Rangers find no relief Live to play another day Baserunning blunder

October 10, 2010

One thing potentially in the Rays favor in today's Game 4 is how Rangers manager Ron Washington plowed through his bullpen in Game 3. The Rangers used six relievers, and even brought in closer Neftali Perez with two outs in the eighth inning - who ended up allowing the go-ahead run after giving up a walk and the run-scoring single by John Jaso. ¶ Washington faced several questions after the game about his use of the bullpen and said the killer was Perez's walk that moved the go-ahead run into scoring position. ¶ "(If we don't walk the hitter) we get out of the inning with a tie ballgame," Washington said, "and I'm bringing my closer in there anyway." Glove save and a beauty

Rangers rightfielder Nelson Cruz fired the ball to second baseman Ian Kinsler, who tagged out Joyce as he was trying to dive back safely to second.

Instead of having runners on first and second with one out, the Rays had a runner on first with two outs.

"I was trying to be aggressive," Joyce said. "I looked up and saw (third base coach Tom Foley giving me) the stop sign. And I was caught in no man's land."


There's no way to say for certain that the following events still would have played out the way they did, but after Joyce was thrown out, Carlos Peña walked and B.J. Upton hit a double.

"It should've been a couple of runs," Joyce said. "Fortunately, it didn't come back to bite us." No Cliff Lee today

. There was some talk the Rangers could bring back postseason star and Game 1 winner Cliff Lee today on three days rest, but manager Ron Washington said that will not happen. "We have never done it before," Washington said. "We checked the numbers and the numbers say that not very many pitchers have been able to come back and do that." Stranded

The ugly rundown:

Fourth inning: Carlos Peña flied out to right with runners on first and second and two outs.

Fifth inning: Carl Crawford struck out swinging with runners on first and second and two outs.

Sixth inning: After B.J. Upton's run-scoring double, Jason Bartlett flied out to right with runners on second and third and two outs.

Seventh inning: With one out and a runner on second, Crawford struck out looking and Evan Longoria grounded out to second.

Eighth inning: The Rays did score twice to take a 3-2 lead, but John Jaso was stranded at second when Ben Zobrist popped up to second to end the inning.

Those wasted chances ended up playing no factor. for the Rays "Everybody really picked it up," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The whole attitude in the dugout, the spirit, everything just came to life. Local support

. The crowd at Ferg's Sports Bar across the street from Tropicana Field took credit for the Rays' comeback win Saturday night, employing the inside-out-and-backwards rally cap to inspire Tampa Bay's come-from-behind win.

"Extremely nervous," is how St. Petersburg's Steve Kulchar described his state early in the game as the Rays fell behind 2-1 heading into the later innings.

But things turned Tampa Bay's way in the top of the eighth as the Rays scored three runs - drawing loud roars - before tacking on two insurance runs in the ninth, helping force today's Game 4 in the AL Division Series.

After the Rays took the lead, Kulchar was reminded to get his cap back on right by Kelly Harpin, 28, of Tampa.

"That's bad luck to wear a rally cap when we're up!" she roared.

Alls well that ended well.

"We turned the corner," Kulchar said as bartenders gave out complimentary blue shots to celebrate the win. "That's called a rally."

Bullpen saves it

. The unsung star of Saturday's Game 3 win was the Rays bullpen. Randy Choate, Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano combined to pitch the final three innings, allowing just one hit. That was the Nelson Cruz homer in the ninth off Soriano when the Rays already led 6-2. Choate retired the lone batter he faced, Benoit went 12/3 innings and Soriano pitched the ninth. It was the first chance in the series that the Rays even had to get Benoit and Soriano into a game because they're usually reserved for hold and save situations.

"Our bullpen had a better day," Choate said. "We needed to get Joaquin and Sori the ball. They hadn't gotten to throw. Obviously, that's our eighth, ninth inning closer. It was nice to get the ball to them."

That's because when they do get the ball, the Rays almost always win.

"I don't want to say 'Game over,' but those guys have been pretty impressive all year," Choate said.