Saturday, October 1, 2011
Game one ALDS recap; Texas-Tampa Bay
Well that time of the year again where the baseball playoffs have begun. Today was a strange day for the first day of the postseason as one game featured a blowout while the other game was postponed after just an inning and a half. This wasn't like last year where you saw a perfect game on the first day. So like I'll be doing for the entire major league baseball playoffs I'll be recapping all the games as best as I can. For today there is only one game which features a rematch between the Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers who played in a great five game series last year. The Texas Rangers unlike last year were hosting the game as the Tampa Bay Rays are the wild card team. The Rays who rallied from a 7-0 deficit on Wednesday to make the playoffs making up nine games in the standings on the Boston Red Sox. Due to that game on Wednesday the Rays were throwing a pitcher who had made only one career start. The Rays also have to fly to Texas facing the Rangers ace C.J.Wilson so many expected the defending American League champions to defeat the Rays in game one. Well just like on Wednesday baseball is a funny game. Hero's can step up when you least expect it which is what happened today for the Rays.
The Rays took it to the Rangers in game one improving to 3-0 all-time in the ballpark of Arlington in the postseason. The Rays behind seven shutout innings from their rookie pitcher Matt Moore won game one to take a 1-0 lead. The Rays were also helped out by slumping catcher Kelly Shoppach who was 3-5, two home runs and five RBI's. Not bad for a guy who hit below .200 during the regular season.
The Rays started their scoring on C.J. Wilson in the second inning when veteran Johnny Damon hit a two-run homerun to right field to give the Rays a 2-0 lead. After Shoppach reached base, two batters later Matt Joyce drove in Shobbach to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.
Hanging onto a 3-0 lead the Rays made sure Moore's first career playoff start would be as easy as possible. In the third inning Shoppach put the game away when he hit a three-run homerun to deep centerfield scoring Ben Zohbrist and Eva Longoria to give the Rays a commanding 6-0 lead as C.J.Wilson was getting rocked.
In the fifth inning Shoppach took Wilson deep again for a two-run homerun as Damon was on base to give the Rays an 8-0 lead. That would be Wilson's final inning as he lasted five innings, allowing seven hits, eight runs, six earned, striking out six but gave up three homeruns a far cry from his start last year against the Rays.
The Rays would score their final run in the ninth inning on an infield base hit by Damon to give them a 9-0 shutout win in game one. For the Rays they were led by Shoppach who was 3-5 with two homeruns with five RBI's and three runs scored. Damon was 2-5 with a homerun, three RBI's and two runs scored. Moore pitched terrificly going 7 innings allowing no runs while allowing just two hits. He struck out six while walking on two batters. Making his second career start he doesn't seem fazed by the moment. In two starts he has won at Yankees stadium and now on the road in the playoffs so I think safe to say he won't be scared of pressure.
In conclusion, this was a boring first day as one game was a blow out and the other was rained out. Hopefully the baseball playoffs will provide plenty of great moments which I'm sure they will. The Rays taking game one is huge with James Shields and David Price behind Moore. Remember the Rangers won't have Cliff Lee this year who was 2-0 in that five game series win over the Rays last season. The Major League Baseball playoffs is underway and I'm pretty excited to finally care about baseball again. As a Seattle Mariners fan I stopped caring about baseball when in April, actually in July. I love baseball playoffs as every pitch can be the difference between a World Series title or losing in the first round. The Rays who won the American League in 2008 are off to a good start in this years postseason.