It’s Game 1 All Over Again

A very good friend of mine had a baby just the other day.  Saturday morning, in fact.

What was the new lad’s name?

Ty.

Fitting.

The Rays came out of the weekend with just that, a tie, in the ALDS.  And now they are going to play a Game 5 to decide which team, the Rays or Rangers, gets to move on to take on the Yankees in the ALCS this weekend.

It is like ALDS Game 1 all over again.

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The Pitchers

The Rays will, once again, send the ace of the pitching staff to the mound in a “saviour-like” position. 

David Price choked in Game 1, coming out on the short end of a 5-1 loss.  And it wasn’t that close.  Sure, the hitters stunk it up, but one thing the Rays have to depend on is strong starting pitching.  They feed off of it.

Price did not give it.

The fear sets in when I think about Cliff Lee and how damn good he is.  Going back to last postseason when he was with the Phillies, there have been few pitchers as dominant as Lee.  The Rays will have their hands full.

But, if you remember mid-August, the Rays beat Lee 6-4.  It was no fluke.  The Rays hitters can wait him out before striking at just the right moment. 

But the right moment has to come along with the game still in question.  If the moment comes along when the game is 6-1, then it will be much too late.

——————————————————–

The Emotions

What gets me is that Game 5 is EXACTLY the same as Game 1.

Same pitchers.

Same emotions.

I’m just as amped up as Game 1.  I want to see a W.  But a L means alot more Tuesday night, for sure. 

The crowd will be going crazy.  The Rays have opened up all of the seats in the stadium for this one.

I hope they hand out towels…

What is a little disappointing is that the momentum the Rays had going into Game 4 seemed to wane as the game progressed.  I would even say that it shifted to the Rangers, as they put up two late runs.

If the big Mo did shift to the Rangers, that just means that it evened everything out. 

Longo’s still hitting lights out.  Pena still has the cycle fresh on his mind.  And the ‘pen, well, they are still just as dominant. 

The team that constructively builds on its emotion will be the winners Tuesday night.

Man, I hope it is my Rays.

——————————————————–

The 3 Keys to a W

#1–Be Patient.  Just like in Game 1, the Rays have to pile up the pitches against Cliff Lee.  They let the guy cruise in Game 1.  And they struck out 10 times–ridiculous.  They need to work the count and get their walks going, something they did well over the weekend.

#2–Don’t Choke.  The big moment in Game 1 was an early bases loaded moment that saw Carlos Pena and Rocco Baldelli strike out to end any kind of threat.  After that, Lee settled in.  The Rays cannot miss the big moments of Game 5.

#3–Be Smart, Joe.  It is hard to argue with Joe Maddon.  He is a big reason for why the Rays have made the playoffs 2 of the last 3 years.  But I’m going to choke on my soda pop if he puts out the same ridiculous lineup he put out in Games 1 and 2.  Go with what works.  And what works is the lineups he put out over the weekend.

——————————————————–

Obviously, I have no idea how this game will go down.  As I sit here, I am buzzing with anticipation that typically comes in an elmination game, but moreso because of one major fact.

It it MY team in this elmination game.

Win or lose, I’ll be proud that my boys fought back into this series.

Win, and I’ll be jumping like an idiot with jubilation.

Lose, and I’ll be quietly angry that they played so poorly in Games 1 and 2. 

No matter what, I’ll know one thing.

I won’t have to miss work to see the game.

Go Rays!

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7 comments

  1. azinneck

    Looking forward to watching the game tonight…I kind of like the fact that it’s a re-do of Game 1, because it gives the Rays a shot to get to Lee, and it gives Price a shot to redeem himself by showing how he *really* pitches. Hopefully with the awakening of the Rays offense, its a hard-fought exciting game 🙂
    ~AZ
    http://azinneck.mlblogs.com

  2. devilabrit

    Good luck to your guys tonight…whoever wins tonight, you know it’s going to be one hell of a hard fought game from both teams and baseball fans are going to be the winners….

    -peter

    Phillies Outside

  3. devilabrit

    Well it didn’t quite work out as hoped, but as they say in Highlander, there can be only one…

    Bob – Trust you’ll keep popping back and updating us on things from time to time…

    -peter

    Phillies Outside

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