Will the Rays deliver another early knockout punch in Game 5?
We might forget this now after all that happened next, but it appeared, albeit briefly, that the Red Sox were on the verge of turning things around in the bottom of the second inning of Tuesday night's ALCS Game 4. After he had allowed back-to-back one-out homers to the Rays'
The Rays were just 40-41 on the road during the regular season, and in these playoffs they drew opponents with the second- and third-best home records in the American League (the Red Sox were 56-25, the White Sox 54-28). And yet the most remarkable thing among all the remarkable things that the Rays have accomplished in the postseason has been their ability not just to win on the road (they're now 3-1), but to crush the life out of two of the more notoriously raucous ballparks, Fenway Park and U.S. Cellular Field, and to do so early. Upton's first- and third-inning home runs in the decisive ALDS Game 4 in Chicago effectively ended all towel-twirling there for the season. Monday's ALCS Game 3 was over by the third, and Tuesday's Game 4 was essentially over just as early. Boston fans haven't had the opportunity to build to the Fenway frenzy that has carried the Red Sox in recent times, and Boston's dreaded home-field advantage hasn't been much of an advantage at all.
Even in the face of the indignity of being pulverized by the Rays in two consecutive games, some fans still tried to keep their spirits up, recalled Rays outfielder
Perhaps it's because of the absence of