Why You Should Wear a Boxberger or Kiermaier Jersey

By on July 3, 2014
Brad Boxberger watches the final out against the Yankees yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Rays defeated the Yankees 6-3. (photo Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Brad Boxberger watches the final out against the Yankees yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. The Rays defeated the Yankees 6-3. (photo Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Back on June 11th Brad Boxberger threw the pitch in what I thought at the time may have changed the season for a turn in the right direction for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Twenty – two days later, I know it did.

Brad would be the first to tell you it was not the greatest pitch, but so much of life is fated on outcomes.  The outcome was the difference between  a disastrous inning and the rawhide simply ending up in the leather of the Tampa Bay Rays right-fielder.

FLASHBACK June 12th:

The Rays riding in on a low, no really, a 15 game losing streak, hosting that Inter-league rival the St. Louis Cardinals. It was top of the fifth when Brad Boxberger took the hill to replace Rays starter Eric Bedard.  The Rays   have a 4-3 lead after plating four runs in the bottom of the 4th.  It was the first time the Rays would score four runs in an inning in weeks.   Boxberger starts off the inning by striking out Cards first baseman Allen Craig, with a swing and a miss, strike three.   A single by catcher Yadier Molina but then Jhonny Peralta, the shortstop looks a third strike.  Ok two outs, one on and a one run lead.  Then… KER-PLUNK! Jon Jay gets hit and Mark Ellis walks.  A one run lead, two outs, bases jacked with Redbirds.  Peter Bourjas the center fielder now to the dish, oh no! The pitch that turned this season around, Bourjas laces a liner to the right center gap, surely it had the appearance of a bases clearing double.  No way!  Kevin Kiermaier makes one of the best catches I have ever seen in the outfield.

In the dugout afterwards, Boxberger said he said to Kiermaier, “Pretty amazing catch, THANK YOU!”  

The Rays have won 12 of 19 since that fortuitous moment and maybe we should believe. 

Boxberger with 31 innings pitched and a 1-1 record, 2.87 ERA and now a save is looking to me to be a star of the pen. I have always said teams win the center of the bell curve of their roster.  The role player, steady, with a name new the the game.  I give you Kiermaier and Boxberger.

The Rays have a chance now  to make a run and Boxberger and Kiermaier will continue to be solid.  The time is now before the Twin City All-Star thingy.

Back on the morning of June 12th I said,  I do feel the collective energy, you know in my crazy way, the Kiermaier play could turn the season around.  Well at least point it in the right direction.  At time, I must admit, I was being very optimistic but now we should believe.

And by the way, that June 11th game was my first of 2014 so I say, this is Rick Sassone I need to be seen more at the Trop!

 Kevin Kiermaier (39) is congratulated by second baseman Ben Zobrist during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tropicana Field.  photo:  Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

On June 11th, Kevin Kiermaier (39) is congratulated by second baseman Ben Zobrist during the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tropicana Field. photo: Kim Klement / USA TODAY Sports

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