Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Maddon confident Rays won't be cowed by atmosphere

BOSTON — The fans were loud, the atmosphere electric and the ALCS stage a bit intimidating for the Rays — and that was for Friday's opener at friendly Tropicana Field.

All will be even more so today, when the series, now tied at 1, resumes at historic, and raucous, Fenway Park.

But manager Joe Maddon is confident his Rays will be able to handle it.

"Getting by that first game was important," Maddon said Sunday. "It's going to be kind of crazy (today) being the first game of the series (in Boston). Getting through that first moment at home is going to help us get through that first moment here better, I think.

"That, and having played here so often matters. And the recent success matters. I think there's going to be an initial like, 'Whoa,' but then I think we're going to get rid of it a lot more quickly."

What should also help, Maddon said, is the confidence the Rays built from winning back-to-back games here, and dramatically, in September, ending a nine-game Fenway losing streak. Overall, the Rays are 25-68 in Boston, and the September series was the first they won in a span of 26.

"I really believe our guys when they walk in this clubhouse now; they walk in and they see it differently," Maddon said.

MATT ON THE MARK: In the AL Division Series, Matt Garza broke from his seasonlong policy of not talking to the media the day before a start. He didn't pitch particularly well in Chicago, so it's no surprise he went back to his old routine.

Speaking after Game 2 at the Trop rather than at the usual off-day media session in Boston on Sunday, Garza said he similarly hopes to return to the form that allowed him to go 11-9, 3.70 in his first full major-league season.

"I'm ready to go; I've been waiting for this opportunity for a while," he said. "Last start was just a lack of execution. Hopefully I have the same stuff."

Most of the talk going into today's game has been about Sox starter Jon Lester, which left Garza sounding a bit defensive.

"Lester's had a great year this year," Garza said. "But my year wasn't that bad, either. These are great pitchers, he's had a lot of success this year. But myself on the road, I've had a lot of success too, especially against Boston. I'll go in confident like I am and see what happens after nine."

PRICE CLUB: Rays rookie LHP David Price earned his first major-league win in Saturday's game, and a rare distinction. He is one of only four pitchers, according to Stats, Inc., to get a win in a postseason game before a regular-season game.

The other three: Odalis Perez, for Atlanta in 1998; Francisco Rodriguez, for Anaheim in 2002; and Josh Kinney, for St. Louis in 2006.

WHEELS UP? Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey will check today with RHP Dan Wheeler to discuss his availability after he threw 48 pitches over 31/3 innings Saturday. "I would be surprised if he wasn't available," Hickey said.

MISCELLANY: The Rays pushed their Sunday afternoon flight to Boston back two hours and canceled their scheduled workout. … Maddon plans to start Rocco Baldelli in right today with Willy Aybar at DH. … Maddon plans to stick with struggling starter Scott Kazmir.

Maddon confident Rays won't be cowed by atmosphere 10/12/08 [Last modified: Monday, October 13, 2008 6:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  2. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  3. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  4. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …

    Twitter
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi had to battle without his best stuff again, which is becoming a more common occurrence, leading to long at-bats — including 13 pitches to Kennys Vargas in the fifth — and running up his pitch count to 118 without finishing the sixth.