Finally the Tampa Bay Rays showed up in the 2010 ALDS.
Through Games 1 and 2 there was some team on the field playing against the big league Texas Rangers, but it surely wasn’t the Rays.
This imposter team had put up one measley run and only 8 hits in two games while giving up 11 runs AT HOME, no less.
Apparently, the REAL Rays were waiting in Arlington, Texas.
2 home runs.
Now THAT’s Rays baseball.
Emotions Were High
Around my home, the stress and worry levels were really high. We were wondering if we were about to see the final game of the Rays season. The final game of Carl Crawford’s career in a Rays uni.
There’s going to be at least one more.
What was great to see was while MY emotions were out of whack, the Rays’ were not.
There was Matt Garza calmly rebounding from an early run given up to retire Ranger after Ranger.
There was Joe Maddon keeping his temper in check, even after a few blown calls by the umpires tonight (seriously, blue, you didn’t see Elvis Andrus come off the bag on his stolen base attempt while Jason Bartlett had the tag on him? Seriously?).
This game was tight until the 9th, so the cooler head was going to prevail.
The cooler head and the guy with the bigger bat.
Luckily, that was the Rays on both account.
What was awesome to see was the Rays in the dugout messin’ around as they did all season long.
Watching Evan Longoria with a waterbottle holder on his shoulder, mimicking a cameraman’s pose, “film” the goings-on of the 9th inning. The guys around him were cracking up and suddenly everything was loose.
The Rays were back.
The Rays Were Clutch
There were many events in this game that epitomized the Rays season, without which the Rays would be headed back to St. Pete with their heads held low.
–Carl Crawford had two big catches in the game, keeping the Rangers in check and preventing run-starting rallies.
–John Jaso had the biggest hit of the game in the 8th against the Rangers’ closer. Why isn’t this guy starting every game?
–The slumping and sub-Mendoza-line Carlos Pena took one down the right field line to drive in pinch runner Desmond Jennings with the game-tying run. Then Pena knocked one over the fence in the 9th to ice the game away.
–In addition to CC’s defense, Crawford hit a big home run in the 9th to put the Rays up 4-2 and take the pressure off of Pena. The loss of pressure made it just that much easier for the big first baseman to take one over the fence.
3 Keys to a W
#1 Emotion–The Rays kept theirs in check AND loosened up the dugout in the process. Look out Rangers.
#2 Hit–11 hits and 6 runs make it clear that the bats were warmed up tonight.
#3 Patience–Colby Lewis did not walk a whole lot of guys this season. He walked 5 Rays tonight. That helped to put more pressure on the young righty, and it helped the Rays to a W.
3 out of 3 Keys Turned = W
Game 4 is tomorrow.
How will it go?
If the Rays performance today is any indication, the Rangers have alot to worry about. They needed to put these guys away today.
The Rays can be really streaky, and the losing streak appears to be over.