Keep It Rolling: Rays-Sox Gamer II

How do you follow up a start by Josh Beckett? With a start by Jon Lester, who posted a sterling 2.82 ERA over his final 27 starts last season.

Unfortunately, not every Rays pitcher struggles in Fenway like James Shields. Tonight, it's Scott Kazmir on the bump, and he always seems to give the Red Sox fits.

Rocco Baldelli makes his Red Sox debut tonight, spelling J.D. Drew. Comment away!

Lineups, courtesy the Globe:

Rays
1. Jason Bartlett, SS
2. Carl Crawford, LF
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Carlos Pena, 1B
5. Pat Burrell, DH
6. Dioner Navarro C
7. Ben Zobrist, RF
8. Gabe Kapler, CF
9. Akinori Iwamura, 2B
— Scott Kazmir, LHP

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Rocco Baldelli, RF
6. Jason Bay, LF
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. Jed Lowrie, SS
9. Jason Varitek, C
— Jon Lester, LHP

74 comments… add one
  • Our passover seder over, tune in just in time to see Lester have quite the ordeals with Longoria and Pena, but he gets CP to end the first with no damage.

    SF April 8, 2009, 7:22 pm
  • Just got home to watch Pena strikeout. Five straight K’s to start out the season? Ouchies.
    Why is Baldelli hitting 5th instead of Bay or Lowell? I don’t get it.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 7:23 pm
  • Booo, why couldn’t you crush that ball anywhere but at the gold glove first baseman?

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 7:25 pm
  • Rick Suttcliffe insinuating that the Rays are cheating by putting a little extra stuff on Kazmir’s glove to help him get a better grip. Interesting.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 7:39 pm
  • Yeah, why Baldelli after Papi? I don’t get it.
    As for Lester, he doesn’t seem sharp to me at all.

    SF April 8, 2009, 7:40 pm
  • Lester’s curveball is getting some great whiffs now. Hopefully he can improve the accuracy on his fastball/cutter.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 7:42 pm
  • Lester strikes out the side. 5 so far after 2 innings. His fastball is really hitting the borders now too, especially right at the knees.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 7:44 pm
  • And then he Ks the side…of course.

    SF April 8, 2009, 7:45 pm
  • Clearly, Rocco is hitting 5th because he is replacing JD Drew. Why would you want to change the spot in the lineup? I mean it’s not like Drew’s OPS is 2x as high or anything…

    Jackie (SF) April 8, 2009, 7:50 pm
  • Lester is at 39 pitches. We need some quick outs.
    In other news, Teixeira is still hitless for the Yanks; two popups tonight.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 7:55 pm
  • Lester in some trouble. Lowrie makes a great play to save a run though.
    Buckle down time!

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:00 pm
  • WHAT THE FUCK YOUK? Youkilis makes a great play to stop the ball, then throws it at 2nd for no reason.
    1-0 Rays, men on 1st and 2nd. Still no outs.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:02 pm
  • Was that a bad catch by Lowrie? Hard to tell on my mini screen.
    Regardless, bad baseball. Lester again looks quite poor to me.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:05 pm
  • I think the throw hit the runner, SF. The game’s on ESPN2, by the way.
    A double play and then another ground ball end the inning. Great way to work out of trouble Lester.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:06 pm
  • Pedroia crushes a high-inside fastball (hehe) for a double.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:12 pm
  • Tie game!

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:17 pm
  • Baldelli just won the Fenway crowd over with that diving catch.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:22 pm
  • Yeah, that was a hell of a catch. Kazmir solid so far. Need to keep scraping and work the pitch count.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:29 pm
  • Bats not answering the call this inning – two lazy flies to right. Two down.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:31 pm
  • Lowell lines to center, not exactly a frozen rope but better than what we’ve seen from him so far, in these what, 6 at-bats? Damn these small samples!

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:33 pm
  • Lead-off walks do not make me happy.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:34 pm
  • Lester with the instant leadoff walk. Boo.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:35 pm
  • Yeah, and to the #8 hitter. And now he’s behind Iwamura 2-0. Lester seems to be all or nothing tonight. If he can scrape through this inning or next with only a run or two on the board overall I will be very surprised, and a bit thankful.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:37 pm
  • Line drive right at the shortstop’s spot… but Lowrie was covering 2nd because of the steal. No outs, Manny warming up in the ‘pen.
    At least Wang is getting gangbanged in Baltimore.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:37 pm
  • Damnit, bunt bring the run in.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:38 pm
  • Ah, well, this game isn’t looking up right now. I don’t like this version of Jon Lester.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:39 pm
  • This feels very much like the 2007 Lester, scrambling, a little out of control, not really consistent.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:39 pm
  • Wow, really bad play by Lester there – he has to know that Tek needs to stay at home, but he stuttered then had basically nowhere to go. Run scores. Shitty baseball.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:40 pm
  • What the fuck, dying quayle loads the bases. Bay looked like he could have had it, but Lowrie tried instead.
    And before I can hit “post”, Lester induces ANOTHER double play from Longoria. Lester may be missing his spots, but he’s executing well under pressure.
    And Wang just gave up a bomb to Markakis before finally getting pulled. 7 ER in 3.2 IP, no strikes.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:42 pm
  • Oy.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:42 pm
  • Lester struck out 5 in the first 2 innings, but doesn’t have a K since then.
    Fuck my life, 2-run homer to Pena.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:43 pm
  • Good double play – this inning sucks though.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:43 pm
  • Uh oh SF, are you a few minutes lagging behind on MLB.tv like I was last night?

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:44 pm
  • And Yankees fans post just what Ath posted earlier, but substitute “Lester” for “Wang”.
    Ugly game, and it starts right at the bump. Still some innings left, though. Bats?

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:46 pm
  • You know, I’m really impressed with the way Varitek has hit the ball so far. All of his outs have been on line drives where he made good contact with the ball. Ellsbury, meanwhile, looks completely lost. Nothing but strikeouts and dribblers for him.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:51 pm
  • MLBtv is much wonkier than yesterday. Not sure if it is the home connection vs. work, or just the traffic.
    Sox bats skying a ton of’em today. Tek up…rally will have to wait I think.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:51 pm
  • For me yesterday I literally had a 4-5 minutes delay, SF. It was frustrating, though the new HD is awesome.
    Ellsbury runs out a ground ball. You’re on base kid, you can start relaxing now.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 8:53 pm
  • Gah, Kazmir throws the 0-1 to Ellsbury, it appears at least 6″ off the plate, and it’s still a strike. I hate that shit.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:53 pm
  • Yep, I am behind. You’re nothing but a spoiler, Ath.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:54 pm
  • And Ells is quick.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:54 pm
  • Here’s a shitty glitch – the box score is ahead of the video on MLBtv, so I just peeked at the embedded box to see how many pitches Kazmir has thrown, the count is 2-0 on Pedroia, but the box shows him as having thrown five full innings, which means that Pedroia gets out.
    Full count. But I know that nothing good happens. I don’t like this at all, MLB needs to get this worked out.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:57 pm
  • Yep, there’s a ground out. The HD image is great, but the technology stinks.

    SF April 8, 2009, 8:58 pm
  • Time to switch to LOST, so I’ve now got the game up on mlb.tv. I just saw Pedroia’s out, which really was 5-6 minutes behind. Geez.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 9:00 pm
  • Hey guys, I derive a sense of smug satisfaction from the fact that Jon Lester is struggling in this start and giving up more earned runs than usual, I just thought I’d invade the thread and contribute this otherwise irrelevant thought.

    doug YF April 8, 2009, 9:15 pm
  • THAT’S why Rocco is batting fifth! Squib opposite field singles!

    SF April 8, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • Maddon riding Kaz hard here, I think he’s over 100 pitches…

    SF April 8, 2009, 9:16 pm
  • Youk/Baldelli gettin something going.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 9:17 pm
  • Bay just got completely F*CKED on a call. Terrible umpiring.

    SF April 8, 2009, 9:18 pm
  • Lowell weak pull, grounds to third. God help us if these are the 2009 versions of Ortiz and Lowell.
    That inning brought to Rays fans by the home plate umpire.

    SF April 8, 2009, 9:22 pm
  • Ramirez strikes out the annoying Bartlett. I like him already.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 9:28 pm
  • @doug SF: eh, an ERA of 9.00 vs an ERA of 17.18 – our guy sucked less! ;-)

    am SF April 8, 2009, 9:31 pm
  • Did mean @doug YF of course . . .

    am SF April 8, 2009, 9:43 pm
  • They put up the statistic showing Saito to have the 3rd best ERA last year… and of course he promptly gives up a homer. Lame.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 9:43 pm
  • Hero time.

    Dirty Water April 8, 2009, 9:57 pm
  • Had to leave. The umps K zone was bad early. What’s it been like since?

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:02 pm
  • It’s been all over the place IBM. We’ve got a ralyl going though, hopefully you’re our good luck charm.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:03 pm
  • We’ll see. I just came from church choir reharsal, where we were singing The Messiah.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:05 pm
  • Lowrie K’s with the bases loaded. Ahhh, forgot how much I hate this team sometimes.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:05 pm
  • MLBdotcom radio is ahead of gameday for a change.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:07 pm
  • WTF was THAT pitch blue?

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:08 pm
  • I fucking hate Bartlett.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:10 pm
  • Lopez showing some suckage.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:11 pm
  • I hate Barlett and Longoria. Longoria totally has an “I’m a huge douchebag” face.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:13 pm
  • Bal 7, NY 5, F

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:13 pm
  • Wow, this umpire is horrible. He needs to throw a high fastball that Varitek “accidentally” lets hit blue.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:14 pm
  • FUCK FUCK FUCK. Fucking Lopez.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:14 pm
  • HAHAHA pop fly drops into center field, but they throw Kapler out at 3rd.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:14 pm
  • Longoria is a smug punk.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:14 pm
  • Ath, are you watching ESPN?

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:15 pm
  • Nah Im watching LOST so I have it on mlb.tv. I’m probably like 5 minutes behind aren’t I?

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:16 pm
  • Yah, we’re in the bot 9. 7-2.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:18 pm
  • Strike 2 to Tek is outside.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:19 pm
  • Yeah I just saw Lopez mishandle that grounder to allow them to score the 7th run. Bleh.

    Atheose April 8, 2009, 10:19 pm
  • Fuck. Fucking Kapler can kiss my ass, too.

    I'mBillMcNeal April 8, 2009, 10:21 pm

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