Monday, October 20, 2008

And That Happened

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.

3 comments:

Rob said...

This wasn't the knock-down drag-out street fight that was the 2003 ALCS, but I wonder if the Phillies won't end up playing the part of the Florida Marlins and pick apart a beat up, emotionally exhausted team.

Rob said...

Also, let me reiterate that it's ridiculous that teams are allowed to insert players on the postseason roster who never played for the team before September 1. This wasn't K-Rod with the Angels in 2002, but in a close series between two evenly matched teams, that small advantage at key moments of Game 2 and Game 7 is what turned the tide for the Rays.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

Hold on, the Phillies have this really great left-hander who's been lights out so far in the playoffs, and he'll pitch two games in the series at least. Oh wait ...