Two Baseball Teams In Search of a Playoff Spot: Red Sox and...Rays?!?

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Ignore the recent three-game slide or the two consecutive series losses, the Tampa Bay Rays are no longer a silly little joke in Vince Naimoli's toybox, they're a Real Live Baseball Team with Real Live Playoff Aspirations. They're set for a three-game tussle at Fenway Park that starts tonight that will help decide which team wins the division and which team will (probably) face the Angels as the AL Wild Card representative. Just one and a half games separate the two teams.

The two teams have split their twelve head-to-head matchups in aught-eight with each team winning their six home contests. Don't expect the Sox to roll just because these games are in Fenway, however. Expect them to roll because Red Sox Nation transcends continents and cultures.

Your pitching matchups:

   Monday: RHP Edwin Jackson vs LHP Jon Lester
   Tuesday: LHP Scott Kazmir vs RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka
   Wednesday: RHP Andy Sonnanstine vs RHP Josh Beckett (ESPN)

Lester faced the Rays twice this year, giving up 2 runs in 12.1 innings for two of his thirteen wins, while Jackson's three starts against the Sox have resulted in an 0-2 record with a 5.82 ERA.

Tonight's game would have probably been on ESPN, had that pesky football season not started with all that Monday Night Football nonsense. Still, I'm sure New England-area sports fans will be watching NESN tonight since football has nothing more to offer them. Thanks for nothing, football!

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The sky coloring takes that picture from weird to frightening.

I'm gonna sit on my fire escape and watch the Stingray Apocalypse. Should be neat.

He comes in peace. Unlike Joe Maddon, who just wants to wrassle.

He comes in peace.

Tell that to Steve Irwin.

Or tell that to Dolph Lundgren.

The Sox-Rays may be one thing, but the quest for 250,000 HR resumes tonight! ONLY 4 MORE!!!


It's gonna be Emil Brown, I just know it.

Pavano starts again tonight, wheee!

I'm gonna sit on my fire escape and watch the Stingray Apocalypse. Should be neat.

At least the Stingray Apocalypse is coming after the stingrays renounced their egregious satanism.

Even though he jokes to his dinner guests--"It's almost auto-cannibalistic, eh, chums?"--Joe Maddon likes to grill his stingray with a jalapeno glaze, and serve it with Portuguese vinho verde. He got the idea from an M.F.K. Fischer sidebar in Harper's.

Vinho Verde is fucking awful, by the way. Know what would be a welcome addition to this nice oaky chardonnay? Green apples and windex! Die, vinho verde lovers.

Only about another two weeks to drink those refreshing summer Muscadets!

If you get a tearful phone call from me at like 2AM, you'll know I'm trying to drink as much as possible before Fall.

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