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 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS

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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:35 am

0-2 1 out
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:36 am

Rays Win on a Sac Fly
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:36 am

Series Tied at 1 game each
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:37 am

GO RAYS
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:23 am

Goooooooooo...someone! go team I could really care less who wins this year, but I enjoyed the back and forth game by Boston and Tampa Bay last night.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:54 am

10/12/2008 3:45 AM ET

Box >


Worth the wait: Rays even up ALCS
Upton's sacrifice fly in 11th ends five-hour-plus Game 2
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Bleary-eyed Rays fans will be staggering around Sunday, but there is no doubt they will be doing so with smiles on their faces. The Rays managed to take Game 2 of the American League Championship Series after it began Saturday night and spilled over into Sunday morning, five hours and 27 minutes after Scott Kazmir threw the first pitch.

Fittingly, the end arrived dripping with excitement when B.J. Upton lifted a fly ball to shallow right field with one out in the bottom of the 11th. Everyone in the ballpark knew about the speed of pinch-runner Fernando Perez, who stood on third base. What they didn't know was whether that speed could carry Perez home with the winning run before the throw from Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew reached home. Perez answered that question in a cloud of dust at home when he slapped his palm on the plate to mint the 9-8 walk-off win over the Red Sox.

The Rays' victory tied up the series at one game apiece, much to the approval of a sellout crowd of 34,904 at Tropicana Field.

Boston will host the next three games at Fenway Park, which has historically been tough on the Rays. With the win, the Rays avoided having to win two at Fenway Park in order to stay alive in the best-of-seven series.

Mike Timlin walked the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the 11th before Jason Bartlett grounded out to third to advance the runners. Akinori Iwamura was then intentionally walked to set up a force play with Upton at the plate.

Initially, Upton didn't believe he had hit the ball far enough to score Perez, no matter how fast he was.

"But the more it got out there and the more it hung up there ... and I saw [Drew] wasn't going to have a chance to really set his feet," Upton said. "I knew Fernando was going to take a chance. J.D. has a pretty good arm. He just couldn't get his feet turned.

"I was watching the whole time. As soon as it went up, I didn't know if he was going to go. Off the bat, I saw where the ball was and immediately turned to Fernando to see what he was going to do."

Understanding the team he plays for as he does, Perez didn't hesitate to take off for home.

"This team is really all about erring on the side of aggressiveness," Perez said. "So that was a pretty prime example of that."

Perez breathed easier once he saw Boston catcher Kevin Cash moving down the third-base line to field Drew's throw.

"Because I didn't really see the throw," Perez said, "I'm just thinking get to the back side of the plate as fast as possible. And as soon as I saw him move up the line, I knew I was in there."

The game, which saw the teams use a combined 37 players, began like a slow-pitch softball game.

Struggling aces Scott Kazmir and Josh Beckett started for the Rays and Red Sox, respectively, allowing six home runs between them with neither pitcher lasting through the fifth inning.

Kazmir experienced an all-too-familiar beginning when he threw 38 pitches in the first inning, giving up a two-run double by Jason Bay that immediately put the Rays behind. By the time Kazmir got an early hook with one out in the fifth, he had surrendered two home runs to Dustin Pedroia and another to Kevin Youkilis.

Beckett, though not as wild as Kazmir, was equally ineffective, allowing home runs to Evan Longoria, Upton and Cliff Floyd.

Grant Balfour took over for Kazmir and Bay greeted him with a solo home home run, which gave the Red Sox a 6-5 lead and established a new ALCS record and tied the postseason record for combined home runs in a game with seven.

Fifteen runs were scored before the seventh inning. After that, just two scored. Pedroia scored on a Dan Wheeler's wild pitch to tie the game in the eighth, and Perez scored the winner in the 11th.

Wheeler, who normally pitches one inning or less, put forth a heroic 3 1/3-inning effort before rookie David Price got the final two outs in the top of the ninth to earn his first big league win.

"It was a dogfight," Wheeler said. "That's what we knew coming into this series. It's been like that all season with those guys. I'm really excited for our guys to go out there and battle and come away with this one."

As uplifting as Saturday night's win was for the Rays, it might have been even more of a deflating loss for the Red Sox.

"It's exciting, when you play a five-hour game and you use so many of your pitchers. You're just worn out," Perez said. "That's a bad loss to take, it's not one that sits so well, like those two-hour games that you lose 6-0 and you forget about it. Both teams invested a lot into it. And we're real fortunate to come away with that one."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:19 pm

GO RAYS
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:09 am

10/12/2008 11:56 PM ET

Box >

Five-run first lifts Dodgers in Game 3
Kuroda, LA show fight in temper-filled victory over Phillies
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers finally responded Sunday to perceived bullying tactics of the Phillies with an emotion-charged 7-2 victory in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, which was interrupted by a benches-clearing standoff in the third inning.

Hiroki Kuroda, who triggered the confrontation with a retaliatory purpose pitch, allowed one run over six-plus innings, another clutch postseason start after he beat the Cubs in the clincher of the NL Division Series last weekend.

Blake DeWitt capped a five-run first inning with a bases-loaded triple off Jamie Moyer, who also allowed RBI singles to Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake. The Phillies answered with a run off Kuroda in the second on a double by Ryan Howard and RBI single by Pedro Feliz, but Rafael Furcal homered on Moyer's first pitch in the bottom of the second.

Benches and bullpens cleared shortly after Kuroda threw behind the head of Phillies leadoff hitter Shane Victorino with two out in the top of the third inning, triggering a warning to Kuroda and both clubs by plate umpire Mike Everitt.

Everitt interpreted the pitch to be retaliation for Phillies reliever Clay Condrey knocking down Russell Martin with a pitch at his chin in the bottom of the second inning. It was the second knockdown this series of Martin, who also was hit by a Moyer curveball in the first inning Sunday.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:10 am

Go Dodgers!
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:44 am

Go Phillies, and Go Sox!

I hope they hit Martin again, then start a brawl.
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:11 am

I would love to see a Rays - Phillies WS!


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:58 pm

I would love a Tigers-Phillies WS better...whistle


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:06 am

bobrob2004 wrote:
I would love a Tigers-Phillies WS better...whistle

Nod
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:08 am

bobrob2004 wrote:
I would love a Tigers-Phillies WS better...whistle

Nod


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:41 pm

10/13/2008 10:45 PM ET

Box >

Monster inning wins Game 3 for Rays
Upton, Longoria go deep during four-run outburst in third
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com

BOSTON -- If ever a game shouldn't have been played, Game 3 of the American League Championship Series was it, according to the experts.

No way were the Rays supposed to win this one.

Jon Lester was the starter for the Red Sox and had not allowed an earned run in the postseason since Game 2 of last year's ALCS. Alas, Monday night validated an old cliché that says, "That's why they play the games."

The Rays jumped on Lester early and added further damage against his replacement while the "other" pitcher, Matt Garza, gave the Rays a quality start en route to a 9-1 win at Fenway Park.

The Rays took a 2-1 advantage in the series -- thanks in large part to two big homers over the famed Green Monster in left field -- and from an historical perspective, they greatly enhanced their chances of winning the series. In best-of-seven ALCS history, if the road team wins Game 3 after the series was tied at 1-1, that team has won the series six out of eight times.

"It's one game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Regardless of if we won or lost tonight, I would have talked about the same thing, because I believe it. Because it is about one game at a time and I know they believe that. And I think we've learned that lesson this year also.

"It's all about starting pitching tomorrow night. They're going to come out loaded for bear. And we have to play another good game tomorrow night. There's nothing to be taken for granted right now. It's one game."

B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria provided the initial Rays fireworks with home runs in the third inning of a game they already led, 1-0. Rocco Baldelli and Carlos Pena later added the final blows.

Upton's homer might have been the most critical hit of the night coming after Jason Bartlett and Akinori Iwamura had set the table with a single and a double, respectively. Upton connected on a 2-1 pitch from Lester, sending a drive soaring over the Green Monster for a three-run homer that gave the Rays a 4-0 lead. The runs ended Lester's streak of 24 2/3 consecutive postseason innings without allowing an earned run.

"I think it definitely gave us some momentum," Upton said. "Solo home runs are good, but a three-run homer, and we got that run early, so that put us up 4-0 and gave us all the confidence in the world."

Upton hit nine home runs in 531 at-bats during the regular season and followed with five home runs in his first 28 postseason at-bats, two in the ALCS and three in the AL Division Series. Upton just smiled when asked to explain how that happens.

"I can't," Upton said. "They're perfect swings and they happen every once in a while. That's what's happening right now."

One out after Upton's shot, Longoria hit a 2-2 Lester offering over the Monster to put the Rays up, 5-0. Longoria's home run was his second of the ALCS and fourth of the postseason. The four home runs tied Longoria with Miguel Cabrera for the most home runs in the postseason by a rookie. Cabrera hit four during the 2003 postseason for the Marlins.

"We knew it was going to be a pitcher's duel," Longoria said. "Fortunately, [Lester] made a couple of mistakes early and we were able to capitalize on those."

Specifically, Longoria said Lester left the ball up in the zone.

"He's normally able to bury that 91-, 92-mph cutter under a righty's hands," Longoria said. "The ball that he threw to B.J. and the ball that I hit out were pretty much the same pitch. Cutters that didn't really cut, they just stayed out over the middle of the plate. You've got to hit those, especially against a guy like him."

Rays hitters did not want to let Lester get into a rhythm.

"We didn't want him to start burying that cutter and throwing the changeup and the two-seamer away, allowing him to get ahead in the count," Longoria said.

Garza started for the Rays and held the Red Sox scoreless for six innings before getting into trouble in the seventh, when he issued a leadoff walk to Jason Varitek and Alex Cora followed with a single. J.P. Howell took over for Garza and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a sacrifice fly to score Varitek, but the Rays escaped further damage when Dustin Pedroia grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"My job wasn't to pitch against Lester," Garza said. "My job was to face nine hitters in that lineup and that was it.

"I came up with a game plan, and it was what I did tonight. [I needed to] make them hit my fastball, make them beat my best pitch."

Garza made a strong impression on Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

"He was throwing his fastball at times by us, and that breaking ball at times that you had to respect," Francona said. "So that was a tough combination for us, I think one that we couldn't overcome."

Any hopes the Red Sox had of mounting a comeback were put to rest by Baldelli, who hit a three-run homer off Paul Byrd in the top of the eighth. Pena added a solo shot off Byrd in the ninth.

Baldelli grew up a Red Sox fan in nearby Woonsocket, R.I., so he always has plenty of family and friends in the stands when he plays in Boston.

"I think pretty much most of them will say, 'Congratulations' and 'Nice job,' but still be disappointed that the Red Sox lost," Baldelli said. "That's kind of how it goes."

So the Rays will go to Game 4 with a 2-1 lead, and despite the lopsided score Monday night, the Rays felt like they stole one by coming away with a win in Game 3.

"It's huge," Longoria said. "I think in our minds, we wanted to steal one out of here [in Boston]. I don't like to give anybody too much credit, but we didn't think it was going to be this one. At least I didn't, from the way [Lester has] pitched in previous starts. He feeds of the energy at this ballpark and we were able to suck the energy out from the get-go."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:45 pm

10/14/2008 3:03 AM ET

Box >

Phillies rally late, grab 3-1 NLCS lead
After Victorino's tying homer, Stairs delivers pinch-hit dinger
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Shane Victorino clapped his hands vigorously as he made his way around the bases. Hitting a game-tying home run made such a trek pleasurable.

Matt Stairs' 360-foot trek seemed much longer, by comparison. A 40-year-old journeyman, Stairs completed perhaps the most important journey of a 16-year career, and each step brought him closer to where he's wanted to be.

Thanks to his no-doubt-about-it, pinch-hit, two-run homer, Philadelphia earned a 7-5 win on Monday over Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium in a game that screamed October baseball. Stairs and his teammates took a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series.

They're one victory away from a World Series, courtesy of a player known in some circles as "The Wonder Hamster."

"I have no idea where that came from," Stairs said. "I'm short and chubby. I get up there and I'm a little guy. I don't get cheated, I swing as hard as I can."

The moment was perfect for Stairs, who grew up a proud Canadian, dreaming of a Stanley Cup, not a World Series trophy. By high school, the focus turned to baseball.

Playing for his 11th Major League organization since being acquired at the end of August, Stairs had 17 at-bats for the Phillies in the regular season, and two in the playoffs. He came to the plate against Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton with an .083 career postseason average.

With the game already tied on Victorino's two-run home run of reliever Cory Wade, teammates loved the matchup of Stairs, a dead fastball hitter, against Broxton, a dead fastball pitcher who has hit triple digits.

"Power vs. power," Jayson Werth said.

"He's a fun guy to watch in BP," Brad Lidge added. "He hits moon shots. To see him do it in a game is just awesome."

Stairs swatted a Broxton 95-mph fastball that flew out of Dodger Stadium. It sucked the noise out of the 56,800 fans with dreams of a series-tying win. Call it an anti-Kirk Gibson moment.

Hearing Gibson's name still makes lifelong A's fan Jimmy Rollins cringe, so perhaps seeing a similar moment happen can bring some relief.

"We have to win the World Series first, but I was glad this happened at Dodger Stadium and I was here," Rollins said.

Stairs' approach was the same one he's had for 16 years.

"I swing for the fences," he said. "That's how I've been my whole career. I think of home runs. It carries over from batting practice. I try to hit every ball out of the ballpark. I'm not going to lie, it's fun when you're there and you're hitting balls out of the ballpark. The biggest thing is to see how far you're going to hit the ball."

His ball went pretty far, and it may carry the Phillies to their sixth World Series.

Stairs' swing capped a four-run eighth inning and erased what might've been a momentum-turning loss. Victorino's game-tying swat came with the Phillies five outs away from the NLCS being tied. His shot just cleared the right-field fence and nearly smashed rookie Lou Marson's helmet in the Phillies bullpen.

"Shane hit a breaking ball and he hit it real well," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I didn't know if it was going to go or not, but once it cleared that gate out there, it was a tremendous, big hit."

Then came Stairs.

"That put an exclamation point on it," Victorino said.

The Phillies have wrested the momentum in the series, finally winning after being turned away at Dodger Stadium in four regular-season meetings and Game 3 on Sunday. Los Angeles needs to win the remaining three games to advance.

Philadelphia doesn't intend to let that happen.

"This is the first game we've won here," Manuel said. "This was the biggest game we've won, but the next one is even bigger. That's how we look at it."

The difference between being up 3-1 and tied at 2?

"It's drastically different," Werth said. "I don't have that big a vocabulary to come up with another word for you. We wanted to come out here and win one game. Now we have a chance to clinch it."

As for Stairs, the short but stout veteran, he promises not to revel in his moment. He's entered the pantheon of big NLCS moments. Victorino has a more impressive body of work this postseason, but Stairs will always have his swing.

Stairs won't let it consume him, not when he knows he might be in a similar situation in two days. After answering questions for 20 minutes, he sat in his locker and took a breath, realizing he had to get back to his hotel room, where his wife Lisa and two of his three daughters were waiting.

"Seeing my daughters will be nice," Stairs said. "We'll spend some time together. They'll probably watch a movie, and my wife and I will probably watch 'Without a Trace' or something on TV. It was a special eighth inning and a special win, but it's over.

"I may do a cartwheel when I get home tonight, but I'd hurt myself. It's day-to-day. You enjoy it, but you know tomorrow is a different day. I know that every time I take the field, it could be my last time."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:53 pm

Matt Stairs Homered!!! Yay2


But the Sox lost. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:58 pm

3-1 edge significant in NLCS
With the
Phillies' victory in Game 4, an NLCS stands at 3-1 for the 12th time
since it became a best-of-seven series in 1985. Nine of the previous 11
teams went on to win its NLCS, with only the 2003 Marlins and 1996
Braves rallying from the 3-1 deficit to win three straight and take the
series.
YearTeam up 3-1OpponentFinal
2005AstrosCardinals 4-2
2003CubsMarlins 4-3
2002GiantsCardinals 4-1
2001D-backsBraves 4-1
2000MetsCardinals 4-1
1999BravesMets 4-2
1998PadresBraves 4-2
1996CardinalsBraves 4-3
1992BravesPirates 4-3
1990RedsPirates 4-2
1989GiantsCubs 4-1

Matt's Lucky 13
Matt Stairs' pinch-hit home run was the 13th in NLCS history:
Batter Team Date

Jerry Martin Phillies 10/04/1978

Bake McBride Phillies 10/07/1978

Harry Spilman Giants 10/09/1987

Greg Myers Padres 10/12/1998

Erubiel Durazo Diamondbacks 10/21/2001

J.D. Drew Cardinals 10/09/2002

Eddie Perez Cardinals 10/10/2002

Mike Lowell Marlins 10/07/2003

Troy O'Leary Cubs 10/15/2003

Mike Lamb Astros 10/13/2004

Chris Burke Astros 10/12/2005

Chris Duncan Cardinals 10/17/2006

Matt Stairs Phillies 10/13/2008



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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 5:27 pm

The Dodgers are in big trouble
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:24 pm

WOW TB 11 - BOS 2 in the bottom of the 7th.....


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:14 am

Sad
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:26 am

Go Rays Go!!
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:35 am

10/14/2008 11:10 PM ET

Box >

Pennant within reach after Rays' rout
Pena, Longoria, Upton go deep to help build 3-1 series lead
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com

BOSTON -- A nearly limitless supply of runs, a strong start and timely defense moved the Rays to the brink of the World Series with a 13-4 win over the Red Sox in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night in front of 38,133 at Fenway Park.

The Rays won for the 10th time in their last 13 meetings with the Red Sox and they now hold a 3-1 series advantage heading into Wednesday's off-day. Since 1985, the ALCS has produced three four-game sweeps, but in the other 19 series, the winner of Game 4 has advanced to the World Series 14 times. The Rays could move on to the Fall Classic with a win in Game 5 on Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Carlos Pena started the Rays' offense with a two-run homer in the first off Boston starter Tim Wakefield. Evan Longoria followed with a solo home run to put the Rays up, 3-0.

Willy Aybar added a two-out, two-run homer in the third to push the Rays' lead to 5-0 and chase Wakefield.

Kevin Cash broke the ice for the Red Sox in the third inning with a solo home run off Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine in his first career postseason at-bat. The Red Sox added three more runs against the Rays right-hander, who allowed six hits in 7 1/3 innings to pick up the win.

The Rays' defense aided the right-hander's cause. After Longoria committed two errors on one play with one out in the second -- the Rays' first two errors of the postseason -- a nifty 4-6-3 double play erased the threat.

In the fifth, Mark Kotsay hit a drive to deep center field that appeared to be extra bases, but Upton seemed to find an extra gear and ran down the drive.

Meanwhile, the Rays' offense never seemed content with the number of runs it had on the scoreboard. Aybar singled home a run in the fifth and Pena, Longoria, Carl Crawford, Aybar and Dioner Navarro had RBIs in the sixth to put the game out of reach.

Crawford tripled in the eighth inning to drive in the Rays' 12th run to collect his fifth hit of the game, and Aybar followed with an RBI single to record his fifth RBI of the game to put the Rays up, 13-2.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 1:41 am

GO RAYS GO
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:59 am

:haha: Go Rays.
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:36 pm

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Rays' Kazmir, not Shields, to start Game 5
The Detroit News

Scott Kazmir will start Game 5 of the American League Championship Series for the Tampa Bay Rays, replacing James Shields, who was originally scheduled to start, MLB.com is reporting.

The Rays lead the series over Boston, 3-1. Game 5 is Thursday at Fenway Park at 8:07 p.m. on TBS.

Kazmir will start on four days of rest. Shields pitched well but was the loser in Game 1. If there is a Game 6, at Tampa, Shields would be the starter.


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:23 pm

GoGetEmTigers wrote:
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Rays' Kazmir, not Shields, to start Game 5
The Detroit News

Scott Kazmir will start Game 5 of the American League Championship Series for the Tampa Bay Rays, replacing James Shields, who was originally scheduled to start, MLB.com is reporting.

The Rays lead the series over Boston, 3-1. Game 5 is Thursday at Fenway Park at 8:07 p.m. on TBS.

Kazmir will start on four days of rest. Shields pitched well but was the loser in Game 1. If there is a Game 6, at Tampa, Shields would be the starter.


cross fingers
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:10 pm

STUPID RAYS
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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:06 am

BOTTOM OF 8TH - PHILLIES LEAD 5-1

Dodgers have used 6 pitchers already, Phillies Hamels pitched 7 innings


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PostSubject: Re: 2008 PLAYOFF - WS NEWS   Thu Oct 16, 2008 1:59 am

Phillies Win The NLCS
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