Red Sox 11, Mariners 8: Longballapalooza

Otto Greule Jr

Much better. Much, much better. Well, except for Webster stinking up the joint. And don't worry about the ACEVES-induced rips in the space-time continuum, we can live with those.

In the primordial waters, as the continents fused and were torn asunder, in the ages before time was even a thought, lurked the awful menace, the vengeful twinned spirit of creation and negation, the . . .

But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Allen Webster's night on the mound today was like Thomas Hobbes's description of uncivilized life: nasty, brutish, and short. It was clear from the outset that, in Porgy's memorable words, he "got plenty o' nuttin," as he wasn't fooling any of the Mariners' batters, with all of the batters in the first inning putting the ball into play. Or, well, almost, as Kendrys Morales took a two-seamer out of the park, scoring Raul Ibanez to put the Sox in a quick 2-0 hole. In the second inning, bat came to worse, as Webster would load up the bases on a single and a pair of walks, then allow Brad Miller to hit a bases-clearing double. Another home run to Kendrys Morales and a single later, and Webster's night would be over after accumulating a horrific line of 2.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR.

Given that, you would think that with Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound for the Mariners, the night would be reminiscent of most of the rest of the West Coast trip. And you would be right, except for the part about being completely wrong. For the Unsummonable One cannot be called without bending the very fabric of reality itself.

But again, that is in the future.

The first inning made it look like it was going to be another long night of frustration for the Sox, with three Sox batters stepping into the box, and three Sox batters just as quickly returning to the dugout. In the top of the second, however, David Ortiz delivered the first blow for the good guys, hitting a leadoff solo homer.

However, the third inning would be much more pleasing to Sox fans, as Ortiz would hit a double off of Iwakuma. Even better, though, was that this was a double sandwich, with the tasty, life-sustaining bread being a pair of two-run homers absolutely crushed by Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli. Napoli's blast was especially welcome ambrosia, coming so soon after he sent a run from Angel Stadium to the moon a few nights back. But just as a sign of how weird tonight was, Jarrod Saltalamacchia would get a ground-rule double, and a strikeout of Iglesias instead ended up with runners on the corners on a wild pitch. Brock Holt would hit a sacrifice fly that would temporarily give the Sox a 6-5 lead.

After that, however, came Morales's second home run, and then . . . the ACEVES. Perhaps he was not properly awakened. Maybe Farrell left off an important guttural click. Perchance it was that Alex Wilson was not acceptable to the ACEVES as the full, final sacrifice. For the ACEVES would surrender a triple to tie the game at 7-7 once more, before recording the two final outs before slinking back into the ooze, like a Norn whose knowledge of the past, present, and future has been irrevocably cut.

With the ACEVES safely ensconced once more, it would be up to the rest of the Sox bats and gloves to get the job done, and they responded in brilliant fashion. Craig Breslow would do yeoman's service, going 2.1 innings and giving up only three hits, but more importantly, no runs as well. Andrew Bailey would have an even better outing, stingily doling out one hit in 1.2 innings.

But the story of the game: the bats made up for their relative silence the last few nights. Oh, how they responded! Every Sox batter had a hit. For a while, it looked leadoff hitter Daniel Nava would be the only left out of the club, but he too made it on base multiple times, getting hit by a pitch in the fourth before scoring on a Pedroia single. The home run exhibition was not yet completed, as Jackie Bradley, Jr decided to see what all the cool kids were doing in the fifth inning, and Shane Victorino joined the club in the eighth. Iglesias and Holt would throw in additional runs into the hopper that inning as well, giving the Sox a four-run cushion going into the bottom of the eighth.

Junichi Tazawa could not quite keep up pace with Breslow and Bailey, as a run would score on relatively weakly hit balls and a grounder to Mike Napoli. Under the circumstances, however, this may have easily been an ACEVES-induced ripple in the space-time continuum. The ninth would be Koji Uehara time. And Uehara, like Mephistopheles, is faster than human thought, once again notching three outs in just seven pitches to put the cap on a long, but wonderful evening.

Until the next time the ACEVES rises his from the earth to claim his awful due. . . .

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