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THE GOOD: The Monster. Think we could get one of those in the Trop for next season? In 2 games the Rays have hit 7 home runs over the Monster and have added many more dents to its face…Chasing Tim Wakefield early. Too many at bats against a knuckleballer can mess with a player’s swing…With runners on first and third with 1 out in the 2nd inning, after an error by Evan Longoria allowed Jason Bay to reach second base with the score 3-0, the Red Sox were threatening to get back in the game. The threat was answered by Aki Iwamura and Jason Bartlett turning a beautiful double-play. Aki flipped the ball to Bartlett with his glove, knowing the speedy CooCoo Crisp was running to first. If Aki tries to toss the ball, they might not turn two and Bay would have scored. Instead, the Rays scored 2 more in the top of 3rd extending their lead…Our pre-game pick for the “Todd Kalas Pimp Daddy Performer of the Game” was Carl Crawford and he did not disappoint. CC became just the third player to go 5-5 in an LCS game…Andy Sonnanstine. After giving up a solo home run, The Duke retired 12 in a row before a lead off triple by Big Papi in the 7th. And they call James Shields, “Big Game”?
THE BAD: Red Sox fans with reverse Mohawks. Find it funny that those Sox fans could only “react” to something Rays fans were doing. Guess they couldn’t come up with their own thing…Edwin Jackson. We saw the good and bad of Jackson last night. He faced 6 batters last night, walking 2 and striking out 4 regularly reaching 98-99 on the gun. Not sure if our heart could handle that in the late innings of a close game.
THE TELLING: The debate now is James Shields or Scott Kazmir in game 5. We were leaning towards Kaz, but now we are having second thoughts. Why not use Shields and go for the kill. Don’t let the Sox up from the hole and give them any hope…Prior to game 2 we overheard one Rays executive hoping that the series would return to the Trop for a game 6 and even a game 7. We hope he doesn’t mind if the next game at the Trop is a World Series game…During game 2 we were sitting fairly close to the field and no matter what Jason Bay would do, Mrs. Prof would start yelling “Manny would have hit a homer.” You would think it would get old. It doesn’t…The Rays have now won 4 straight in Fenway…Even though it was “Light’s Out Night” on TBS, we were still able to find the fridge (and the beer)…According to CoolStandings.com the Rays now have a 88.9% chance of winning the ALCS and a 49.0% chance of winning the World Series. The Phillies are second at 41.3%.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, we ran a bunch of “Webtopia” links in the evening “Happy Hour” feature. [Rays Index]
- This week’s winner of the “No S#!t Sherlock” Award goes to Peter Gammons for the title, “Rays better than originally thought.” [ESPN]
- And this week’s winner for dumbest question in an interview goes to Ryan Fagan for asking David Price, “Do you think the pressure of pitching in the playoffs with Class AAA Durham help prepare you for joining the Rays?” [Sporting News]
- Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe says the Rays will probably win the ALCS and Red Sox fans need to realize that, “The Tampa Bay Rays are not just good, but young good.” [Boston Globe]
- Babes Love Baseball have a new feature on Evan Longoria. [Babes Love Baseball]
- Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald wonders why the Red Sox pitchers are not brushing the Rays hitters off the plate, thinking they are too comfortable. [Boston Herald]
- Marc Lancaster says Andy Sonnanstine is at his best when the Rays have a big lead. [Tampa Tribune]
- Gary Shelton notes that runs are supposed to be tougher to come by in the postseason and yet the Rays have turned into a powerhouse. [St. Pete Times]
- Female Rays fans are better than female Red Sox fans. [Bugs and Cranks]
- Tickets were actually easier to get in Fenway last night than they were in the Trop for games 1 and 2. [St. Pete Times]
- The New York Times takes a look at how Carlos Pena’s family made the journey to the US when he was a child. [New York Times]
- The Boston Globe has a feature piece on Carlos Pena. [Boston Globe]
- Does Big Papi miss Manny? [Boston Dirt Dogs]
- Transcripts from Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference. [MLB]
- Transcripts from Carl Crawford and Andy Sonnanstine’s post-game press conferences. [MLB]
- Red Sox fans retreated to their woobie at least once last night, chanting “Yankees Suck”…Yes. Yes they do. [The Sporting News]
- Sully Baseball tries hard to put a positive spin on the Red Sox loss…We got one. At least you aren’t a Yankees fan. [Sully Baseball]