The Rays are finally in! They are going to the World Series! After defeating the Boston Red Sox 3-1 in Game 7, Tampa Bay ended Boston's hopes of making another unprobable comeback.
Game 7 lived up to the hyped. It was close early on, pitchers duel throughout. Boston got off to a good start in the 1st inning with a Dustin Pedoria HR putting them up 1-0. It stayed that way until the 4th inning when Evan Longoria doubled off Boston starter Jon Lester to score Carlos Pena from first base. In the 5th, longtime Ray Rocco Baldelli got a go-ahead single to score Willie Aybar. Aybar then added a HR in the 7th to give Tampa some insurance.
Matt Garza was named ALCS MVP for his performance in the series (2-0 1.38 ERA). He pitched into the 8th inning giving up just 1 run.
“As a kid I think everybody pictures this night,” he said. “Usually it’s Game 7 of the World Series but I’ll take Game 7 of the ALCS.”
A couple big plays in the game: in the top of the 6th with Pedoria on first and a 3-2 pitch to David Ortiz, Garza struck out Ortiz and Dioneer Navarro threw to second to nail Pedoria trying to steal, inning over. Then in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded and 2 outs, Tampa manager Joe Maddon brought in phemon David Price, the 4th Tampa Bay pitcher of the inning. He came in and struck out Game 5 hero JD Drew, inning and rally over. The Rays finally punched their ticket to the Fall Classic. It was a few days later than expected but it was worth the wait.
“It’s unbelievable,” center fielder B.J. Upton said. “We battled a lot of adversity this year. We stuck together as a team.”
Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Cinderella story continues. They will face the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday in Tampa for Game 1 of the 2008 World Series. I'm glad I was correct with my prediction of the Rays winning in 7. It brings great joy to me to see Boston get their hopes up only for them to get crushed right in front of my eyes. Maybe if they still had Manny this series would've gone differently. No more about how scrappy Pedoria is or how Big Papi delivers the big hit, no more Papelbum nonsense. Nothing! Time to go home guys, you are NO better than my NY Yankees. I don't care how far they got, they didn't win it all and thats all that matters.
The World Series should be interesting this year as both teams are well matched. More on that later in the week.