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The Red Sox had used all their energy to get to Game 7 of the ALCS. With no Mike Lowell or even Manny Ramirez (though Jason Bay has been a nice substitute), the Red Sox clawed their way to a deciding game after being down in the series 3-1. For the first time since 2003, the Red Sox lost a Game 7 and are now headed home afer a 3-1 Rays victory.
It’s hard to win a series when your ace goes 0-2, but that’s exactly what happened with Sox pitcher Jon Lester. The big lefty set down the Rays lineup in order through the first three innings, but faced trouble in the fourth and fifth as he gave up the lead. Lester pitched well though, going seven innings with three runs allowed, but it was enough as the Sox offense ran out of gas.
Rays starter Matt Garza was named the ALCS MVP (how did B.J. Upton NOT win?) for his 2-0 record in the series, as well as a very strong effort when it counted it Game 7. Garza went seven innings and allowed just one run with nine strikeouts.
Garza and the rest of the Rays staff held the Red Sox to just three hits on the night (Dustin Pedroia with a HR, Coco Crisp, Jason Bay). It appears the Sox bats didn’t have anything left. Usual postseason hero David Ortiz was specifically absent, after another 0-3 night. He batted just .154 in the series.
So the Rays go onto the World Series…but the big concern for the Sox now is what direction the team will go in the offseason. Will they re-sign Jason Varitek? He didn’t seem so confident with his post-game comments, saying that he just didn’t want to talk about it…and what comes of David Ortiz?
More analysis will come with Mike’s View from the Monster column.