Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/8/13
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Still scratching your head over some of Joe Maddon’s moves? Ye of little faith! In the end the Rays’ manager put all of his pieces in the right places producing a jaw-dropping electrifying result. A walk-off homer by backup catcher Jose Lobaton into the tank beyond right-center field where no Rays player had ever gone deep at Tropicana Field? Of course! That was the plan all along! The moment one of the most memorable in the franchise’s 16-year history gave the Rays a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night in Game 3 of the American League Division Series. The Rays still trail 2 games to 1 but a victory in Game 4 on Tuesday night will enable them to start everyone’s favorite tweeter ace left-hander David Price in Game 5 at Fenway Park. And to think the stunning shot by Lobaton became possible only because Maddon had chosen to lose his designated hitter in the top of the eighth inning forcing the pitcher into his lineup. The move seemed unnecessary at the time — Maddon could have substituted a backup outfielder Sam Fuld for right fielder Wil Myers who had left with cramps in both legs. But Maddon said later that he wanted to retain flexibility wanted to go “National League” something he also does on occasion during the regular season. So the Rays’ DH Matt Joyce ran out to right field. The pitcher’s spot was eight spots away. Maddon would worry about it later.
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