Young Rays show resiliency in Game 2

James ShieldsThere’s a pretty damning stat out there for teams that drop the opening game of the World Series. The team that was victorious in Game 1 has gone on to capture 63 of the last 103 Series, including 10 of the last 11.

So following their 3-2 loss in Game 1 Wednesday night, one could understand why the Rays would feel pressure to come away with a win over the Phillies in Game 2 on Thursday. Not only were they battling history, but also major inexperience considering their roster is filled with youngsters who have never played in the postseason, nevertheless the World Series.

Not that it was necessarily a must win, but Tampa Bay did come out of Game 2 with a win as they held on to beat Philadelphia 4-2 after mounting a 4-0 lead after the fourth inning. B.J. Upton went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead the Rays, while starter James Shields pitched 5.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing seven hits and striking out four.

Considering there aren’t any significant stats that apply to Game 2 victories, the Rays’ win might not attract much attention outside of the fact that they have now tied the best of seven series at one game apiece. But being down 0-2 would have been incredibly difficult to overcome, especially when you factor in that Tampa isn’t used to playing in Philly in October.

After losing Game 1 to the more experienced Red Sox in the ALDS, the Rays rattled off three in a row before squandering a 7-0 lead in Game 5 and then dropping Game 6 at home. Coming back after losing Game 1 was impressive, as well as showing the guts to win in Game 7 when they had lost all of the momentum. So it’ll be interesting to see if the young Rays can continue to show how resilient they are this postseason after facing some adversity. Their Game 2 victory Thursday night was huge.

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