The Boston Red Sox were able to take down the Tampa Bay Rays three games to one in the American League Division Series with a thrilling 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
One playoff series down, two to go. Get the defibrillator's ready.
As Boston prepares for the winner of the Tigers/A's series, let's take a look at the Red Sox report card from the ALDS.
Head of the Class
A+:Jacoby Ellsbury - The Sox center fielder hit .500 in the series with seven runs scored, two RBI and four stolen bases. Ellsbury's play was disruptive, inspired and will look good as he heads into free agency. Somewhere uber-agent Scott Boras begins work on his Death Star.
A+:Shane Victorino - Playing hurt and taking one for the team more than once (Victorino was hit-by-a-pitch four times in the series), the Sox right fielder hit .429 with three runs, two RBI and a stolen base. Victorino will spend the next three days soaking in a tub of ice.
A+:Craig Breslow - Breslow appeared in three games and did not give up a run. His 3 2/3 innings Tuesday night won the Sox the deciding game. The Breslow statue is currently being assembled next to Yaz and Ted Williams.
A:David Ortiz - Big Papi hit .385 with two home runs, three RBI and single handedly caused Rays starter David Price to have a nervous breakdown via Twitter.
A:Jon Lester - Lester went 7 2/3 innings with seven K's in game one and set the tone for the series. There was not a piece of chicken to be found.
A:Jake Peavy - Peavy proved the trade was worth it with 5 2/3 innings of gutty pitching in the clinching game. He may have warranted an "A+" were it not for the TBS mics catching Peavy's "colorful" language on the air. Who new the MLB playoffs needed parental guidance?
A:Junichi Tazawa - Tazawa appeared in all four games, gave up one hit and no runs. Taz appears to have reentered Farrell's circle of trust.
A-:Koji Uehara - Despite giving up a game winning walk-off home run in the Game 3 loss, Koji saved two of the three Sox wins. High five.
B:Xander Bogaerts - Xander is like that kid that doesn't show up all semester then aces the final. The rookie didn't have any official at-bats, but drew two clutch walks and scored three of the most important runs of the season so far. Is he now the teachers pet?
B-:Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Salty quietly hit .300 with three RBI, but he also struck out seven times in 10 at-bats. Salty would earn a "C" if it weren't for that great moss.
B-:John Lackey - Lackey went 5 1/3 innings in game two, giving up four runs and striking out six to get the win and the Red Sox image makeover award.
C+:Dustin Pedroia - Pedroia hit just .235 in the series, but led the team in RBI with five. Pedroia also made his usual number of stellar plays in the field. Pedroia may have earned himself a spot on the honor roll were it not for his propensity to take out his own shortstop in the field. It's apparent that Pedroia's confidence in Stephen Drew's range is about as high as ours.
C+:Clay Buchholz - Buchholz pitched well, but his decision to serve up a three-run meatball to Evan Longoria keeps him off the honor roll.
C:Will Middlebrooks - Middlebrooks hit .231 with one RBI and was second on the team in strikeouts. We'd give him a "D+" but we don't want to destroy and confidence that may be wavering.
C:Jonny Gomes - Gomes hit .222 in just nine AB's, but did drive in two runs and looks great in that battle helmet. We are happy to report no one was injured during Gomes' post game celebrations.
D+:Daniel Nava - In Nava's defense he did only have five at-bats, but had just one hit, two strikeouts and a caught stealing. Nava should see more work in the ALCS. Still, Nava is well worth the dollar the Red Sox bought him for.
D:Mike Napoli - Napoli's face has begun to turn to up on the back of milk cartons around New England. Napoli hit only .154 with one RBI and four strikeouts. If the Sox want to punch a ticket to the World Series, Napoli will need to step it up. Also, after watching his shirtless celebration in the Sox clubhouse, he may want to invest in a mansierre.
D-: Stephen Drew - Drew had just two hits in the series and hit .133. After such a impotent performance at the plate, even Drew fan club president John Farrell agreed it was time to start pinch hitting for him. Drew didn't seem to mind.
F:Franklin Morales - Morales went just 1/3 of an inning and gave up a hit, a walk, a run and may be able to pitch more effectively without the Mr. T starter kit hanging around his neck.
David Ross - Ross went 1-for-5 and avoided a concussion.
Mike Carp - Carp had one at-bat, struck out and looks like a cast member of The Devils Rejects.
Quintin Berry - He's Berry good on the base paths.
Ryan Dempster - Demps pitched one inning while you were getting another beer. He gave up a hit.
Brandon Workman - Workman got in 2/3 of an inning and now has stories to tell his grandkids one day.
The ALCS begins Saturday at Fenway Park as the Red Sox magical worst-to-first season continues. Eight more wins to go.