Sometimes games are just ugly. Fielders bobble balls, catchers don't catch, opposing baserunners run amok, and in the worst case, you can't even keep your starting nine on the field with injuries piling up.
That's what happened to the Red Sox tonight. They won by seven.
Sometimes the knuckleball can just be too tough for its own good. Wright's prime offering was moving all over the place, even in seemingly impossible ways, and Ryan Hanigan just was having none of it. Wright recorded three strikeouts in the first, and still twice the Rockies had their man running to first as the ball got away. Only Nolan Arenado would reach, and Hanigan would gun him down trying to take second by a mile, but it was a sign of things to come. The second saw a leadoff single from Carlos Gonzalez turn into three bases on a passed ball and wild pitch, with the second batter of the inning in Mark Reynolds bringing him in with a simple ground ball out.
It was another series of knuckleball-induced gaffes that cost Wright his second run come the fourth, with Carlos Gonzalez again getting two free bases following a single, though one of those free bases was home this time with Reynolds having singled him along to third in between.
It was just that kind of night for Hanigan, and he left the game due to illness with four passed balls and a couple wild pitches on his watch.
But if the knuckleball's movement was giving Hanigan fits, it was driving the Rockies crazy. Those catching-assisted runs were the only ones the Rockies could score off Wright through the first seven. And while the Red Sox had been hitting a bunch of ground balls straight at fielders to start the game, this team was never going to be kept down for long. Xander Bogaerts sounded the charge by golfing a solo shot over everything in left field to start the fourth, and the flood gates opened. David Ortiz drew a walk behind him, and Jackie Bradley Jr. followed up by extending his streak to 29 with a single into left. Travis Shaw plated a hustling Hanley Ramirez (who replaced Ortiz at first on a ground out) on a single into center, and Blake Swihart capped the inning by crushing a pitch into the triangle for a two-run triple.
They could've left off there and still walked away with the win, but these Sox have a penchant for excess at the plate. The very next inning saw the Red Sox score three more, with Travis Shaw doing the biggest part of the work with a double to the wall in center. And in the eighth Blake Swihart found the same spot in center for his second triple of the night, scoring on a single from Mookie Betts before David Ortiz finally got a pitch to hit and doubled over the shift into right to once again put the Sox in double digits.
It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. Dustin Pedroia left the game with a tight hamstring after doubling in the fifth, though it very much seems to have been a precautionary move. And in the late going, Xander Bogaerts may have lost a fingernail when applying the tag at second as Jackie Bradley Jr. threw out Carlos Gonzalez on a ball off the wall. Steven Wright was even tagged for a third run when John Farrell for some reason chose to keep him in the game with a pitch count of 110 to start the eighth inning. But assuming none of these linger on into tomorrow, they are minor quibbles. The Red Sox scored ten again, Steven Wright is still basically the ace, Jackie Bradley's streak is alive, and Xander Bogaerts is hitting for power. All is well in Fenway Park.