Rays to face Phillies in 2008 World Series

Matt GarzaWith their 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox in Game 7 Sunday night, the Tampa Bay Rays are going to the World Series for the first time in the history of their franchise.

There was no choke from the bullpen this time as reliever David Price struck out J.D. Drew with the bases loaded to end the top of the eighth, then (after putting the first guy on) retired the BoSox in the ninth. Starter Matt Garza was amazing for Tampa, limiting Boston to just one run on two hits. It was the second time he baffled the Red Sox this series, holding them to just two runs in 13 innings.

I’ll take full credit/blame for Tampa Bay’s victory. I wrote after Boston’s Game 6 victory that the Red Sox were a virtual lock to head to the World Series. As I wrote in that post, I wasn’t necessarily rooting against the Red Sox, but I appreciate how the Rays built their team over the year. They’ve done it with youth and through their farm system and they should be commended for doing so in a league that sometimes rewards teams for being able to spend the most money.

A Tampa-Philadelphia World Series certainly isn’t the most glamorous matchup the postseason could have produced (and it’s no doubt killing the TV networks), but the Rays were the story of the year and it’ll be exciting to see if they can cap this amazing season off by winning a championship.

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