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Rangers 5, Rays 1: so how screwed are the Rays?

Oct 6, 2010, 4:53 PM EDT

It's only one game, Rays fans. It's not that big of a deal. Or is it?

Given how bad the Rangers had been against AL playoff teams on the road and given that ace David Price was going for the Rays today, Tampa Bay probably felt pretty confident coming into today’s game. Of course, that’s why they play the games.

Jeff Francoeur hitting an RBI double and Bengie Molina going 3 for 4 with a homer and a couple of RBI himself wasn’t exactly something you’d bet the mortgage on. But Cliff Lee showing up strong was, and all three of those things happened. It was interesting in the ninth as Neftali Feliz walked the first two batters, but a good defensive play from Jeff Francoeur — he’s so dreamy; I love him so — and calmer nerves on the part of Feliz closed things out to preserve the game.

So: how screwed are the Rays?

Pretty screwed, I’d say! As our friend Joe Posnanski noted today, teams that win the first game of five-game series are 70-26 over the years. That’s pretty good. And that’s before you realize just how big a falloff the Rays rotation has from Price to James “Shomer Shabbos” Shields and Matt “I ain’t been all that since my no-hitter” Garza. Sure, the Rangers have a big falloff from Cliff Lee to the rest of their rotation as well, but at this moment of the season I have more faith in C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis and Tommy Hunter.

But hey, if we didn’t predict Frenchie and Molina’s star turns today, we can’t predict gloom and doom for the Rays either. It’s one game. There are as many as four more remaining. They have a shot.

Just a lot less of a shot than the Rangers do, statistically speaking.

  1. RichardInBigD - Oct 6, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    The Rangers were 0-12 in the Trop, Yankee Stadium II, and Target field during the regular season. They decided in April to save all the wins they would get there for October…

  2. FrankZappa - Oct 6, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    anytime i hear or read the words “thats why they play the game” all i can think about is how much i hate Chris Berman…please refrain from future references to such so that i can read your articles without hating you too

  3. Chuck - Oct 6, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Zappa… you “hate” Chris Berman? Really? Perhaps you don’t dig his style. Maybe he dissed your team once. But you hate him? And you’re ready to hate someone else so easily also? I doubt Frank Zappa hated with such nonchalance. Perhaps your just a really, really small person. Go ahead… hate me. Yes… I think Chris Berman is fantastic.

  4. f*ck la - Oct 7, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    I think chuck has got a little crush.

  5. RichardInBigD - Oct 7, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Nah, I think Chuck is just commenting on the tone we’ve seen coming from Zappa on numerous occasions, and saying what so many of us are thinking…

  6. SP_ATL - Oct 7, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    Anybody know what the win% is for teams who win the first game in a best-of-5 since the series switched to a 2-2-1 format? I recall when it was a 2-3 format, and the “underdog” would start at home, the road team (“favorite”) was virtually guaranteed victory if they could win that 1st game and have 3 of 4 remaining games at home.

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