Watching this you couldn’t ask for much more. We caught parts of the ballgame, missing the beginning and the ending. This was the game of the series that all great ALCS seem to have. One of those homecoming night, 5 hour 27 minute marathons that ends with the home team winning and you happy that you told your would-be homecoming date that you were sick to your stomach (which is what we did in 9th grade so we could watch Omar Vizquel touch home in that 2-1 marathon ALCS over Baltimore back in 1997).
This one will always be remembered as the young guns of the Rays outslugging the mighty Red Sox for their first ALCS win in league history. If you’re a Rays fan right now, does it honestly get any better than this? You wake up this sunday morning and you are the story in all of sports. Not just the story, but everyone’s feel good story. No different than they’ve been all year, but it seems that people are picking up that story and reading it from coast to coast right now.
The Rays get home runs from their headline players Evan Longoria and BJ Upton, as well as old man Cliff Floyd. You think when Floyd signed with Tampa he ever thought he’d hit another postseason home run? The Red Sox got 2 from Dustin Pedroia, one from Jason Bay and Kevin Youkilis each.
After all the home runs and extra base hits in this slugfest, it was Upton’s sacrifice fly in the 11th inning off Mike Timlin that brought home the victory for the Rays. A capacity crowd of 34,904 was on hand to rock that unlikely site down in Tampa as the Rays had done it. They’d really stood toe to toe all saturday night with the Boston Red Sox, and came out with a win. Suddenly it didn’t seem so far fetched anymore did it? The Rays
actually are the better team of these two. The Rays should win the series, and it wouldn’t be slamming the Red Sox in any way to think that might happen. This is an outstanding and once in a lifetime team in Tampa Bay right now.
Watching the Red Sox strand 13 runners and waste four homers, Boston fans were left asking one vital question: What’s up with Josh Beckett? He was Bob Gibson in October 2007. Now he is John Wasdin in October 2008.
The Red Sox already knew they would have to defend their World Series crown without Mike Lowell. Come to find out, they’re going to have to do it without Josh Beckett, too. Or at least the Josh Beckett to which they’ve become accustomed. Because this Josh Beckett is not that Josh Beckett. Not even close.