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American League Championship Series, Game 5



6 ouuuuuch

"When you got somebody down, you can't let them breathe and this was a breath for us."


6 outs ...

... and the Rays are in the World Series.

Start engraving that MVP trophy

That's 'B.J.'

Finally, some Dropkick Murphys ....

... but not in the way the Sox would have hoped. Jonathan Papelbon is in, his intro music blaring, but there's no save to nail down here.


Certainly, Scott Kazmir has deserved the criticism for his inconsistencies, but what about the symmetry of this? He was the first to say this team could make the playoffs. He earned the win in the post-season clincher on Sept. 20.

The Rays apparently smell blood ...

... and like it. Double steal, 4-for-4, and runners in scoring position.

Kazmir battled nicely out of that jam. Not getting the check swing call on Crisp (good call, by the way) could have been one of those little concentration-lapse triggers, but he stuck with it. Facing Pedroia there would have been bad. Very bad.

24 outs ...

... and the Rays are in the World Series.

No no-hitter drama this time

Akinori Iwamura leads off the game with a single to right. Daisuke Matsuzaka took a no-hitter into the seventh in Game One.

And there goes the shutout

B.J. Upton continues his postseason homer orgy: his sixth just went into those sweet, sweet seats above the Green Monster.

The vibe

Red Sox players certainly aren't surrendering, but their fans have moved from grief to denial, to anger and now acceptance. They fully expect the Rays to finsh the best-of-seven series soon, though they hold out hope with Scott Kazmir on the mound for Tampa Bay that they can keep from being swept out of the ALCS at Fenway Park. It's not over, but this ain't your daddy's Red Sox, either.

Remember Ozzie Guillen's line about not waking the dog when the Rays had a chance to close the ALDS? It still applies. The Rays would be wise to to heed Axl.

Left: Ben Franklin is so bummed he's retrenching in Philadelphia and massing support to defend the city against the Rays there. Bottom: Red Sox World Series souvenirs are priced to move on The Freedom Trail.

101608_1152  101608_1242_2 --- BRANT JAMES

Rays lineup

Iwamura - 2B

Upton - CF

Pena - 1B

Longoria - 3B

Crawford - LF

Floyd - DH

Navarro - C

Gross - RF

Bartlett - SS

Buzz-free zone

There's a decided lack of crackle here tonight. Not much of a sense of urgency among the Red Sox during warm-ups and the Rays seem pretty calm. Many of the fans milling about are talking about some of their friends opted not to come out tonight.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:41am]


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