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American League Championship Series, Game 7

19

October

Done deal

Your baseball team is going to the World Series. You, of course, understand how precious that is. You need to do something to celebrate.
Turn the home theatre to 50. Wake up the kids and let them see you acting like a total maniac over a game. Walk out into the front yard and bay at the moon. Introduce yourself to that neighbor you only nod at on the way into the garage. Give them a beer and bay at the moon together.
Your baseball team is going to the World Series.
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Tampa Bay synergy

Just got a text saying there is a "Let's Go Rays" chant rising up at the Bucs game.

Off the Matt

Matt Garza has been nails - except for one pitch - for five innings. He has the lead. He has the ball. He has the road map to the World Series. How's he going to respond?

One third down: 1-0, Red Sox

Matt Garza has made one mistake, a costly one, hanging a changeup that Dustin Pedroia lined out to left in the first inning. Otherwise, he's throwing daggers. Trouble is for the Rays, Boston's Jon Lester is even better. He has a no-hitter through three. He lost Game 3 to the Rays and hasn't lost consecutive decisions all year. Game 7.

I really hoped this wouldn't be needed, but the negativity is getting to me. Now click this video and buck up.

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Matt Garza ...

... started this game looking like he was up in the Grant Balfour stratosphere of pumpitude, humming fastballs by the Red Sox. After getting burned by the chest-high changeup to Pedroia, he appears back on the beam and is looking very strong.

Jason Bay ...

... has the most unflattering video board mug ever. His head is squashed and he looks like one of the gray aliens from the X-Files.

Where did he go?

Although four of his six hits in the series have been home runs, Evan Longoria is batting just .250 in the ALCS. The Boston Herald claims he wrote the series off last week.

Instant dividends

Have to figure there's no chance Gabe Gross catches Kevin Youkilis' angler into the right-field corner.

Someone's earning their way to the World Series tonight. It could be the Rays, but the weight of a two-game losing streak and a Game 5 collapse a handful of outs from the Series may be taking its toll. It could be the Red Sox, but can they really come from 3-1 down two years in a row to win the American League pennant?

Mr. Foreshadowing

Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis, on Sept. 16, on whether it mattered if his team caught the Rays and won the AL East.

"It doesn’t matter. There’s no difference. You’ve got to play, win a best of five and go from there. The way baseball is set up, any team can win once you get in the playoffs."

Sign of the times?

The iconic Citgo sign beyond the Green Monster at Fenway Park briefly caught fire last week and the Red Sox rallied after three straight losses to stay alive in the ALCS. It isn't exactly sizzling, but the bottom half of the "O" in the Tropicana sign at the Trop is on the blink. The question is: is it half empty or half full?

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How's your gut out there? What had you more in knots, this, the Lightning's Stanley Cup Game 7, or the Bucs' Super Bowl against the Raiders?

The lineups

Boston

Crisp CF

Pedroia 2B

Ortiz DH

Youkilis 3B

Drew RF

Bay LF

Kotsay 1B

Varitek C

Cora SS

Lester LHP

The Rays

Iwamura 2B

Upton CF

Pena 1B

Longoria 3B

Crawford LF

Aybar DH

Navarro C

Baldelli RF

Bartlett SS

Garza RHP

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:42am]

    

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