[caption id="attachment_22054" align="alignright" width="150" caption="(Getty Images)"][/caption]
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times joined Tony Mazz on today's show as the Red Sox travel to Tampa Bay for a 3 game series with the Rays. The Sox were swept in the previous series with the Rays on Patriots Day Weekend and look to even the score as they are finally starting to build some momentum.Things are starting to click and there is optimism surrounding this team for the first time all year. Mazz: "The Red Sox are holding their own. 5-1 in their last 6. And it seems like their starting pitching is starting to stabilize. David Ortiz is starting to hit. They're gonna enter a stretch of bad games here very very soon. They should be able to make some hay and play their way right back into the thick of this thing. They're already back into the thick of this thing."
Jacoby Ellsbury is also back in the lineup and Mike Cameron will join the team tomorrow. This team has showed grit and resiliency especially after bouncing back after the Papelbon blown save in the Bronx. If the Red Sox can win this series against the Rays they will play a very favorable schedule vs. Kansas City, Oakland, Baltimore, and Cleveland in the upcoming weeks.
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times says that Tampa Bay is not great all around and that the pitching and defense has carried the Rays. "If you look just at their batting average I think you'd be hard pressed to think this is a team with a winning record much less the best record in baseball. I'd say the pitching and the defense have carried them to this point."
Tony and Marc agree that this is a HUGE series for both teams although Tony believes it's even bigger for the Red Sox. For Tony, it's not about catching the Rays because they're on pace to win 118 games. It's about catching the Yankees. Entering tonight, the Sox are only 2.5 back from New York. The Yankees are dealing with some injuries right now and stumbled last weekend vs. the Mets. This series is huge for the Red Sox because they can start to gain ground on the Yankees as they look more vulnerable by the day.