Contrary to my prediction, the Rays failed to win game six.
Odd game, game six. The original home plate umpire squeezed Rays pitcher James Shields on the left side of the plate against batters on both sides of the plate. Sox batters were patient at the plate and Shields was forced to throw more over the plate with predictable results. The umpire treated Sox righty Josh Beckett about the same (there was a pitch or two where Beckett seemed to get the benefit of the doubt--no biggie there), but Rays hitters weren't so patient. They put the ball in play, and other than a homer by Upton they didn't do so hot.
But that umpire got nicked on the clavicle by a pitch that deflected off a bat and then Dioner Navarro's glove before bouncing off the ump's mask to plunk his right clavicle. Ouch! The guy kept calling the game (perhaps in a bad mood by then) for the next half inning (IIRC) then took himself out of the ballgame. The ump who replaced him called a more normal strike zone, with one exception. Late in the game he called Carlos Pena out on a pitch about three baseballs over the belt. Egad, give me a break. The Rays also gave up another unearned run when Jason Bartlett let fly a stinker of a throw to first base, allowing the a runner to reach who later scored.
Bottom line, credit to Boston. They played the better game overall, and like game five up at Fenway there were signs of the Rays playing like a team with limited playoff experience. The poise just wasn't there.
One note about the defensive troubles. The problem isn't new. The Rays, while playing mostly solid defense for the duration of the year, have had spots where they looked horrible in the field.
Here's to the team playing to its potential as it tries to win its way to the World Series tomorrow night. I was really hoping to avoid this ... the baseball game conflicts with Buccaneer football on television. Heartache.