BOSTON -- This time it was true.
The Rays did have a different look on their faces. I saw it as they stood in the field in the eighth and ninth innings. I saw it as they walked through the Fenway Park concourse an hour after tonight's game, heading for their bus, heading for what was supposed to be the best plane ride of their lives.
They were stunned, and you couldn't blame them.
But he was good-stunned. The Rays were uh-oh-stunned.
And even though manager Joe Maddon strongly defended his late-game pitching decisions, he had to be "Did I just mess this up?" stunned.
Maddon allowed right-hander Grant Balfour to pitch to David Ortiz in the seventh inning, even though he had lefties Trever Miller (Ortiz is 1-for-11 against him), J.P. Howell (1-for-9) and David Price in his bullpen.
"We've been doing that all year," Maddon explained. "Grant has been very good in that situation, actually. (Ortiz) just got him tonight. If you had been watching us all season, that's the situation where Grant has really done well. He's been kind of like that middle closer guy, and I felt pretty good about it. Papi just got him."