Sunday, October 19

Sox Can't Complete Comeback, Rays Pass Final Test

I knew when I woke up today that I had the responsibility of writing ITM's wrap up post, and along with that, faced the possibility of also wrapping up Boston's season. I just didn't think I'd have to.

The Rays had to wait a few extra games to close out the series and celebrate, but they pulled it off tonight with a 3-1 victory. I'll keep this post short since we all watched the game. It was a well played and well coached close game. The way it should be. Both starters found their groves and settled in, but Matt Garza proved to have the better stuff in the end. It was a game that had me on the edge of my seat and screaming at the TV multiple times (then again, I do that during spring training scrimmages against Northeastern). For the Red Sox, the game was all but lost in the 8th inning when JD Drew struck out on a check swing with the bases loaded...the Trop erupted, and my stomach dropped. Given the situation, JD was the guy we all wanted at the plate, but Boston's inability to swing the bat well with runners in scoring position finally caught up with them tonight.

Maybe it was because it was game 7, but at no other point in the playoffs have I thought about Mike Lowell more. Missing his bat in the lineup really hurt this team, as well as Kotsay played, having Lowell's name on the lineup card could have given the Sox the offensive depth to pull this thing off, but it simply wasn't meant to be.

The Red Sox made a valiant effort in this series, pushed the Rays to a 7th game, but in the end, couldn't find that timely hit to complete the comeback. Boston deserves their credit, they didn't lay down and showed a lot of heart by pushing the series to an exciting end. When the game was just beginning, TBS was showing the Red Sox defense...I looked it over and thought to myself, "how are we still playing right now?" Turns out that feeling made sense in the end.

I have no ill will towards the Rays players (although the fans and their cowbells is an entirely different story). They earned their trip to the world series. They have proved everyone wrong all year and tonight passed the biggest test yet, beating the defending champs and moving on to the biggest show in the sport. I think they are a great team with amazing balance and an insanely high ceiling. As mad as MLB and the networks are about having a Rays/Phillies series, I'll be watching, and hoping the Rays take it home.

Lastly, ITM will simply not go into hibernation now that the Red Sox season is over. We'll be looking at trade possibilities, ways to improve, player contract options and negotiations over the offseason. Be sure to check in regularly for updates.
....go Sox.


Amanda said...

"I have no ill will towards the Rays players (although the fans and their cowbells is an entirely different story)"
Seriously, amazing series. I'm sure you all are good enough fans to know this, but you should be DAMN proud of your boys. They could have folded after games 2 and 3, but they fought like mad. And hell, 7 games in the ALCS? Not too shabby.
Oh, and one more thing... I expect to collect on those beers, guys.
(Really, it's been a treat chatting with all of you. Class acts.)

Dale Sams said...

Sox showed tons of heart and went out like winners. Rays are an excellent, well-balanced team and will beat the hell out of the Phils.

Here's to the Sox of '08!

Rich V said...

Nice work ITM. Although this isn't the end to the blog madness that has become ITM, it has been a pleasure reading the posts. Even my boy T. Murphy proved he can put together sentences past the third grade level. Its going to be an interesting off season....did we see Tek's last game as a Sox??? Jake Peavy....they are looking for a starting centerfielder in return....Coco

Soxin09'now??? said...

Does this mean I have to change my name? Damn it. You said it right though, a great game, the way it should be.

Lots of questions for the hot stove this winter.

Good luck to the Rays in the Series, they should smoke Philly.

Joe Murph said...

Congrats to the Rays and their fans. Bummed as I was after the game, the excitement of a pile of mohawked 24 year olds falling all over the pitcher's mound and spraying champagne was not lost on me. This series was good for the AL East and good for baseball. It just wasn't good for me. Great series, great team. I'm excited to face you guys again next season and to see the further amping up of the rivalry.

And also, I would greatly appreciate it---very serious---Rays fans, if you'd check back in to ITM the day after the Series ends and tell me what your first thoughts are. In '04 and '07, I was surprised that the elation was there, but it was at a sustained, almost ambient level. The very first thing that came to my mind after '04 was this---Contracts. Who do we have? Who do we need? So let's keep it up over the winter. I can't wait 'til the GMs meeting.

Tim Murphy said...

I think the better team did win the series, however I thought the Red Sox could have won it as well. I'm not going to lay out all the reasons or excuses about why we lost, just that I'm disappointd.

I had a lot of fun blogging about the Sox and I'm sad they aren't playing baseball any more, but the Red Sox hot stove is unlike any other offseason. I look forward to the free agency period and seeing how Theo will revamp the roster for the 2009 season.

Congrats to Tampa, I'm routing for the Phillies though, their fans have suffered and don't have cow bells.

D Vicino said...

I agree that despite all the problems this team had over the year, they still managed to grind their way to a game 7 in the ALCS and gave us some great entertainment while doing so.

And just think, it could be worse, your team could have had a relatively insignificant season and your "stud" pitcher could have just got picked up for DUI.

The AL East is going to be stacked next year...time to start thinking about it now.

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