Our look at what others are saying about the Red Sox-Rays matchup.
The last time [Pena] stood before his locker in that room addressing the media throngs, he had cracked a three-run homer in the 14th inning to give the Rays an improbable series win in Boston. A night earlier, on Sept. 9, Dan Johnson’s off-the-plane ninth-inning homer had dealt the Red Sox another staggering blow.
“I was actually thinking about that today,” Pena said. “Man, Dan Johnson, what a home run that was. It was huge. It was like that big knockout punch from the Cinderella Man. He landed a punch on the unbeatable Ivan Drago.”
It’s a fair analogy, but the main point one could take away from this: Pena digs boxing movies. He’d better hope the Rays aren’t Apollo Creed.
“Lester’s had a great year this year,” Garza said. “He’s been throwing the crap out of the ball. But my year wasn’t that bad, either, you know? You’re kind of downplaying me.
“Everybody’s hyping up Lester. Yeah, he’s a great pitcher, he’s had a lot of success this year. But myself, on the road, I’ve had a lot of success, too, and especially against Boston I’ve had a lot of success. So I’m going to go in confident and see what happens after nine.”
Of course, as the Trib notes, Garza is actually revising history somewhat — he’s better at home (7-3, 2.89 ERA) than on the road (4-6, 4.53) — though his three best starts came away from the Trop.
It was a game the Rays needed, and Perez knew it as he Usain Bolted from third base in the predawn hours. Ninety feet later, with a slide and a resounding slap of home plate, the season lived. Perez got a bloody lip on the play – from being tackled in the celebration.
“Last night, do you believe it?” Carlos Pena said Sunday afternoon in the visitors clubhouse at Fenway Park. “… I don’t even know how my heart can take it anymore.”
It’s a team with heart to spare.
And today, it’s up to Lester to drive a stake right through it.