Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/8/13
3:09 p.m.: You’ve got to have amnesia as a big league closer. Koji Uehara must put Monday’s wild finish out of his mind right away. The talk surrounding Uehara after Monday’s loss, during which he surrendered a walk-off home run to Jose Lobaton, was that the Red Sox closer is only human. While that’s certainly the case — I, for one, agree that he was born on planet earth — it makes the loss no less shocking. Uehara hadn’t surrendered a home run since June 30, and he only gave up one earned run over his final 37 appearances of the regular season. It seemed like a certainty that we were heading for bonus baseball once he entered with the score tied 4-4 in the ninth inning. Baseball is a strange game, though. And now, here we are with the Rays looking to send the series back to Boston. For more on Uehara’s shocking display of humanness and other notes from Monday’s Game 3, check out the link below. Click here for Game 3 Red Sox notes >> 2:15 p.m.: Monday’s Game 3 included some interesting managerial decisions on both sides. That has obviously led to plenty of second guessing, because, well, hindsight is 20/20. Two of John Farrell’s decisions during Monday’s game really stand out, though. First, there was the decision to pitch to Evan Longoria in the fifth inning with two outs, first base open and rookie Wil Myers — who had been 0-for-12 in the series — on deck. That obviously didn’t work out, as Longoria hit a game-changing homer, but Farrell said after the game that he gave “no consideration” to issuing a free pass in that situation. The other decision was to not pinch hit Xander Bogaerts for Stephen Drew versus lefty Jake McGee in the eighth inning with the potential go-ahead run on second base. Drew, of course, has struggled against left-handers this season, and he ended up popping out to end the inning and the threat. Bogaerts wound up entering the game as a pinch runner in the ninth inning and scored the tying run. It’ll be interesting to see whether Farrell considers giving the 21-year-old a start in Game 4, though. Will Middlebrooks, who went hitless in Monday’s game, is 2-for-10 thus far in the series, and he’s 1-for-12 with eight strikeouts in his career versus Game 4 starter Jeremy Hellickson. 8 a.m. ET: The ALDS kicked up a notch at Tropicana Field on Monday. The Red Sox, owners of a 2-0 series lead going into the contest, jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Alex Cobb and the Rays. Everything changed, however, when Evan Longoria smacked a three-run home run, and the Rays eventually walked off with a win when Jose Lobaton hit an improbable homer off Koji Uehara with two outs in the ninth inning. Jake Peavy and Jeremy Hellickson are now asked to step up for their respective clubs. Peavy is trying to show exactly why Boston went out and acquired him just prior to the trade deadline, and Hellickson is looking to put some 2013 struggles in the rearview mirror en route to forcing a decisive Game 5. Peavy enters with just two career playoff starts under his belt, but the 32-year-old has been around a while, and his teammates and coaches have total confidence that he’s ready to lead the Red Sox into battle in Game 4 on Tuesday. “Very good,” John Farrell said when asked shortly after Monday’s loss how he felt about Peavy pitching Game 4. “Another guy with playoff experience. He’s pitched well here in Tampa. He got three innings of work this past Wednesday, so even though it’s been a number of days since his last start, we’re looking forward to Jake being on the mound [Tuesday]. It’s one of the main reasons we acquired him at the deadline is to pitch in a game like [Tuesday].” If the Rays win Tuesday, we’ll have a winner-take-all Game 5 in Boston on Thursday. If the Red Sox come out on top at The Trop, the next game Boston plays will be in the ALCS. Tuesday’s Game 4 action is scheduled to kick off at 8:37 p.m. It should be intense, so stick around. Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Headlines, Live Blog, Ricky Doyle, Tampa Bay Rays
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