Tagged: Aki Iwamura

ALCS game 3 – You ain’t never going to keep them down

I’m not even sure why I still get surprised at games like last night’s. I mean, this is just what the 2008 Rays do. They take a situation where they’re supposed to fold, supposed to be overwhelmed, and they come right out swinging their bats, making their pitches, and generally taking the game right to the opposition. And they keep winning. Its a crazy, crazy thing that these Rays have got going on.

With Jon Lester making the start for the Sox, the prospects for a Rays win weren’t exactly promising. Not only had Lester not been beaten at Fenway since April, but he had never lost to the Rays (indeed, Boston had never lost a game to the Rays in which he pitched) and he was working on an impressive 20+ inning streak of postseason baseball without allowing an earned run.

But its the Rays. The 2008 Rays. So you can throw all that out the window.

It all started fairly innocuously. After a first inning that Lester sailed through 1-2-3, Evan Longoria led off the second with a walk…

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ALDS game 3 – Not over yet

The recipe was almost the same. An early deficit. A battling comeback. All that was missing was the happy ending.

Winning at the Trop against an experienced Chicago team is one thing. Doing so at a raucous US Cellular Field is quite another. Yet, that being said, the Rays made another good go of it last night in a rain-delayed, must-win game for the Sox.

We actually got on the board first thanks to an RBI-infield single from Aki Iwamura in the second. Perhaps a sign of things to come had already been shown at that stage however, as we left two men aboard in each of the first two innings against an impressive John Danks…

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ALDS game 2 – Perseverance, thy name is Rays

Scott Kazmir was asked in the lead up to yesterday’s game which Scott Kazmir would show up for game 2 of the American League Division Series.

“Hopefully the good Scott Kazmir”

Uh-huh. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the first, the good Scott Kazmir was looking like a distant dream. (Just for the record, I don’t agree with Harold Reynolds’ assertion that Kaz hit leadoff man Orlando Cabrera on purpose in retaliation for Thursday’s war of words. I think it was a pure lack of control early on.).

By the time Scotty K had gotten out of the first, he had thrown 37 pitches and faced 8 White Sox hitters. The good (nay, amazing) news was that he had limited them to just two runs…

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ALDS game 1 – Welcome to the postseason Mr Longoria

I’m willing to bet that there’s not many people out there who had remembered that Gary Gaetti hit homeruns in each of his first two postseason at-bats.

Something tells me that you’re going to remember that Evan did it.

Because this 22-year-old rookie is a bit special. I mean, he missed a whole month of the season through injury, yet still led all rookies in homeruns. He hit three longballs in one game, just a couple of weeks after his return from a fractured wrist. And now this.

First pitch – homerun. Third pitch – homerun. Then an RBI single, a walk and just for good measure a stolen base. Just your average sort of day when your name is Evan Longoria

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Not the answer you might expect

The question? You have two pitching duels, AJ Burnett against James Shields, and Roy Halladay against Matt Garza. Who is going to come out on top?

I’m betting most people would pick the Jays’ hurlers to get the better of things nine times out of ten. Well, not this week. This week, two out of two have gone to the Rays.

Friday night, it was James Shields on the hill, looking to end our 7-game losing skid, and get the second half off to a good start. And boy did he ever do it…

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And Sonny makes 10

As it turns out, Zack Grienke is a pretty good pitcher indeed. Not quite good enough to stop the rolling Rays, however.

From a offensive show friday night, we moved to a pitching spectacular last night, with probably the rotation’s biggest surprise this year, Andy Sonnanstine, on the hill. I don’t think Sonny would be offended if I were to say that he was the least of the Rays’ five, in terms of pure natural ability. But he does have something really very special. A knack of getting the job done…

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Don’t mess with us

Due to various things going on I got to watch exactly five innings of the Rays-Red Sox series. And, considering it resulted in a second Fenway-sweep of the year, thats not a bad things.

But one of the five innings was inning two of game three, perhaps the most significant of the series. I had seen, of course, the highlights of the controversy in game two. Now, maybe I’m biased, but Coco Crisp’s slide on Aki was completely unjustified. It was out of order.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, let me recap…

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