Disregard the bad grammar of this blog title. Disregard Philadelphia's 3-1 lead in this World Series. Don't disregard these words: The Tampa Bay Rays will come back and win this series.
But the Rays have answered adversity all year long, and they'll do it again in this series.
"We're at our best when things get tough," said Evan Longoria, the Rays third baseman, earlier this year.
And boy, have they proven it. When everyone said they couldn't go from worst to first, they answered. When everyone said they couldn't hold off the Red Sox and win the division, they answered. And when I even thought they couldn't come back from a devastating Game 5 loss to Boston in the ALCS -- especially after losing Game 6 -- they answered yet again.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
The Rays will come back again in this series. Their manager, Joe Maddon, has been pressing the right buttons all year. He has this Zen thing going on, where he's always calm, but not in a detached sort of way. He knows how to get the best out of his players in big moments, and he'll do that tonight with Tampa pitch Scott Kazmir. Maddon will probably make several trips to the mound tonight even at just the slightest hint of touble: He'll make sure Kazmir guts out every inning, every pitch.
And the Rays will hit Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels. In Game 1, Tampa had him on the ropes several times and just couldn't land that big blow. That won't happen tonight. The Rays lineup is just too good not to capitalize when Hamels goes through his par-for-the-course early-game struggles. Expect a KO early on.
And after the Rays victory, the series will head back to Tampa, where the Rays had the best home record in baseball this year. Tropicana Field will be rocking. The mohawks will be in full bloom.
Then, all bets are off. Tampa ain't done yet.