When you have the best record in the major leagues, and on pace to win a franchise record number of regular season games, perhaps it's nitpicking to worry about a blown save by your team's all star closer, especially when you win the game in extra innings anyway.
So if you must find something to worry about as a Boston Red Sox fan after last night's 10-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in ten innings, it would be Craig Kimbrel struggling for a second consecutive appearance,. Kimbrel did eventually strike out the side in the bottom of the 9th, but not before yielding a home run to Justin Smoak that tied the game at 5 and sent the game into extras.
But in the top of the 10th Mitch Moreland would bail out his teammate, slugging a three run homer off newly acquired Blue Jays closer Ken Giles after a lead-off triple by Mookie Betts and a walk issued to Andrew Benintendi.
Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run shot for good measure to make it 10-5 and while the Jays would add two more in the bottom of the 10th off Tyler Thornburg, they'd get no closer. The Red Sox also got a critical home run from the league leader in that category, J.D. Martinez, in a big top of the 8th when the Sox trailed 3-1 before cobbling together a comeback to take the lead prior to Toronto tying things up in the 9th.
Kimbrel is still one of the league's best closers, but in his last appearance against the NY Yankees he had a 4-0 lead to work with and yielded a run before loading the bases and barely squirming out of that jam, so it would be of greater comfort to see him polish things off neatly in his next save opportunity.
There's also reason to be concerned about the continuing erratic performance of starter Drew Pomeranz, who couldn't get out of the fifth inning last night and issued five walks in his latest ineffectual start since battling back from injury.
But with the win last night, the Red Sox are the first team to reach eighty wins on the season, they have a nine game lead over the Yankees for first place in the A.L. east, and there are dozens of teams throughout the league that would love to have their problems in the overall scheme of things.
The NY Yankees, meanwhile, avoided falling behind the Red Sox by double digits when they also played extra baseball last night, beating the Chicago White Sox 4-3 in a 13-inning affair in the Windy City.
Rookie third baseman Miguel Andujar was relegated to designated hitter duty last night, following his two-error game in the finale of the Red Sox series, but he made up for it by homering and singling in the winning run in the top of the 13th.
And another Yankee who was recently relieved of his regular duties after some poor outings redeemed himself and helped seal the win. Starter Sonny Gray pitched three scoreless innings in relief last night and picked up the win after losing his job in the starting rotation to the newly acquired Lance Lynn, but if Gray continues to pitch that well out of the bullpen, he may have a new role that can improve what's already the league's best corps of relief pitchers.
Giancarlo Stanton also homered for the Yankees, his 26th of the season.
The news wasn't as good for the NY Mets. Hometown native Sal Romano got the win, but did so for the visiting Cincinnati Reds after pitching into the seventh in the Reds' 6-1 win. Romano grew up in Syosset on Long Island, not far from the Mets old home of Shea Stadium in Queens and had scores of family and friends in the stands at Citi Field to cheer him on for his first big league win in New York. They had to wait out a nearly two hour rain delay in the first inning, but we can assume it was worth it.
Jason Vargas took the loss for the Mets, allowing three runs and three hits while failing to get out of the fifth inning.
The Vermont Lake Monsters had their game against the Lowell Spinners rained out in Massachusetts last night, but the team did get some good news with four Lake Monsters named to the NY Penn League all-star game.
Infielder Jonah Bride, pitcher Jose Mora, outfielder Payton Squier and pitcher Brandon Withers will be among the league's best at next week's All-Star Game in State College, Pennsylvania.
The run is over for the South Burlington Little Leaguers, who fell to New Hampshire in the elimination game of the New England Regional at Bristol, Connecticut last night.
The Goffstown Junior Baseball 11 and 12 year olds dominated this one, winning 13-0 while holding South Burlington to just two hits on the evening.
There's a new leader with one day of play left at the Vermont State Women's Golf Association amateur championship at the Country Club of Vermont in Waterbury.
Andrea Brown now owns a one-shot edge with 18 holes to play after a 4-over-par 76 Tuesday, forging ahead of first round leader Miranda Milne, who finished with a second-round 78. Brown is 6 over par after two days of play but still maintains that one shot lead heading into the final round today.