On a night when the Boston Red Sox honored the Impossible Dream team of 1967 that single-handedly revived baseball in Beantown, winning a pennant in a year when no one expected them to, it's perhaps fitting that the 2017 Boston Red Sox won a game that looked for most of the evening like a certain loss.
The Red Sox spotted the St. Louis Cardinals a 4-0 lead early, with Eduardo Rodriguez struggling to command any of his pitches in a sloppy second inning at Fenway Park last night.
The Red Sox would cut that lead in half the following inning with a throwing error leading to one run and a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly another, but Cardinals starter Lance Lynn shut the Red Sox down through six innings after that and a promising bottom of the eighth fizzled out for Boston when Christian Vazquez hit into an inning ending double play with men on first and third.
But there are nine innings in baseball, and a two-run lead at Fenway is never a sure thing, which the Red Sox proved in the bottom of that frame. Xander Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run into the Monster seats off Trevor Rosenthal, who then walked Mitch Moreland and was replaced by Zach Duke, and that move didn't work for manager Mike Matheny's team either when he walked Jackie Bradley Jr.
Chris Young ran for Moreland at second and Matheny made yet another pitching change with John Brebbia coming on to try and close things out. He was a pitch away from doing so, with Mookie Betts at the plate, a 3 and 2 count with two on and two out, and Mookie would send the Fenway Faithful home more than happy, ripping the payoff pitch to left off the Green Monster. Young scored easily and Bradley was waved home. The relay throw to the plate arrived well before he did but catcher Yadier Molina couldn't gather in the one-hop throw and Bradley scrambled around the plate then reached bag to tag it for the game-winning run and an amazing come from behind walk-off 5-4 victory with three runs scored in the bottom of the ninth. Here's a look at the frenzy at the Fens:
The Red Sox certainly have made a habit of these kinds of wins at home this season. Of their last 19 wins at Fenway Park, eight of them have been of the walk-off variety. There were 18 players from that 1967 team on hand to watch these latest fireworks and it must have stirred some great memories as they did.
So the Red Sox sweep the two game series from St. Louis in dramatic fashion, no small thing given that the NY Yankees were putting he finishing touches on their latest win over the NY Mets, beating their crosstown rivals 5-3 as the series shifted from the Bronx to Queens.
The game winning hit was a double by Didi Gregorius that broke a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning but most of the water cooler talk in New York this morning will be about the latest gargantuan home run hit by Aaron Judge, which soared into the upper deck of Citi Field, an estimated 457 feet, but Yankees players after the game insisted that that measurement was short by at least 50 feet. Did it really travel 500 feet? You be "the Judge". (Sorry):
In any event, Judge crushed the ball and also had a more pedestrian single, marking his first multi-hit game since mid-July, and Judge also kept going a streak he'd rather see end. The mammoth outfielder has now struck out in 33 consecutive games including last night, and is closing in on the all-time consecutive strike-out record held by Adam Dunn five years ago.
After tweaking his hamstring a bit in his last outing, closer Aroldis Chapman was not used by manager Joe Girardi in the ninth. Instead the save went to David Robertson, his 14th of the year, and first since rejoining the Yankees.
The Toronto Blue Jays nipped the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 last night, with Marcus Stroman going six and a third innings for the win and Dominic Leone making the lead stand up in a tight situation. Trailing 3-1 the Rays loaded the bases in the seventh and made it a one run game when Aaron Loup walked in a run, but Dominic Leone came on to end the threat. The Blue Jays have now won 11 of their last 16 at home.
The Vermont Lake Monsters topped the Lowell Spinners 7-4 at Centennial Field last night. Big night at the plate for Logan Farrar, who went 3 for 5 with two doubles, driving in two, and Hunter Hargrove was 2 for 4 with two additional RBI's in the victory, and the Monsters gained a little separation from the Tri City Valley Cats to pad their lead for first place in the Stedler division to one and a half games.