Rays Beat Boston!
I love this Tampa Bay team. It's not that in general I'm a Tampa Bay fan, but at least for this season I've bonded with this ballclub. They are my surrogate Angels, since they did what the Angels could not do. (And Jackie Autry presenting the AL trophy - pretty cool).
Part of it is the way they play the game. A lot of young players developing quickly, great defense (well, mostly, they were a bit shaky at times the last 3 games). And part of it is that they made me look like a prophet, as they did almost exactly, everything that I said they would do back in march, when I came out with a surprise prediction of 89 wins, just a hair behind the Red Sox and Yankees. The only thing I didn't predict is that they exceeded that prediction by a bit. Just enough to play Philly in the World Series.
I was convinced that the Red Sox would finish out yet another comeback win. Even with a 2-1 lead I was convinced of it. I let some hope creep into my mind as Willie Aybar did not bunt and miss like his little brother, but crushed an insurance run homer. Then in the 8th Boston's weakest hitter grounds out, nope error on the shortstop. Oh crap, here we go again. A series of pitching moves follow as Joe Maddon does what must be done to combat the meat of the Boston order and their perfectly placed left-right-left hitters. Joe brought in the pitcher most likely to get each individual hitter out. He can thank Matt Garza for 7 innings, allowing him the luxury of burning almost his whole bullpen in one crucial inning. Then, 2 outs and bases loaded steps JD Drew. He of 2 key hits in the game 5, he of the homer that beat the Angels in game 2 of our series. I'm still smarting that we signed Matthews when Drew would have only cost 3 million more per season - take Drew off Boston, put him on the Angels and we might have had a chance last year, and definitely win this year. Anyway, I digress...
In steps a savior. A 22 year old rookie with 14 big league innings of experience, but dominant stuff. David Price strikes out mighty JD "Mantle" Drew, then finishes the 9th. Another story we've seen before, like a rookie Angel 6 years ago. I hope Price is used in key spots in the World Series.
Congratulations Rays. Awesome game, and even better results.