Boston Red Sox: Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat
The name of my blog is Expect the Unexpected, and that’s what happened in Fenway Park last night. In one of the most dramatic and exciting baseball finishes, the Red Sox came back from the dead to win when all hope seemed to be lost.
Even if the Boston Red Sox don’t win the American League Championship Series, they have proven they have the right stuff and are a winning TEAM in the best possible sense of the word.
The Tigers knocked the socks off the Sox in game one of the ALCS, winning 1 to 0, and giving up just one lowly hit to Daniel Nava in the process. They were on cruise control in game two Sunday night. Detroit starter Max Scherzer allowed only one run on two hits over seven innings and struck out 13. Stunning pangs of déjà vu.
Down 5 to 1 in the eighth inning, all Sox fans could think about was how painful and humiliating it was going to be to head to Detroit on Tuesday down two games to none in the best of seven series.
But in the bottom of the eighth, things changed. With bases loaded, David Ortiz swung at the first pitch from reliever Joaquin Benoit and the ball sailed into the Sox bullpen, a grand slam to tie the game 5 to 5.
Huge drama in the ninth. Jonny Gomes led off with an infield single and went to second on a throwing error by Tigers’ shortstop Julio Iglesias. Gomes then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jared Saltalamacchia came to bat and hit a pop up foul ball, which Prince Fielder missed, the ball brushing his glove as it went into the stands behind first base.
Salty then hit a single, scoring Gomes, and that was that. Sox win 6 to 5.
Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.
It was the 12th walkoff this season for a team that has fought hard to get where they are. Last year the Sox finished in last place in their division. When this season started no one expected much from the Sox, middle of the heap maybe, a “rebuilding year.” But with new manager John Farrell leading the charge, the Sox went from worst to first, proving the naysayers wrong.
Any team can do well when their pitchers are lights out. But it takes a great team to stick together during the tough times. This gritty, bearded brigade has done just that. They play like a team should with key hits coming from every part of their batting order. Every player has value.
While I am an admitted Red Sox fan, first and foremost I am a baseball fan. I admire Detroit’s pitching efforts. Tied 1 to 1 in the series, I look forward to Tuesday night as the Sox take on Tigers ace Justin Verlander. This guy is smokin’ for sure, but don’t count the Sox out — ever.
Click photo below for link to Ortiz’s home run video.