DAVID PRICE

THE RAYS and A ONE WAY
TICKET TO "MANNY-WOOD" ...
 2008 ALCS, GAME #7
Garza and Price
send the Sox packing

October 19, 2008 ... They stole Game 5 at Fenway last week, then overwhelmed the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday night. When Dustin Pedroia homered in the first inning of Game 7 tonight, the young Rays were ready to fold. Jon Lester had a perfect game and a 1-0 lead after three.

Bring on the Phillies. Read all about the Red Sox dynasty of the 21st century. Not tonight, because the Rays sent Red Sox Nation into winter with a righteous 3-1 victory at Tropicana Field. Matt Garza, a 24-year-old righty from Fresno State, blinded the Red Sox on two hits over seven innings and David Price, a rookie with five big league games on his resume, sealed the deal in the eighth and ninth. The World Series opens Wednesday night at the Trop.

There, on the turf of Tropicana Field, was where it ended for this season. As far as they had returned from the depths, the Sox would not make it all the way back. There would be no happy ending this time. No champagne-splashed comeback, no history made. With the odds against the Tampa Bay Rays, they wouldn't let the Red Sox finish them on this winner-take-all night, taking a victory from the defending world champions to win the American League pennant, four games to three.

So, yes, in an incredible dream season, a season that finally made believers of the sun-kissed Florida fans, the Rays will meet the Phillies in the World Series.

The Sox, with all their injuries and offensive woes, couldn't find a way to win one more game. They couldn't find a way to win Game 7. For the Rays, thanks goes to a gritty and gutty performance by starter Matt Garza, who allowed two hits in seven innings, the only damage a Dustin Pedroia solo home run in the first inning. The Red Sox had come back from being down in the series, 3-1. But they could go no farther, the pile of Rays near the pitchers' mound evidence that the Sox were bound for vacation.

From Garza to David Price, it was there. With 118 pitches, one shy of his season high, Garza walked off the mound toward the dugout, and the World Series. He got a standing ovation, the crowd of 40,473 threatening to blow out eardrums around the park. A parade of relievers followed, from Dan Wheeler to J.P. Howell to Chad Bradford to David Price.

Jon Lester was removed from the game in which he'd done just enough to lose. In a season in which Lester grew into his role as the Sox ace, certainly of the postseason, he ended it with another stellar performance. It just wasn't good enough. A 3-and-2 pitch to Willy Aybar in the seventh that sailed into the left-field stands to give the Rays a 3-1 lead was the only true mistake Lester said he made.

WILLY AYBAR

One of the downs for Lester came on another Aybar moment, this one in the fifth inning, as teammates screamed from the dugout as he rounded third and headed home to give the Rays their first lead of the game. So they urged him on, as Jason Bay collected the ground ball to left field off the bat of Rocco Baldelli. But the Rays could have had more. There were no outs, with Jason Bartlett up with men on first and second, as pitching coach John Farrell visited the mound. Strikeout swinging. Then it was an Akinori Iwamura groundout and a soft liner from so-hot-he's-steaming B.J. Upton that finished the inning with no further damage by the Rays.

As for the Sox, though Pedroia tucked the sixth pitch of the game behind the foul pole and into the left-field stands, there was little to follow. It was the only hit the Sox would get until Bay's single with one out in the seventh.

Boston's best chance came in the remarkable eighth. It was an inning in which Joe Maddon used five pitchers and the Rays did not surrender a run. The Sox loaded the sacks on an error, a Coco Crisp single, and a Kevin Youkilis walk. Maddon summoned rookie lefty Price and he fanned J.D. Drew (looking) on a 97-mile-per-hour heater on a 1-2 count.

The Price was right again in the ninth. And the World Series is coming to Tampa.

So, all the Rays needed were just three runs. Three runs to overcome a Red Sox team that had fashioned a win out of a loss in Game 5, kept it going in Game 6, but couldn't quite pull it out in the end. They were so close.

 

 


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VIEW SCORECARD
 
 

2008 A.L. CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES

 

 

Boston Red Sox

3 Games

 

 

Tampa Bay Rays

 4 Games

 

 
 

 

THE CITY OF ST. PETERSBURG WELCOMES YOU

2008 American League Championship Series, Game 7

 

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

 

R

H

E

 
 

BOSTON RED SOX

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 

 

1

3

0

 
 

TAMPA BAY RAYS

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

x

 

 

3

6

1

 

 

W-Matt Garza (2-1)
S-David Price (1)
L-Jon Lester (1-2)
Attendance 40,473


2B-Longoria (TB), Aybar (TB)
HR-Pedroia (Bost), Aybar (TB)
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RED SOX

 

AB

R

H

 

 

Coco Crisp cf 4 0 1  

 

Dustin Pedroia 2b 2 1 1  

 

David Ortiz dh 3 0 0  

 

Kevin Youkilis 3b 3 0 0  

 

J.D. Drew rf 3 0 0  

 

Jason Bay lf 3 0 1  

 

Mark Kotsay 1b 4 0 0  

 

Jason Varitek c 4 0 0  

 

Alex Cora ss 3 0 0  

 

Jed Lowrie ph 1 0 0  
             
    IP H ER SO  
  Josh Beckett 7 6 3 8  
  Hideki Okajima 1 0 0 1  

 

         

 

             

 

RAYS

 

AB

R

H

 

 

Akinori Iwamura 2b 4 0 1  

 

B.J. Upton cf 4 0 0  

 

Carlos Pena 1b 4 1 0  

 

Evan Longoria 3b 3 0 1  

 

Carl Crawford lf 3 0 0  

 

Willy Aybar dh 3 2 2  

 

Dioner Navarro c 3 0 1  

 

Rocco Baldelli rf 3 0 1  

 

Gabe Gross rf 0 0 0  

 

Jason Bartlett ss 3 0 0  
             
    IP H ER SO  
  Matt Garza 7 2 1 9  
  Dan Wheeler 0.1 1 0 0  
  J.P. Howell 0.1 0 0 0  
  Chad Bradford - 0 0 0  
  David Price 1.1 0 0 3