Rays 3, Red Sox 1: Whew. Why Matt Garza (7 IP, 2 H 1 ER, 9K) has been letting Shields and Kazmir get away with being called the aces of this staff is beyond me. And I've said it before, but after all of the trouble in the regular season, it's great to see Rocco Baldelli playing a key role in the postseason, especailly getting what turned out to be the hit that put the Rays in the World Series.
As they say, life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards. Looking back, the better team won (the Rays outscored Boston in the series by a pretty hefty margin). Looking back, the scare the Sox put into the Rays in game 5-6 was a fitting reminder to everyone that, hey, they were still the defending champs, and no matter how hobbled they looked at times in the postseason, they remained formidable.
But this is the Rays' moment, of course. They beat baseball's two greatest powerhouses in a 162-game marathon. They soundly thrashed a White Sox team that seemed to have gotten hot at the right time and, right down to the play-in game victory, was doing a fairly decent 2007 Rockies impression. Then they vanquished the Red Sox once again.
I'm just as tired of hearing about the AL's superiority over the NL as you are, but every one of my senses tells me that we just saw the best two teams in baseball play a dramatic and decisive seven game series that will render this business that is to begin Wednesday night a tad anticlimactic. That's not a prediction as such -- remember, I really don't believe in those -- but does represent my general sense that the Rays are on the verge of a championship.