For eight innings, this was a different recap. A recap about the great ride of the Three Bs, version 2.0 (3.0?).
Then came the ninth, and it all changed.
The Three Bs I speak of, in this case, are Bogaerts, Bradley, and Betts. Not necessarily in that order. While Bradley's star has long since fallen from the heights of the other two, there was a brief moment in 2014 when he was still viewed as one of the team's best young talents and Mookie Betts had already proven himself. For that moment, the trio were future, before Bradley dropped off and we tried to shoehorn other names into the group like Blake Swihart and Andrew Benintendi.
(No, it's not the same, particularly with Bogaerts and Betts so firmly in the major leagues)
But tonight was a throwback. Bradley, Bogaerts, and Betts made the early innings of this game their own. A David Ortiz double play had undone hits from Betts and Bogaerts in the first, while the third saw Jackie Bradley Jr. lead off with a triple and score on Betts' second base hit of the game. In the fifth it was once again Mookie Betts knocking in Jackie Bradley, this time with a double hit sharply off the glove of Martin Prado at third. Toss in a run scored for Xander Bogaerts as part of a two-run sixth, and defense good and extraordinary from Betts and Bogaerts respectively, and you've got a trio that had seemingly decided to make the game their own.
But they let up, The fourth time through the order, the trio was silent, and Steven Wright had finally cracked after a night of hard contact gone unrewarded for Miami, surrendering two runs in the bottom of the sixth to get the Marlins on the board and cutting Boston's lead in half. And that made it a close game for the bullpen. A bullpen lacking Koji Uehara.
Ryan Cook could get the job done, but Tommy Layne could not, walking two batters in the seventh, with Alexi Ogando pulling some kind of Miracle to allow just the one run after Cole Gillespie loaded the bases with zero outs on a bunt single. The eighth saw Jean Machi struggle as well, but after allowing a two-out double and walk, Justin Bour grounded out to end the threat.
In came Junichi Tazawa for the ninth, in place of Boston's closer Koji Uehara, now out for the year. In came Junichi Tazawa, and away went the lead. The danger cropped up quickly, with J.T. Realmuto and Ichiro singling just one pitch apart, but came to damage only after a long, drawn-out battle with Adeiny Hechavarria ended in a sacrifice fly.
And if you thought the Red Sox pen was thin before the ninth, imagine after? Enter Craig Breslow, exit hope. Dee Gordon immediately tripled, and then scored on a Justin Bour single. It had taken the Marlins seven innings to get the game back in a tie, and just one to turn that tie into a win. Ugly, but not a surprise. That's how it goes with a bullpen like this.