Rays score first in Game 4 of ALDS vs. Boston

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We’ve finally got a score in this ALDS Game 4.

Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar opened the bottom of the sixth inning with a double off Red Sox starter Jake Peavy and crossed home plate on a David DeJesus one-out single to right field. Peavy induced a Wil Myers flyout for the second out of the inning, but the Red Sox opted to turn to left-handed reliever Craig Breslow to face left-handed-hitting Rays first baseman James Loney and the move worked.

Peavy, it should be noted, did not appear pleased with manager John Farrell following the early hook.

Tampa Bay is down 2-1 in this series but suddenly leads Game 4 by a score of 1-0.

Boston is about to bat in the top of the seventh inning against yet another Rays reliever.

The Rays have already used five pitchers so far. Boston has used two.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.