OK, so the Sox lost 3-2 in 13 innings. Relax. It was against one of the three best teams in baseball. It was against a starter who was 9-1 going in. It was on Detroit’s home field. And it was with the Red Sox 6th, just-up-for-a-few-cups-of-coffee starter. And honestly, it was worth every minute if it just to get that picture.
I guess with a double-digit lead, I’ve already mentally checked out for the All-Star break. These are the games that in the past would have me punching kittens and shot-gunning Nyquil just to take the edge off. And it is well documented what Red would do in these situations. But this year, I was able to enjoy it for what it was: a great baseball game by two teams that will very likely face each other in the ALCS.
There were positives and negatives to take away from the night. Manny was 0-4 and left six runners on base, Lugo was 0-2 and couldn’t get a bunt down, and Papelbon hit Sheff with his first pitch of the night which would ultimately be the winning run. On the other side of the coin, Gabbard had a solid outing, the bullpen was – to use the most over-used phrase in this millennium – lights out, Ortiz homered, doubled and walked four times, and Crisp had two hits and a sacrifice bunt.
Sunday we get the most promising match-up of the weekend with Dice-K going against Robertson. If the Sox pull it out, I’ll consider going 1-2 a victory against the Tigers considering the match-ups we had Friday and Saturday.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little extracurricular activity if the score gets lopsided. Sheffield has been hit twice already, and instead of just touching the plate for the winning run, he kind of kicked dirt across it as he scored. With game-time temperatures expected to be in the high nineties, things could heat up quickly on the field.