10/11/08 1:28 AM ET
Rays Short Hops: Game 1
Shields overshadowed as offense comes up empty-handed
By Mark Remme / MLB.com
As good as James Shields was -- allowing six hits and two runs over 7 1/3 innings -- Daisuke Matsuzaka stole the win.
After breaking up Dice-K's no-hit bid in the seventh, the Rays put runners on first and third with no one out. But Matsuzaka forced Dioner Navarro to fly to left, Gabe Gross to strike out and Jason Bartlett to ground out to short. No runs, threat ended and the Red Sox's lead was preserved. Big number
0 -- Number of hits the last three batters in the Rays' order accumulated on Friday. The combination of Navarro, Gross and Bartlett went 0-for-10 with 5 strikeouts. Game balls
Longoria set the tone for Tampa Bay in its first postseason game ever, knocking two homers in Game 1 of the ALDS against the White Sox. This time around, the rookie sensation couldn't muster the same production -- going 0-for-4 against Boston.
He went hitless in the ballgame, but his defense and presence at shortstop is undeniable.
He was the only Rays batter to advance to at least second base twice in the ballgame, reaching third in the first inning and second in the eighth.
Sense of October
There wasn't an empty seat to be had in Tropicana Field on Friday, cheering on the improbable Rays with cowbells in hand. The noise inside the dome was undeniable -- clearly a sense of excitement that the Trop had never seen in the decade prior to the 2008 campaign.
4 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 2 Ks.
Comment: Longoria was 0-for-7 lifetime against Justin Masterson coming into the contest. After facing the young right-hander with two on in the eighth, Longoria is now 0-for-8.
7 1/3 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 Ks
Comment: Shields pitched well enough to win, it just wasn't enough on this night.
"When you're facing very good pitching at this time of the year, they can stifle you even with nobody out. We can do the same thing to them." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon, on the missed none-out scoring chances with first and third in the seventh and first and second in the eighth
Scott Kazmir takes the hill in Game 2, knowing full well that heading back to Fenway Park with an 0-2 series deficit is a mighty steep hill to climb. He's 0-2 in four starts against the Red Sox in 2008, but his two no-decisions ended in Tampa Bay wins.
Mark Remme is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.