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Tampa Bay Rays & Boston Red Sox: ALCS: Game 5
Not All Sunshine & Lollipops
So for those of you who turn it off or went home after B.J. Upton banked a shot off the Green Monster in the top of the 7th, boy, did you miss a good one.
In the 1st inning, B.J. Upton slams a two-run HR and most of us said "here we go again, they are back at." After the last two games, the Rays have put a unheard of beat down to the Red Sox in their own home in Fenway. Then again, in the 3rd inning, Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria went back to back with home runs for the second straight game. The last nail in the coffin seemed like a sure thing up to this point. To top that off, Scott Kazmir was pitching a gem with 7 K's, 2 walks, no earned runs, and 2 hits allowed for 6 Innings pitched. Now remember the hype around Joe Maddon switching Kaz & Shieldzy in this game and how everyone said that pitching Kaz was a mistake. Then in the top of the 7th, B.J. Upton hit a bullet that banked off the Green Monster with 2 runners on. The sound from the ball hitting the wall echoed throughout the park as the faces of all the Red Sox fans shown the assumable fate of the team. They were down 7-0. Then Joe Maddon goes the bullpen, who has carried the Rays all year and is contributed for a lot of their success. So, no worries right? Well Big Papi homered in the bottom of 7th with runners on, and now you have a 7-4 score and the fans came alive. They were on their feet rooting their team on. As for this century, the Red Sox have not been an underdog or a curse over their head like in the last one. Then in the 8th, J.D. Drew homers with a runner on the make it 7-6. Now it is crazy at Fenway, as they are rocking the house. The Rays came into Fenway with the series tied 1-1 and it seemed completely unconceivable that the Rays have come into Fenway and on a verge of a sweep in Fenway in the Postseason. So everyone was hysterical in Fenway on their feet and cheering the Red Sox on. In the most ironic thing of the night in my mind was to have Coco Crisp, who had an altercation with the Rays earlier in the season, fight off a 10 pitch at-bat to score the tying run. Terry Francona's move to bring Papelbon proved to be a good move in the end. He stops the bleeding then allows Justin Masterson to finish off the 9th inning. As for the Rays' bullpen, Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, and J.P. Howell had a combined 9 hits, 9 earned runs, 2 walks, and only 2 K's in 3 innings of work. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Evan Longoria grabbed a ground ball that not many third baseman could get has a bad throw that allows another runner on base that led to J.D. Drew's base hit that scored the winning run, meaning that the series will continue and a game 6 will be necessary.
See ya in the Trop on Saturday for another great one...