The Sox needed to get a well-pitched game tonight against Moore, and there were two innings where the Rays didn't score, despite getting a runner into scoring position in both. I wondered if Santiago simply didn't warm up sufficiently. Coming into the game with two outs, none on and two strikes on the hitter, he had the percentages on his side to finish the inning scoreless, and he could have given Floyd a statistical three innings tonight, because the third strike would have given the strike out to Floyd. (The report I saw showed Floyd left with two strikes anyway.) But even after Santiago left the game, it continued to be pad your stats night for the the Rays, even their sub-.200 hitters.
Maybe if Floyd hadn't gone down, the game would have turned out differently. The chance the Sox had was keeping the game close, wearing Moore down and getting to the bullpen. As it was, Moore left with a higher ERA than he came in with. The Dunn homer was hit while the game was still close. And it felt like Moore came out because he was tiring, not because of the big lead.
I wonder if it frustrates Rays fans to see their team seem to be able to score at will when their strongest pitcher is going after losing two close games.
Whether the Sox would have come back in a close game isn't certain. The Rays were trying to get innings out of their B relievers tonight. It was still good to see the tying run come up in eighth after all that had gone wrong tonight. If the bullpen hadn't allowed so many bad things to happen, this loss would have been downright frustrating with the Sox twice leaving the bases loaded.
Not the way I wanted to see Reed get the night off.