...Joe Maddon! For bringing in highly touted, greener-than-a-Prius-from-New-Hampshire, little-used David Price in the most pressure filled moment of the organization's brief (and brutal) history!
Rays manager Joe Maddon then called for Chad Bradford to pitch to Kevin Youkilis, who drew a walk to load the bases. David Price became the fifth and final Rays pitcher of the inning, when the 23-year-old rookie left-hander was brought in to pitch to J.D. Drew. He struck Drew out looking at a fastball on the outside corner to end the threat.
In the ninth, Price issued a walk to Jason Bay, then struck out Mark Kotsay and Jason Varitek, before getting Lowrie to ground into the forceout to end the game.
"I felt really good about David tonight," Maddon said. "David, when you talk about him prior to the game, this young man is composed beyond his years, he really is, and I think you've all had a chance to understand that if you've even had one conversation with him.
"So it was just important to get through that murderer's row that they have there, and then eventually turn it over to him. That was my thought. And again, it was just about throwing strikes, and he's been a strike-thrower his whole life."
More on The Move That Iced The Pennant:
Tampa Bay’s worst to first saga was the feel-good story of this season, and it probably was fitting that Price—the least experienced of the young Rays— was on the mound at the most critical point of the ALCS.
“Minimal experience, but I was not hesitant,” manager Joe Maddon said.
“I wanted the ball,” Price said. “I think everybody down there in the ‘pen wanted the ball tonight.”