American League Championship Series, Game 4
27 outs from the World Series
Rays take another at Fenway Park, 13-4. Take tomorrow off. You deserve it.
(Pictured, above: Willy Aybar hits a two-run homer in the third inning, giving the Rays a 5-0 lead. Times photo -- Brian Cassella.)
30 outs from the World Series
Drip, drip, drip ...
There's a feeling of inevitability around these parts right now. Sonnanstine just keeps logging outs. He's retired 12 straight since the Cash home run. Getting desperate here. They usually jam good tunes on the Fenway PA, but they've reverted to Journey.
Five innings in the books
Sonnanstine has allowed just two hits and has settled in. Manny Delcarmen in to pitch for Boston and manager Terry Francona can afford to burn some innings with an idle day tomorrow.
All of this poses the question. Do you SERIOUSLY BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING?
... a lot like the guy who hammer-locked the White Sox in Game 4 of the ALDS.
Wakefield is removed. Masterson entering, which means things get tougher.
And I'd have to check this, but somebody must have moved home plate closer to the Green Monster. Plate techtonics. Something. Willy Aybar's homer just soared out of here.
(Pictured, left: Andy Sonnanstine. Times photo -- Brian Cassella.)
Interesting insight into the Red Sox Nation pysche.
Click down to "Confidence Meter"
Not to nitpick ...
... but the Rays just let Wakefield off with a four-pitch inning.
What we learned in just a half inning:
+ The Rays can hit rolled-up socks (except for Iwamura, Aybar and Perez).
+ The Red Sox are seemingly defenseless against the Rays' run game with Wakefield on the mound. Upton stole standing up, gliding in, and Crawford took third on a closer play.
(Pictured, right: Tim Wakefield. Times photo -- Brian Cassella.)
The knucker ain't a-knucklin ...
... more so soaring.
And bullpen activity for Boston.
Game time (whoo)
All right, let's get some predictions.
Oh, and a side note. This place will be sold out tonight, but the crowd is very late in arriving. Thousands of red seats in the upper levels are exposed. Boston traffic is awful, but come on. The White Sox "blackout" put these guys to shame.
Does this pitch stand between the Rays and a 3-1 lead in the American League Championship Series?
5:05 p.m., Boston, Mass.: The Red Sox are stretching in one of the few remaining sun-washed corners of Fenway Park and the Rays have yet to take the field as the teams ready for Game 4. Tampa Bay can take a 3-1 lead in the series if Andy Sonnanstine replicates his effort of Game 4 of the ALDS against Chicago.
The wind is blowing out, which might make Tim Wakefield's wiffle -- er, -- knuckleball dance like drop of water on a red-hot frying pan. Or it might flatten it out for walloping off the Green Monster. That's why they play the game, right?
--- BRANT JAMES