Thursday, September 3, 2009

One step up and two steps back

You watch the way the Rays beat the Red Sox on Wednesday night and you think there is hope.

But you remember how they played Tuesday and you look down at the bullpen, and you think, no, no October to remember this year.

They lost Tuesday when the Red Sox took an early lead against Andy Sonnanstine, and Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon turned in the first six-out save of his career.

They won Wednesday because the offense, led by Carlos Pena, came alive after the bullpen blew the lead.

The Rays lose one day and you think they're done. They win the next night, and you think, "OK. Here they go."

The players talk of running off a string of victories. Their longest winning streak this season is five, which they've done twice.

They had two five game winning streaks last year. They also had two six game winning streaks and one that went seven games.

They Rays need to run off a string of wins now. They have to catch the Red Sox for the Wild Card lead as soon as possible, because the Sox close the season with 17 games against teams who are a combined 80 games under .500. It will be tough to catch the Red Sox when they hit that soft spot in their schedule.

This win one, lose one is going to get it done.

It's like Bruce Springsteen sang,

"We're the same sad story that's a fact,
One step up and two steps back."

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