Rays-Red Sox: ALCS Game Three Fan Reaction

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IOctober 13, 2008

If Tampa Bay Rays fans thought that the ALCS might be lost, B.J. Upton's sacrifice fly gave them some new life.

That being said, the series now shifts to Boston for two games.

Here's what to look for:

1) Can Matt Garza finally step up in the playoffs?

Garza has gone winless in his last six starts, and his only playoff start, he got blown up against the Chicago White Sox. It will be very hard for Garza to toss his 96-mph heat past the patient and veteran hitters of the BoSox, but that's all remained to be seen in just over an hour.

2) Can John Lester keep up his magic?

This guy is absolutely unbelievable! It's a well-known story, but he has returned from cancer to be the BoSox' ace in these playoffs.  He has pitched fourteen innings and allowed no earned runs in the playoffs thus far, and he has won eight of his last eleven starts.  Not to mention, he is 11-1 at Fenway Park this year. On paper, this is a huge advantage for the Red Sox!

3) Which bullpen will hold the lead?

These two bullpens are two of the best in the bigs. The Rays have J.P. Howell, Grant Balfour, and even youngster David Price, while the Red Sox have Papelbon and Okajima.  I love the matchups of starters, and the destroyer-esque lineups, but these bullpens will decide the next few games.