Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Just like hitting bottle caps with sticks... Sox Meatloafed in 90th Win

"We were joking around in the dugout before he hit the home run," Pena said. "A popular game in the Dominican Republic is to hit the bottlecaps with the sticks. So I'm like, 'Hey man, Willy's played a lot of bottlecaps with sticks. It's a good matchup here."

That was Carlos Pena's reaction to Joe Maddon's light bending lineup card last night. Tim Wakefield has owned The Trop and lefty DH Cliff Floyd was just 1-11 against the knuckleballer. So why not try something new? Joe's solution... use untested switch hitter Willie Aybar's right handed bat against the softball server. Something about the bat path of his swing path from that side of the plate. Uh huh. Willie went yard in his first at bat and put the Rays up 3-2. They never looked back. Gross, Perez and Longo flicked a few bottlecaps before Francona pulled the plug and began the bullpen emptying procession of Sox relievers.

Meanwhile, Ortiz hit two home runs off Garza who held his ground but didn't dazzle last night. With a cushy but not comfortable 8-3 lead in the 5th and Ortiz coming to the plate a third time, Maddon went to the pen with a one-run mindset. Garza needed only one more out to be credited with the win, but in the other quote of the evening, Maddon later said:

""It isn't about Garza's won-loss record," Maddon said. "It's about the Rays' won-loss record."
We'll need that kind of thinking a lot during the next 45 or so days.
No bottlecaps for Jonny in the Rays 10-3 win last night. But I'm sure he's having the time of his life. The Rays Meatloafed the Sox again taking 2 of 3 and reduced their magic numbers to 10 for the AL East Championship and 4 for a wild card berth. They host the Twins in a four game series that begins tonight and finish the season with a 7 game road trip in Baltimore and Detroit. Let's hope a two game lead over the Sox is enough.
The Rays have now blown through all but the most Pollyanna-ish expecations, notching their 90th win. 95 is within reach. Whoda (really) thunk it?

1 comment:

Give PTownFan a shout. It will make her day to know there is someone out there ;-) Don't worry. She doesn't always talk about herself in the third person like The Rickey.

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