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October 9, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

ALDS Game Four Recap: Red Sox 3, Rays 1

by Zachary Levine


A fascinating series filled with late drama, unexpected defensive meltdowns, an unlikely walkoff, and a season’s worth of managerial decisions ended in the worst possible way Tuesday night—with Mike Napoli dancing shirtless.

The Red Sox were better team all year and they dismissed the Rays 3-1 both in game and series score, ending a streak of four straight wins for the 2013 Rays when facing elimination. The key sequence began with Xander Bogaerts coming back from down 1-2 to draw a walk in the sixth and then a Jacoby Ellsbury two-out single, a wild pitch, and a Shane Victorino single to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead.

Jeremy Hellickson was yanked in the second inning with control problems, and the Rays escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam thanks to a Jamey Wright strikeout and a beautiful double play started by James Loney. But their offense was shut down by a quick-working Jake Peavy, a dominant Craig Breslow, and a back-to-form Koji Uehara, who closed it out without incident.

But enough details. When the teams left the field on what was very much Wednesday morning already, it was time to take stock of what awaited in the ALCS for one, a single-issue offseason for the other and what the adventures of the Rays in Game 4 might have meant for baseball in general going forward. First the victors:

Where do the Red Sox go from here?
Well, they go home, and by the time those of you in the East are reading this—given that the game ended at half past midnight—they’ll probably already be home.

This series worked out very much as expected. The best offense in the American League carried them most of the way, and their rotation depth finished the job. Not that one game makes or disproves a trade, but this will go a long way toward viewing the Jake Peavy-Jose Iglesias swap favorably in New England. In Boston’s 3-1 clincher, Peavy was effective and even more efficient, giving up a run on five hits and no walks and using just 74 pitches in 5 2/3 innings thanks to a couple of double plays.

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<< Previous Article
The Lineup Card: 8 Mem... (10/09)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/08)
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Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/09)
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Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/09)

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