The first 6 innings of tonight's game absolutely sucked if you were a Red Sox fan. The last 3 innings reminded you why baseball is the greatest game around and you can never, ever count the new Red Sox out.
Every move being made by Maddon working like a charm.
The Red Sox starter imploding for the third night in a row.
The Red Sox bats as lifeless as Gwen Ifil in the VP debate.
And then Pedroia, Big Papi, Papelbon, and Drew took it all on their shoulders (with a little bit of luck in the 9th) with a Pedey RBI single, Papi's 3-run homer, Papelbon coming out of the bullpen early to stop the bleeding and shut the Rays down cold (awesome out-of-the-box call, Tito), Drew's 2-run homer, more hits to tie it up, and then another Drew single to send the series back to Tampa.
Can they actually come back again in another ALCS? Down 3-0 to the Yankees in 2004 and 3-1 to the Indians in 2007...is there room in Red Sox lore for yet another comeback?
Who knows? There's still a lot of baseball to be played. But at least for one more night, Fenway was rocking, the Red Sox were doing their group hop at home plate, and all was right for Red Sox fans everywhere. Play ball!