Rays for five and 2/3 innings.   Now this is something that many people were worried about and i am sure most Sox fans and sports analysts around the country were surprised about. 

     I mean Lopez, Delcarmen, Okajima, Masterson, and Papelbon all held the Rays to no runs and only three hits.  If you ask me this is huge for the Sox and a big confidence booster for these pitchers going into Boston.  Most of the relievers needed the confidence not only that they needed to pitch.  They need to have all of their mid- relievers to have pitched before they return to Fenway.  Also the Rays bullpen which has been praised all season long really did not hold up as everyone expected.  Kazmir left in the 4th and Balfour, Howell, and Bradford all let up a run in their perspective inning.  Now you can't really blame that having to deal with the lineup of the Boston Red Sox but come on three runs after trying to save your starter not an acceptable outcome.  If i was a Rays fan i would be a little worried about the experience factor but i would be very happy with the fact that they won the game even though their bullpen was shaky. 

    I am so pumped about this series along with every other die hard baseball fan out there and i am looking foward to this game at 4:37 P.M. today.  All i know is that i think this series is goign to at least six games and most likely seven.  But it is too soon for me to predict i expect o ahve an idea after tonights game.