Championship Series Day 8

Boston 8 Tampa Bay 7

So the Rays win in 5 and are going to the World Ser.....what? Sox won? No no.....Rays were up 7-0, Sox couldn't hit anything. Fangraphs had it as a 99.3% chance of Rays win, nobody comes back from that. Course nobody comes back from down 3-0 against the Yankees either.

Kazmir was great, pitching 6 innings of 2 hit ball, walking 3 and striking out 7. But to start the 7th Grant Balfour came out to pitch, he was terrific all season. Today? Well, Jed Lowrie lead off with a double, but Varitek and Kotsay each hit fly outs. Crisp singled, Pedroia singled and the Sox had their first run. Then Big Pappy, in a deep slump, hits a 3 run homer. 7-4 Rays. Dan Wheeler comes in and gets Youk to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 8th Wheeler walked Bay, then JD Drew hit a home run and it was a 1 run game suddenly. Lowrie flied out and pinch hitter Sean Casey struck out. Kotsay doubled, then in a 10 pitch at bat Crisp singled to right. Gabe Gross' throw home was....well it was awful, I have no idea where he was throwing it. He had to throw home, it was the tying run and it should have been a close play. Instead it wasn't. Crisp was thrown out at 2nd but he had to think the throw was going home. So after 8 it is tied, how can you let a team come back from down by 7?

In the Ray's half of the 9th Jason Bartlett led off with a single, I figured we'd see a bunt but Iwamura flied out to left instead. Upton walked, considering he had hit 3 home runs so far this series, not such a bad thing for the Sox but then Pena batting behind him had 3 homers too. But Pena hit into a double play to end the inning.

Bottom of the 9th Sox fans had to think this was their chance with Pedroia, Ortiz and Youk to bat, but 2 quick outs and it didn't look so good. Youk hit a soft grounder that Longoria made a nice pickup on but then threw it away, Youk to 2nd. They walked Bay intentionally, yeah I likely would have done it too. But 3 Straight balls to Drew and he could wait for his pitch, which he drove over Gross' head in right and the Sox win.

Now I don't think the Sox will come back to win the series but, they have done it before. Former Jays and Canadians in the game: Gross was 0 for 3 with a walk, and made that terrible throw that allowed Kotsay to score the winning run. Bay was 0 for 3 with 2 walks and a run. Kevin Cash caught the 9th inning.

Red Sox of the Day: Drew (.554 WPA), Crisp (.211) and Masterton (.143). Francona deserves a nod for bringing Papelbon in in the 7th with the team down by 7. He pitched 2 innings, and stopped the bleeding.....well after allowing a double off the LF wall that scored 2 runs. Suckage Sox: DiceK (-.276), Lowrie (-.097) and Pedroia (-.950).

Rays of the Day: Upton (.251, 3 for 4 with a homer and 4 RBI) and Kazmir (.221). Suckage Rays: Wheeler (-.399) and Howell (-.357).

The other interesting bit of news from the game Schilling threw his first pitch for the Sox today, but was just the ceremonial first pitch. Game 6 is Saturday, Beckett who has been awful in the playoffs, Sox have to hope he finds how to pitch like the playoff hero he once was. James Shields starts for the Rays. Should be interesting.

 

MLB Postseason on SB Nation
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