On Monday evening Alex Cobb will turn 26 years old and will take the mound with the pressure of extending the Tampa Bay Rays season against the Boston Red Sox who are looking for a sweep.
The Rays were in a similar situation on Wednesday evening but they were up against rookie pitcher Danny Salazar. The Rays offense put up 4 runs against Salazar but on Wednesday evening they will be facing a major league experienced pitcher in Clay Buchholz who finished the season 12-1 with a 1.74 ERA.
Cobb did his part on Wednesday holding the Indians offense scoreless for 6.2 innings but he waded in and out of trouble and was fortunate that he had a strong defense backing him up.
He gave up 8 hits in his 6.2 innings of work and walked a batter. He left the game with the Rays leading 3-o with two men on base but the reliable version of Joel Peralta came in to strike out Nick Swisher to end the inning.
The Boston Red Sox have had all the breaks go their way in the series. The Rays defense that helped Cobb on Wednesday has hurt both Matt Moore and David Price. The Red Sox have done what the Indians did and that is plug the bases except the Red Sox have come up with the big hit.
With the luck the Red Sox have been having this series Alex Cobb will not be able to afford giving up 8 hits and hoping the ball is hit right into the teeth of the defense. He is going to have to keep the Red Sox from plugging the bases and when they do get on base he is going to have to make sure they remain tethered to their bases.
The line score Wednesday may have been pretty but they will have to have a better overall performance on Monday evening or the Rays and their fans will have to witness the Red Sox celebrating on the Tropicana Field turf.