(yes, I know it’s Friday)
I remember getting super excited when I was a kid and the WWF (it wasn’t the WWE back then) had its “Saturday Night, Main Event” that came on after Saturday Night Live.
Mean Gene Oakerland would come on and get everybody excited while Vince Macmahon and Jesse Ventura would do the play-by-play. Hulk would come out and rip off that muscle shirt and Jimmy Superfly Snuka and Ricky The Dragon Steamboat would do their thing.
It was great.
I can feel that excitement coming on right now as we are getting ready for this weekend’s Main Event.
The Rays and Sox split last year’s series, 9-9.
However, the Rays dominated those Sox early on, going 9-5 in the first 5 months of the season.
Late in September, though, Boston got its revenge, taking the lats 4 games of the series to help knock the Rays out of playoff contention. I remember being pretty bummed out after that final Sox series, knowing my guys would not be making a repeat trip to October.
Certainly it is early in the season, and certainly last year was last year. But I am sure that Joe Maddon and company would like to put together a little streak here at Fenway to send a message that the Rays are for real again in 2010.
Wade Davis vs. Josh Beckett
Davis did an ok job against the Yankees last weekend. Not great. Not terrible. He gave up 4 runs in his 6 innings of work and came away with the loss. Of course, he was dueling with a guy who gave up only 1 hit all game long in CC Sabathia. Beckett is always tough on the Rays, but he can be touched up, especially at Fenway.
James Shields vs. Clay Buchholz
Shields has a decent 3.97 ERA right now, but no wins to show for it. As the team’s ace, he needs to dominate a little more. Buchholz is one of the Sox’s young hurlers they are hoping will get them through the next few years–he has the stuff to dominate.
Matt Garza vs. John Lester
Garza has been amazing this year. The Red Sox will have their hands full as long as he can control his emotions. Lester is one of the other youngsters who has the stuff to win a Cy Young.
Jeff Nieman vs. TBA
Nieman showed well in his last start against the Orioles after being hit by a line drive in his first start. He didn’t get the win, but his 3.24 ERA so far in the season seems just a precursor of things to come.
Three Keys to a Series Win
Burrell has to hit. He seemed as if he might start coming out of his season-long funk near the end of the Baltimore series, but the fact is that the Rays have to have their veteran DH do SOMETHING this series.
BJ post- postseason success? He had an amazing run in the 2008 postseason at Fenway. Is it too much to ask for us to see it again. If he and Burrell can start playing pepper with the monstrous green monolith out there in left field, a 3-1 series win is not out of the question.
I don’t think that the Rays are totally ready for a series such as this.
They played the Yankees at home, so they had the fans behind them. In the other two series they have played this year they have faced off against the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rays will have to have alot of things go their way if they are to split or win this series. If they don’t, it might be a rough weekend.
Either way, I am looking forward to seeing this Main Event get started!
So, Red Sox…
Whatcha Gonna Do!!!