→ Tom Verducci explains how Red Sox grinded their way into ALCS

Watching Tampa Bay pitchers try to navigate the Boston lineup — particularly the pesky top third with Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia — was like watching a finicky child trying to eat a plate of vegetables. It went slowly and only with a pained look on their faces. Maddon ran through nine pitchers last night, including four to get the first 11 outs because he decided starting Jeremy Hellickson was a better idea than going with Chris Archer.

It looked rough for the Red Sox last night. They could not get a hit in key situations, all the balls seemed to be bouncing Tampa’s way, and the crowd was really into the game. Despite all the adversity, however, they just kept grinding. In the end, even the Rays could not withstand the constant pressure.