Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rays Sting Red Sox to the Brink

Joe Maddon knows the history. He has seen what the Red Sox have done in the past. A comeback from a 3-0 deficit to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS that led to a World Series championship. A comeback from a 3-1 deficit to the Indians in last year's ALCS that led to another title. After last night's Rays 13-4 blow out of the Red Sox, Maddon's Tampa squad is in the same position. An American League pennant is in their grasp. Now they have to finish it off.

Carl Crawford (5) and Willy Aybar (4) combined to out hit the Red Sox (7) last night as Tim Wakefield knuckled under. For the second straight game the Rays scored early and often, and didn't let up. Wakefield didn't make it out of the third inning and was charged with five earned runs. Manny DelCarmen gave up the same amount in just a third of an inning. Meanwhile, Andy Sonnanstine gave the bullpen a rest with a solid 7.1 innings pitched.

Carlos Pena ignited the Rays attack with a 2-run home run in the first and Evan Longoria added a solo shot. Aybar, who drove in 5 runs, also homered.

Box Score

But beware Rays. The Yankees won game 3 of the 2004 ALCS, 19-8. Getting that last victory is not a given.

James Shields was originally slated to start game 5, but Joe Maddon has switched to Scott Kazmir instead. Kazmir was hammered in game 2, and all season, by the Sox, but we understand the thinking here. If Kazmir loses, Maddon will still have Shields, who pitched very well in losing game 1, to try to close things out at home in game 6.

The Red Sox will be without third baseman Mike Lowell for the rest of the season. Last year's WS MVP has opted for season ending hip surgery on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Can anyone please tell me where to sign up to whack Joe Maddon on the head?
    The last thing I want to see is a Phillies vs. Red Sox World Series.
    And Mr. Maddon was not helping at all.