Craig Breslow blogged about his rough Game 2 outing

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Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow has been filing regular blog posts for WEEI.com throughout the playoffs and the left-hander made no exception following last night’s ugly outing, writing a lengthy article trying to explain how it all went wrong.

An excerpt:

As complicated and complex as this game can be at times, it can also be incredibly simple. If you get a chance to make pitches, you have to make them. And on Thursday, in Game 2 of the World Series, I didn’t. …

In its simplest form, in black and white, I didn’t make pitches tonight. I’ve not made pitches in other situations. I feel like I need to be aware of what my shortcomings were, to make sure that I can move forward from it. But if given the same situation, I’d like to think the outcome could be better if I execute pitches.

Going forward, I’ll take a look at some of the pitches I made, some of the plays, and think about if I should have done anything differently, if there were any major mechanical problems I need to fix. Beyond that mental review of the outing, I need to take care of myself and get ready physically to pitch again in two days. Certainly, I want the opportunity to go back out there.

He also goes pitch-by-pitch through every at-bat–and his costly defensive miscue–and it’s pretty interesting stuff. I’m sure a lot of Red Sox fans are frustrated by Breslow today, but he’s been an excellent pitcher all season, his blog posts are actually really good reads, and taking the time to write a lengthy recap of a game he’d surely like to forget shows a lot of class.

Manoah, Merrifield lead Blue Jays to 3-1 win over Rays

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Alek Manoah pitched seven shutout innings, Whit Merrifield hit a three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays regained the top AL wild-card spot with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.

The Blue Jays lead Tampa Bay by one game. The top wild card finisher will host all games in their best-of-three opening-round series, while the other two wild cards play strictly on the road.

Manoah (15-7) scattered four hits, walked two and struck out eight while throwing a season-high 113 pitches. The righty worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth by striking out Randy Arozarena and getting a flyout from David Peralta.

Jordan Romano replaced Tim Mayza with two on and two outs in the eighth and allowed pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez‘s RBI infield single but avoided further damage by striking out Manuel Margot. Romano finished the game to get his 35th save in 41 chances.

Tampa Bay starter Drew Rasmussen (10-7) gave up one run, three hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five.

The teams combined for 31 runs, with the Rays accounting for 20, in the first two games of the series that were both won by Tampa Bay.

Arozarena got the Rays’ first hit off Manoah with a two-out double in the fourth. He became the first Tampa Bay player and 20th big leaguer to have 40 doubles, 20 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season.

Teoscar Hernandez ended Rasmussen’s night with a double in the seventh. Brooks Raley entered and, after a walk to pinch-hitter Danny Jansen, Merrifield made it 3-0 on his 10th homer of the season.

Merrifield homered twice in Thursday night’s 10-5 loss to the Rays.

Alejandro Kirk opened the second with a single before Rasmussen retired 12 in a row until Merrifield’s leadoff double in the sixth.

Plate umpire Corey Blaser took a hard foul ball by Margot on the mask in the eighth but remained in the game.

HONORING KK

The Rays posted a thank you on the message board for CF Kevin Kiermaier, who is out for the season following left hip surgery. Kiermaier is in the final season of a $53.5 million, six-year contract that includes a club option for 2023 that is expected to be declined.

TEAM AWARDS

Rays ace Shane McClanahan was voted the Don Zimmer MVP award winner by members of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. CF Jose Siri was selected as the outstanding rookie. 3B Yandy Diaz received the Paul C. Smith Champions award as the player who best exemplifies the spirit of true professionalism on and off the field.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (lat strain) allowed three runs and three hits over two-thirds of an inning for Triple-A Buffalo.

Rays: 2B Brandon Lowe (lower back) is done for the season.

UP NEXT

McClanahan (12-6), pulled from his start Tuesday in the fifth inning due to neck tightness, will face Blue Jays RHP Ross Stripling (8-4) on Sunday.