2008 American League Championship Series

The 2008 American League Championship Series (ALCS), the second round of the 2008 American League playoffs, was a best-of-seven series matching the two winners of the American League Division Series. The AL East Division champion Tampa Bay Rays, who had defeated the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS, were paired with the wild-card and defending world champion Boston Red Sox, who had defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in the ALDS. Tampa Bay held the home field advantage.

The Rays won the series four games to three, becoming the first team since the 1992 Atlanta Braves to win a seventh game after blowing a 3–1 lead. The series began at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida on Friday, October 10, 2008, and was broadcast on TBS. Game 7 was played on Sunday, October 19.[1] This was the Rays' first appearance in the ALCS while the Red Sox were making their fourth appearance in the last six seasons and ninth overall. The two teams hit a combined 26 home runs—a record for league championship series.[2]

The Rays would go on to lose to the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

2008 American League Championship Series
2008ALCSlogo
Teams
Team (Wins) Manager Season
Tampa Bay Rays (4) Joe Maddon 97–65, .599, GA: 2
Boston Red Sox (3) Terry Francona 95–67, .586, GB: 2
DatesOctober 10–19
MVPMatt Garza (Tampa Bay)
UmpiresTim McClelland (crew chief), Sam Holbrook, Brian O'Nora, Brian Gorman, Alfonso Márquez, Derryl Cousins, Ángel Hernández (Game 7 replacement for Cousins)
ALDS
Broadcast
TelevisionTBS
MLB International
TV announcersChip Caray, Ron Darling and Buck Martinez (TBS)
Dave O'Brien, Rick Sutcliffe (MLB International)
RadioESPN
Radio announcersJon Miller and Joe Morgan

Summary

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox

Tampa Bay won the series, 4–3.

Game Date Score Location Time Attendance 
1 October 10 Boston Red Sox – 2, Tampa Bay Rays – 0 Tropicana Field 3:25 35,001[3] 
2 October 11 Boston Red Sox – 8, Tampa Bay Rays – 9 (11 innings) Tropicana Field 5:27 34,904[4] 
3 October 13 Tampa Bay Rays – 9, Boston Red Sox – 1 Fenway Park 3:23 38,031[5] 
4 October 14 Tampa Bay Rays – 13, Boston Red Sox – 4 Fenway Park 3:07 38,133[6] 
5 October 16 Tampa Bay Rays – 7, Boston Red Sox – 8 Fenway Park 4:08 38,437[7] 
6 October 18 Boston Red Sox – 4, Tampa Bay Rays – 2 Tropicana Field 3:48 40,947[8] 
7 October 19 Boston Red Sox – 1, Tampa Bay Rays – 3 Tropicana Field 3:31 40,473[9]

Game summaries

Game 1

Friday, October 10, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 7 0
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
WP: Daisuke Matsuzaka (1–0)   LP: James Shields (0–1)   Sv: Jonathan Papelbon (1)

Boston won a pitcher's duel on a sacrifice fly by Jed Lowrie in the fifth off of James Shields and an RBI double by Kevin Youkilis in the eighth off of J.P. Howell with the run charged to Shields. Starter Daisuke Matsuzaka held the Rays hitless until Carl Crawford singled to lead off the seventh inning. He allowed four singles and five walks in seven innings while striking out nine. Jonathan Papelbon pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth career ALCS save.

Game 2

Saturday, October 11, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Boston 2 0 1 0 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 8 12 0
Tampa Bay 2 0 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 12 0
WP: David Price (1–0)   LP: Mike Timlin (0–1)
Home runs:
BOS: Dustin Pedroia 2 (2), Kevin Youkilis (1), Jason Bay (1)
TB: Evan Longoria (1), B. J. Upton (1), Cliff Floyd (1)

The Rays won a hard-hitting, marathon game that lasted 5 hours and 27 minutes,[10] and featured seven home runs, which broke the ALCS record and tied the all-time LCS record.[11] Starters Scott Kazmir and Josh Beckett were both ineffective, giving up six of those home runs and lasting under five innings.

In the top of the first, David Ortiz walked and Kevin Youkilis singled with two outs before both scored on Jason Bay's double, but in the bottom of the inning, Carlos Pena doubled with two outs before Evan Longoria's home run tied the game. Dustin Pedroia's leadoff home run in the third put the Red Sox up 3−2, but in the bottom of the inning, Melvin Upton's one-out home run tied the game again, then Longoria doubled with two outs before scoring on Carl Crawford's single to put the Rays up 4–3. Cliff Floyd's leadoff home run in the fourth extended the Rays' lead to 5–3, but home runs by Pedroia and Youkilis in the fifth tied the game. Grant Balfour relieved Kazmir and allowed a home run to Bay to put the Red Sox up 6–5. In the bottom of the inning, Melvin Upton walked with out out, stole second and scored on Pena's single to tie the game. Longoria's RBI double then put the Rays up 7–6. Javier Lopez relieved Beckett and allowed an RBI single to Crawford. Bay's single in the seventh off of Chad Bradford scored Pedroia, who walked off of J.P. Howell with one out earlier that inning. A wild pitch by Dan Wheeler in the eighth allowed Pedroia, who singled to lead off the inning off of Bradford, to score and tie the game, forcing extra innings. In the bottom of the eleventh, Mike Timlin walked three to load the bases before a sacrifice fly by Upton allowed Fernando Perez to score the winning run. The Rays' 2007 #1 draft pick, David Price, was credited with the win.

Game 3

Monday, October 13, 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 9 13 0
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 7 0
WP: Matt Garza (1–0)   LP: Jon Lester (0–1)
Home runs:
TB: B. J. Upton (2), Evan Longoria (2), Rocco Baldelli (1), Carlos Peña (1)
BOS: None

The Rays hit Boston ace Jon Lester and reliever Paul Byrd hard in Game 3, moving ahead two games to one. The Rays scored their first run in the second on Dioner Navarro's RBI groundout with runners on second and third. Next inning, B. J. Upton hit a towering three-run homer over the Green Monster to make it 4–0. Evan Longoria followed with a home run later in the inning to make it 5–0. Tampa Bay starter Matt Garza pitched brilliantly against the Red Sox lineup. The 3–4–5 hitters went 0–9 against him and the Red Sox's only run came in the seventh on Jacoby Ellsbury's sacrifice fly off of J.P. Howell that scored Jason Varitek, who walked off of Garza to lead off the inning. In the eighth, New England native Rocco Baldelli hit a three-run homer of his own, also over the Green Monster, off of Byrd to seal the win. Carlos Peña homered in the ninth, also off of Byrd to extend his postseason success.

Game 4

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 3 0 2 0 1 5 0 2 0 13 14 3
Boston 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 4 7 0
WP: Andy Sonnanstine (1–0)   LP: Tim Wakefield (0–1)
Home runs:
TB: Carlos Peña (2), Evan Longoria (3), Willy Aybar (1)
BOS: Kevin Cash (1)

The Rays routed the defending World Champions for the second straight night with a 13–4 win in Boston. Carlos Peña got it going in the first with a two-run homer off starter Tim Wakefield. Evan Longoria followed it up with his third homer of the series and fifth in the playoffs. Willy Aybar hit his first home run of the postseason in the third when he sent one over the Green Monster for a two-run homer. Kevin Cash's leadoff home run in the third off of Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine put the Red Sox on the board. In the fifth, Carl Crawford doubled with one out in the fifth off of Justin Masterson and scored on Aybar's single. Next inning, Jason Bartlett tripled with one out off of Manny Delcarmen.

After Akinori Iwamura walked, Melvin Upton's RBI single made it 7–1 Rays. Delcarmen walked two to load the bases and force in another run before being relieved by Javier Lopez, who allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Crawford and Aybar, then an RBI groundout to Navarro. In the bottom of the inning, David Ortiz hit a leadoff triple and scored on Kevin Youkilis's groundout. In the eighth, Mike Timlin walked Pena to lead off the inning, then allowed an RBI triple to Crawford and RBI single to Aybar. In the bottom of the inning, Jed Lowrie hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a groundout and scored on Dustin Pedroia's single. Trever Miller relieved Sonnastine and allowed a two-out RBI double to Youkilis. Edwin Jackson pitched a scoreless ninth as the Rays were one win away from the World Series. Carl Crawford went 5-for-5 with two stolen bases in the game.

Game 5

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tampa Bay 2 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 7 8 1
Boston 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 3 1 8 11 0
WP: Justin Masterson (1–0)   LP: J. P. Howell (0–1)
Home runs:
TB: B. J. Upton (3), Carlos Peña (3), Evan Longoria (4)
BOS: David Ortiz (1), J. D. Drew (1)

Tampa Bay jumped out to an early lead when B. J. Upton hit a two-run home run with no one out in the first inning. Carlos Peña and Evan Longoria increased the lead to 5–0 with back-to-back home runs in the third, the former a two-run shot. With his home run, Longoria tied Carlos Beltrán's record for consecutive postseason games with a home run. Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed no more runs after that through six innings, but Boston was unable to score against Scott Kazmir. In the top of the seventh, Jonathan Papelbon came on after Manny Delcarmen walked the only two batters he faced. The inherited runners scored on an Upton double, making it 7–0.

In the bottom of the seventh, with two outs and runners on first and third, Dustin Pedroia hit an RBI single off Grant Balfour to finally get the Red Sox on the board. The next batter, David Ortiz, hit a three-run home run to right field, ending a postseason home run drought of 61 at-bats. In the eighth inning, J. D. Drew hit a two-run homer to right field off Dan Wheeler. Later, Coco Crisp hit an RBI single to right field to score Mark Kotsay from second to tie the game. In the ninth inning, after J. P. Howell retired the first two Boston batters, Kevin Youkilis hit a ground ball to third base. Longoria scooped the ball, but his throw was off, and bounced into the stands, allowing Youkilis to reach second. After an intentional walk to Jason Bay, Drew hit a single over the head of right fielder Gabe Gross to win the game.

The comeback of the Red Sox from a seven-run deficit is the second-biggest in postseason history, the largest since Game 4 of the 1929 World Series,[12] and the largest ever for a team on the brink of elimination.

Game 6

Saturday, October 18, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 4 10 0
Tampa Bay 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 1
WP: Josh Beckett (1–0)   LP: James Shields (0–2)   Sv: Jonathan Papelbon (2)
Home runs:
BOS: Kevin Youkilis (2), Jason Varitek (1)
TB: B. J. Upton (4), Jason Bartlett (1)

Josh Beckett pitched five innings and allowed two solo home runs, to B. J. Upton in the first and Jason Bartlett in the fifth, to record the win. Boston scored on home runs from Kevin Youkilis in the second and Jason Varitek (his first series hit) in the sixth, a Youkilis groundout in the third, and a single by David Ortiz after Bartlett's throwing error extended the sixth inning.

Umpire Derryl Cousins was struck by a foul ball from Varitek in the second inning, leaving the game with a bruised collarbone after the third. The game was delayed for fifteen minutes while Cousins was X-rayed by Rays trainer Ron Porterfield; the game resumed with a five-man umpiring crew.

TBS television missed most of the game's first inning, with viewers getting a rerun of The Steve Harvey Show instead. The network picked up the game just prior to the last out in the bottom of the first, with announcer Chip Caray apologizing to viewers for "technical difficulties". TBS acknowledged there was a problem with one of their routers used in the broadcast transmission of the relay of the telecast from Atlanta.[13][14]

When facing elimination, Terry Francona's Red Sox won nine of ten postseason games.[15]

Game 7

Sunday, October 19, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Boston 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
Tampa Bay 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 X 3 6 1
WP: Matt Garza (2–0)   LP: Jon Lester (0–2)   Sv: David Price (1)
Home runs:
BOS: Dustin Pedroia (3)
TB: Willy Aybar (2)

The Rays shook off the ghosts of Red Sox past to win their first American League pennant, winning a tight game 3–1. Dustin Pedroia got the Red Sox off to a good start with a one-out homer in the first off Matt Garza, but Garza settled in and delivered an MVP performance. Tampa Bay tied the game in the fourth with an Evan Longoria RBI double, then went ahead in the fifth on an RBI single by Rocco Baldelli. In the seventh, Willy Aybar added insurance with a home run to leadoff. In the eighth, David Price, who made his major league debut a little over a month before came on to pitch to J. D. Drew with the bases loaded and struck him out on a checked swing. In the ninth, Price recorded his first Major League save by getting Jed Lowrie to ground into a force play to Akinori Iwamura. With the win, the Rays became the second team to go to the World Series after posting the worst record the year before, joining the 1991 Atlanta Braves, who went on to lose to the Minnesota Twins.[16]

Composite box

2008 ALCS (4–3): Tampa Bay Rays over Boston Red Sox

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Tampa Bay Rays 8 1 11 2 6 5 3 5 1 0 1 43 61 6
Boston Red Sox 3 1 3 0 4 3 6 7 1 0 0 28 57 0
Total attendance: 265,926   Average attendance: 37,989

References

  1. ^ "Tentative 2008 MLB Postseason Schedule". World Series. MLB.com. Archived from the original on September 14, 2008. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  2. ^ Beck, Jason (October 19, 2008). "ALCS sets record with 26th homer". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  3. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 1 – Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  4. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 2 – Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 3 – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 4 – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  7. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 5 – Tampa Bay Rays vs. Boston Red Sox". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  8. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 6 – Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  9. ^ "2008 ALCS Game 7 – Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
  10. ^ "Game Wrapup". MLB.com. October 12, 2008. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  11. ^ "Sox, Rays tie mark with seven homers". MLB.com. October 12, 2008. Archived from the original on October 15, 2008. Retrieved October 13, 2008.
  12. ^ Browne, Ian (October 16, 2008). "On cue, Drew caps remarkable Sox rally". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2008.
  13. ^ "Viewers see 'Steve Harvey' instead of Rays-Red Sox". Archived from the original on October 22, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  14. ^ Hoch, Bryan (October 18, 2008). "Game 6 TV broadcast interrupted". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  15. ^ Hoch, Bryan (October 19, 2008). "Sox do their best work under pressure". MLB.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
  16. ^ Topkin, Marc (October 20, 2008). "Rays beat Red Sox to reach world series". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on May 22, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2009.

External links

2008 World Series

The 2008 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2008 season. The 104th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Philadelphia Phillies and the American League (AL) champion Tampa Bay Rays; the Phillies won the series, four games to one. The 2008 World Series is notable because it is the only Fall Classic to involve a mid-game suspension and resumption (two days later).

The Series began on Wednesday, October 22, and (after weather delays had postponed the end of Game 5) concluded the following Wednesday, October 29. The AL's 4–3 win in the 2008 All-Star Game gave the Rays home field advantage for the series, meaning no more than three games would be played at the Phillies' stadium Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won their second championship in their 126-year history to bring the city of Philadelphia its first championship in 25 years (since the 1983 NBA Finals). This was the first postseason series lost by an MLB team based in the state of Florida; previously, the Rays and Florida Marlins were 8–0 in post-season series. Additionally, both the Phillies' World Series wins have come against a team making their World Series debut (in 1980, they beat the Kansas City Royals).

The Phillies advanced to the World Series after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL's Divisional Series and Championship Series, respectively. The team won its position in the playoffs after its second consecutive NL East division title. This was the Phillies' first World Series appearance in fifteen years. The Tampa Bay Rays advanced to the World Series after defeating the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox in the AL's Division Series and 2008 American League Championship Series.

2008 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 2008 throughout the world.

2010 Tampa Bay Rays season

The Tampa Bay Rays' 2010 season was their 13th season of baseball. They improved on their 84–78 record from 2009 by finishing the regular season 96–66, and qualifying for the postseason for the second time in history by winning their second AL East division championship in three years.

2015 American League Division Series

The 2015 American League Division Series were two best-of-five-game series to determine the participating teams in the 2015 American League Championship Series. The three divisional winners (seeded 1-3) and a fourth team—the winner of a one-game Wild Card playoff— played in two series. Fox Sports 1 carried the majority of games in the United States, while Sportsnet primarily simulcast Fox Sports 1's coverage in Canada. MLB Network had exclusive coverage of Game 3 of the Kansas City Royals–Houston Astros series in both the United States and Canada, and Game 2 of the Toronto Blue Jays–Texas Rangers series in the U.S. only (Sportsnet, co-owned with the Blue Jays by Rogers Communications, simulcast MLB Network's coverage for the latter). The ALDS began on October 8 and ran until October 14. The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals had home field advantage in this round of the playoffs. With the New York Yankees being eliminated by the Astros in the AL Wild Card Game, this is the first time in ALDS history that all four ALDS teams were expansion teams.

These matchups were:

(1) Kansas City Royals (Central Division champion) vs (5) Houston Astros (Wild Card winner)

(2) Toronto Blue Jays (East Division champion) vs (3) Texas Rangers (West Division champion)This was the first ALDS appearance for both the Astros and Blue Jays. Toronto's last postseason berth came in 1993, the final season of the two-round playoff format. Houston, on the other hand, made its first playoff appearance as an American League team; the franchise's preceding postseason berth came in 2005 while a member of the National League. The Blue Jays and the Rangers, and the Astros and the Royals, met for the first time in postseason play.

2016 World Series

The 2016 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 2016 season. The 112th edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion Chicago Cubs and the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians, the first meeting of those franchises in postseason history. The series was played between October 25 and November 2 (although Game 7 ended slightly after 12:00 am local time on November 3). The Indians had home-field advantage because the AL had won the 2016 All-Star Game. This was the final World Series to have home-field advantage determined by the All-Star Game results; since 2017, home-field advantage has been awarded to the team with the better record.

The Cubs defeated the Indians 4 games to 3 to win their first World Series since 1908. Game 7, an 8–7 victory in 10 innings, marked the fifth time that a Game 7 had gone into extra innings and the first since 1997 (which the Indians also lost). It was also the first Game 7 to have a rain delay, which occurred as the tenth inning was about to start. The Cubs became the sixth team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-seven World Series, following the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates, the 1958 New York Yankees, the 1968 Detroit Tigers, the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, and the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

The Cubs, playing in their eleventh World Series and their first since 1945, won their third championship and first since 1908, ending the longest world championship drought in North American professional sports history. It was the Indians' sixth appearance in the World Series and their first since 1997, with their last Series win having come in 1948. The two teams entered their matchup as the two franchises with the longest World Series title droughts, a combined 174 years without a championship. Cleveland manager Terry Francona, who had previously won World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, fell short in his bid to become the third manager to win his first three trips to the Fall Classic, after Casey Stengel and Joe Torre.

Brian O'Nora

Brian Keith O'Nora (born February 7, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball (MLB). He joined the major league staff in 2000, after previously umpiring for the American League (AL) from 1992 to 1999 and wears sleeve number 7.

Daisuke Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka (松坂 大輔, Matsuzaka Daisuke, [matsɯꜜzaka daisɯ̥ke]; born September 13, 1980) is a Japanese professional baseball pitcher for the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). He has played for the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Seibu Lions of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

Matsuzaka was selected the MVP of the inaugural and the second World Baseball Classic, and is an Olympic bronze medalist.He is the first player to have won both a World Series and a World Baseball Classic.

David Ortiz

David Américo Ortiz Arias (born November 18, 1975), nicknamed "Big Papi", is a Dominican-American former Major League Baseball (MLB) designated hitter (DH) and first baseman who played 20 seasons, primarily with the Boston Red Sox. He also played for the Minnesota Twins. During his 14 seasons with the Red Sox, he was a ten-time All-Star, a three-time World Series champion, and a seven-time Silver Slugger winner. Ortiz also holds the Red Sox single-season record for home runs with 54, which he set during the 2006 season.

Originally signed by the Seattle Mariners in 1992, Ortiz was traded to the Twins in 1996 and played parts of six seasons with the team. Ortiz was released by the Twins and signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2003, where he spent the remainder of his career. In Boston, Ortiz established himself as "one of the greatest designated hitters the game has ever seen." He was instrumental in the team ending its 86-year World Series championship drought in 2004, as well as during successful championship runs in 2007 and 2013, and was named MVP of the latter.

Ortiz finished his career with 541 home runs (which ranks 17th on the MLB all-time home run list), 1,768 RBIs (22nd all-time), and a .286 batting average. Among designated hitters, he is the all-time leader in MLB history for home runs (485), runs batted in (RBIs) (1,569), and hits (2,192). Regarded as one of the best clutch hitters of all time, Ortiz had 11 career walk-off home runs during the regular season and two during the postseason.

Game seven

A game seven is the final game of a best of seven series. This game can occur in the postseasons for Major League Baseball (MLB) (League Championship Series and World Series), the National Basketball Association (NBA) (all rounds of the NBA playoffs), and the National Hockey League (NHL) (all rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs).

The game is generally played at the site of the team holding the home advantage across the series.

The nature of a best-of-seven series requires that the series be tied 3–3 going into game seven, such that either team can take the series (advancing further in the playoffs or winning the championship) by winning the game. Because of this decisive nature, game sevens add an element of drama to their sports.

Aside from North American sports leagues, game sevens are also a fixture in many other sports around the world, mostly in baseball, basketball, and ice hockey leagues. Most codes of football do not employ a best-of-seven series (or any best-of-x series in general), hence game sevens are not played in those leagues.

Some playoff rounds (such as MLB's current Division Series) are played in a best of five format, such that game 5 has similar qualities to those described above, though the suspense and drama have less time to build in a shorter series. Furthermore, the World Series of 1903, 1919, 1920, and 1921 were played in a best of nine format, though none of the four went to a decisive game 9.

The game seven is comparable to a final or to a single game in a single-elimination tournament or to a one-game playoff. A championship series' game seven is equivalent to the Super Bowl game in the National Football League in that the game's winner is the league's champion for the season.

Jason Bay

Jason Raymond Bay (born September 20, 1978) is a Canadian-American former professional baseball left fielder. Bay played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners.

Bay was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2004 and he won the Silver Slugger Award in 2009. He is a three-time MLB All-Star and a three-time Tip O'Neill Award winner as the best Canadian baseball player.

Joe Maddon

Joseph John Maddon Jr. (born February 8, 1954) is an American professional baseball manager for the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball (MLB). Maddon began his coaching career in MLB with the California Angels in 1993 and served under managers Buck Rodgers, Marcel Lachemann, John McNamara, Terry Collins, and Mike Scioscia. He served two stints as interim manager during this time. He managed the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006 through 2014, winning the 2008 American League pennant. After opting out of his contract following the 2014 season, he joined the Cubs, led them to the 2015 National League Championship Series and was named the 2015 National League Manager of the Year. In 2016, Maddon managed the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908.

Justin Masterson

Justin Daniel Masterson (born March 22, 1985) is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher. Drafted by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2006 MLB draft from San Diego State University, he made his MLB debut two years later. Masterson also played in MLB for the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. Known for primarily throwing a sinking fastball, the right-hander stands 6' 6" (198 cm) tall, and weighs 250 lb (113 kg).

A former All-Star selection, Masterson placed in the top-ten in the American League multiple categories in 2013, including wins, strikeouts, complete games, hits per nine innings pitched, and strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He was the first Red Sox pitcher since Fenway Park's 1912 opening to make his first four consecutive starts there and not lose any of them.

Major League Baseball on TBS

Major League Baseball on TBS (also sometimes referred to as Sunday MLB on TBS during the regular season) is a presentation of regular season and postseason Major League Baseball game telecasts that air on the American pay television network TBS. The games are produced by Turner Sports.

Rocco Baldelli

Rocco Dan Baldelli (; born September 25, 1981), is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder and coach. He is currently the manager of the Minnesota Twins. As a player, Baldelli quickly progressed through the minor leagues and made his big league debut with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, on opening day 2003. During his first two seasons in the MLB, he established himself as an excellent offensive and defensive outfielder, placing third in voting for American League (AL) Rookie of the Year.

In 2005, Baldelli's career was derailed by a rare metabolic/muscular disorder that caused frequent soft tissue injuries, fatigue, and other ailments. He was unable to play in 2005, and missed significant time over the following seasons as doctors struggled to diagnose and treat his condition. From 2005 until his retirement, the former everyday center fielder spent long stretches on the disabled list and appeared in half of his team's games only once—in 2006, when he appeared in 92 games. The Rays did not renew his contract, after the 2008 season and Baldelli signed a free-agent contract with his hometown Boston Red Sox, for 2009, appearing in 62 games as a backup outfielder and part-time designated hitter. He considered retirement and returned to the Rays organization as a minor league coach in December 2009. As the 2010 season progressed, he decided to attempt another comeback and began rehabbing in the Rays' minor league system. Baldelli returned to the major leagues in September, and appeared in 10 games during the last month of the regular season. However, severe muscle cramping during the 2010 playoffs forced him off the team's active roster, at which point he ended his playing career age 29.

After retiring as a player, Baldelli spent three years in the Tampa Bay Rays organization as a roving minor league instructor and special assistant to baseball operations. He was named the club's first base coach before the 2014 season and was promoted to major league field coordinator in November 2017. In October 2018, Baldelli was named the manager of the Minnesota Twins.

Todd Claus

Todd W. Claus (born March 24, 1969) is an American baseball scout. He also has been an infielder, coach, manager and advance scout in professional baseball, and an assistant coach in college baseball. A switch hitter who threw right-handed, Claus stands 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) tall and weighs 170 lb (77 kg).

Tropicana Field

Tropicana Field, also commonly known as The Trop, is a domed stadium located in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States, that has been the home of the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball (MLB) since the team's inaugural season in 1998. The stadium is also used for college football, and from December 2008 to December 2017 was the home of the St. Petersburg Bowl, an annual postseason bowl game. It is currently the only non-retractable domed stadium in Major League Baseball, making it the only year-round indoor venue in MLB. Tropicana Field is the smallest MLB stadium by seating capacity when obstructed-view rows in the uppermost sections are covered with tarps as they are for most Rays games.

Tropicana Field opened in 1990 and was originally known as the Florida Suncoast Dome. In 1993, the Tampa Bay Lightning moved to the facility and its name was changed to the ThunderDome until the team moved to their new home in downtown Tampa in 1996. In October 1996, Tropicana Products, a fruit juice company then based in nearby Bradenton, signed a 30-year naming rights deal.

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