Game 4 looked to be one of the most evenly matched of the series, with both teams throwing their #4 starters. But Andy Sonnanstine was up to the challenge, while Tim Wakefield had just about nothing, allowing the Rays to take a commanding 3-1 series lead.
Needing to win only one of the next three games, Tampa Bay is in pretty much the same situation that the Phillies are in, with their ace, James Shields, going in Game 5, and then the final two games at home. That doesn't mean it's over--as we've seen with two Red Sox teams in the past five years, no deficit is insurmountable--but the Rays are in great shape.
The biggest surprise isn't that the Rays are winning, it's how they're doing it. Only an average offensive team during the regular season, they've exploded over the last three games, scoring a total of 31 runs. Tonight's onslaught was led by three homers off Boston starter Tim Wakefield in the first three innings, vaulting them to a 5-0 lead before you could blink. Evan Longoria's homer was his fifth of the postseason, setting a new rookie record. Just about everyone got in on the fun for Tampa, as Carl Crawford was 5/5 with three extra base hits, and Willy Aybar added four hits and five RBIs.