The Red Sox kept on chipping away to overcome an early deficit, clinch their series against New York, and finally win a one-run game.
There’s no denying that David Price didn’t entirely have it today. He allowed three in the third, including a two-run shot from Gary Sanchez, and another two in the fourth immediately after the Sox got him those runs back. But it’s also pretty hard to blame him for much. Not simply because every pitcher is allowed a bad game after six straight starts allowing fewer than three runs, but also because of things outside of baseball. In this case...
Terry appears to have been the last of David Price’s three best friends growing up, battling a brain tumor. There are plenty of stories of players taking personal tragedy and having big performances in their wake, but to expect any one man to be able to focus in and persevere through those circumstances is simply not reasonable. There’s nothing for it except to send Price our best wishes and condolences.
As silly as it feels to proceed to proceed to talk about baseball now, this is a baseball site, and this is a recap, so here we go.
The Red Sox didn’t quite do what they were probably hoping to do against an unproven pitcher like Bryan Mitchell, but they also certainly didn’t let him completely off the hook. Travis Shaw, Sandy Leon, and Jackie Bradley Jr. squandered an early opportunity in the second, but the Sox responded to New York’s three-run third with a couple of runs on as many doubles in an inning that could’ve gone for even more damage had Dustin Pedroia’s rocket to right field not found a glove.
Mitchell would get through the fourth without allowing any more runs. Girardi would ask for one more frame out of him, and nearly got it when he induced a couple easy pop-ups after walking Bradley to start. But in the end it was the very last at bat that proved his undoing, with Xander Bogaerts somehow ripping a pitch that was well off the plate inside and keeping it fair over the Monster for a two-run shot, closing the gap to one run.
One-run games, of course, have not been friendly to the Red Sox. Particularly of late, as they’ve lost their last seven. And when the Sox managed to strand the bases loaded in the sixth, with Dustin Pedroia taking (and getting furious with) a clear strike three, it wasn’t the best of signs. But in the bottom of the seventh, Xander Bogaerts contributed his third extra-base hit of the game to give the Sox an early runner in scoring position. With the infield in and Bogaerts on third after a David Ortiz sacrifice fly, Mookie Betts bounced a ground ball over Didi Gregorius’ head to make it 5-5. Hanley Ramirez would follow with a single of his own, and both runners advanced on a Travis Shaw ground out, so when Adam Warren skipped one away from Austin Romine, Betts was able to come in and score the go-ahead run.
The inning ended in less-than-glamorous fashion as Ramirez found himself out at home trying to catch the Yankees sleeping on the very same play (an attempt that might well have worked had he not hesitated—Romine was caught very much off guard). That might have been a very frustrating out had Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel not gotten through the eighth and ninth allowing just a walk, sealing the one-run win.
And likely ending New York’s final playoff hopes, too. The loss leaves them seven back in the division (which they were never likely to recover and win) and, more importantly, 4.5 back in the wild card race. That’s probably that. While it may not really make any difference to the Red Sox at this point—hell, the Yankees are probably preferable competition to the Orioles or Blue Jays—it’s certainly satisfying to be the ones to put their age-old rivals away, no matter how much later it came than we might have expected.