Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Suddenly, It's the Rays Staring Down Elimination

Illustration for article titled Suddenly, Its the Rays Staring Down Elimination

Things started off well for the Rays in Game Six; a little too well in fact. BJ Upton tied an AL record with his seventh long ball as he took Josh Beckett deep in the first inning, and it appeared for a moment as though Beckett's oblique injury might be Beantown's undoing. Not so. (Of course, most of us didn't see much of this, as TBS inexplicably showed the Steve Harvey Show instead of the game for much of the first inning. That was kind of awesome.) Beckett of course recovered from the Upton shot, and he settled in and threw five strong innings, only allowing one more run - a homer by Jason Bartlett. From there, the Sox cruised. Kevin Youkilis got the party started in the second inning with a solo drive (adding another RBI the following inning), and Jason Varitek and Big Papi took care of the remaining offensive load in the sixth inning. The three-headed bullpen monster of Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson and Jonathan Papelbon then took over from Beckett in the sixth, and effectively snuffed the life out of Tampa Bay. A few days ago, the Red Sox were seven outs away from elimination. They were dead for all intents and purposes. All but buried. But now, improbably, we'll have a Game Seven in Tampa tomorrow night with the Rays' chances of playing in the World Series suddenly looking like the ones in need of life support. Who woulda thunk it?


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