"Pedigree matters. The Red Sox are the defending champions. They always come to play nine innings, and if it takes the greatest postseason comeback in 79 years to stay alive, then they will give you the greatest postgame comeback in 79 years. Got that, Rays? … For every dramatic comeback winner there is a dramatic comeback loser. And if the Red Sox somehow manage to win Games 6 and 7, the Rays will have to live with the memory of a major lost opportunity. They will be part of baseball lore, and not in a way anyone wants. Joe Maddon now has a little fatherly work to do with his young Rays."
Bob Ryan, Boston Globe
"The catatonic Rays have to be doubting themselves after watching their World Series tickets dissolve in Fenway's midnight madness. If you are a Rays fans, you have to worry. The young bucks choked the way few have choked before. They were inches from a clean getaway, a Fenway sweep that would have embarrassed the defending world champs and elevated the Tampa team to elite status. And they coughed it all up in three ridiculous innings."
Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe
"So now the young Rays have learned what the Yankees and the Indians were taught. You don't win a seven-game series from the Red Sox by leading three games to one. You don't win it leading three games to one and 7-0, either. … It is old magic by now, like seeing the rabbit come out of the hat for the 100th time, but who cares? The Sox are still playing, and the Tampa Bay Rays better understand now what they are up against. They are up against a team that understands what winning is all about. It's about winning one game even when you need three. Winning one game even when you need two. One game. That's what the ALCS is now down to for the Red Sox."
Ron Borges, Boston Herald
"The Rays were abandoned by the attributes that got them here. They got sloppy defensively, grounded into a killer double play and their bullpen, one of the best in the game, completely failed. So flawless in their execution all series, following (David) Ortiz's homer the Rays fell apart."
John Tomase, Boston Herald
"The question now is whether the Rays will be able to hold on. They still lead the ALCS 3-2 with the series returning to Tampa Bay. The franchise has known very little but misery since its inception in 1997. Compared to the Cubs' 100 years of misery, it's amateur hour, but it's nothing to dismiss. If your history is loaded with failure, it doesn't go away automatically with a 97-victory regular season. … When Tampa Bay was beating the White Sox in a recent AL Division Series, I referred to the Rays as 'remarkably unremarkable.' Will you give me a mulligan? They're relentless, remarkably so. But now they really have to prove it."
Rick Morrissey, Chicago Tribune
"Regardless of what (Grant) Balfour did back in June or August, he is not pitching well this series. He hit the first batter he faced in Game 1, did not retire a batter in Game 2 and allowed a double, two singles and a run in the seventh before (David) Ortiz stepped to the plate. (Rays manager Joe) Maddon needed to get him out of there even if he didn't have an effective lefty in the bullpen — and he had three. And two of them — (J.P.) Howell and Trever Miller — have held Ortiz to two hits in 20 at-bats. Yet Maddon not only did not bring one of them in to face Boston's most feared hitter, he didn't even have either one warming up. Nor did Maddon use a lefty to face (J.D.) Drew in the eighth, when right-handed closer Dan Wheeler gave up a two-run blast that made it 7-6. And then it was effectively too late."
Jim Caple, ESPN.com