Whenever I tell people how often I watch baseball on TV, they all say the same thing: it’s so boring. To me, baseball isn’t boring and I could watch every Red Sox game with a smile on my face. I can certainly see why people think it’s boring though, especially with this year’s Red Sox team who seem to go out of their way to play an extra inning game at least once a week. Last night’s game, featuring a Christian Vasquez walk-off bomb, was the opposite of boring.
Any time you can win a game in August with a walk-off homer that puts you back into first place you’ll take it, but last night’s game was extra special. Let’s take a look at some of the craziness, which is a good look at why these types of games don’t happen more often. A LOT of insane stuff has to happen to create one of these magical games.
Heading into last night’s game, Chris Sale hadn’t given up a run since 7/6 against Tampa (20 2/3 innings). Sale proceeded to give up 5 runs in the first two innings last night, and 7 overall in his 5 innings of work.
The Red Sox scored 12 runs last night, but only scored in 3 of 9 innings. Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco entered the game with a respectable 3.58 ERA and hadn’t gone less than 6 innings since a 6/26 start against Texas. He gave up 5 runs in the second inning and was bounced after 1 2/3 innings.
After a two run home run by Edwin Encarnacion in the top of 5th, Hanley Ramirez led off the bottom of the inning with what looked like a home run into the Sox bullpen. Austin Jackson had other ideas.
Newly acquired setup man Addison Reed had allowed only 4 earned runs in his last 22 appearances, but gave up a home run to the first batter he faced as a member of the Red Sox. Craig Kimbrel blew only his fourth save as a member of the Red Sox, and last night was the first time this season he gave up more than 1 earned run in an appearance.
By now you know that Vasquez won it with a walk-off homer, but the only reason he batted was because of a wild pitch strikeout of Mitch Moreland with two outs in the inning. If Cody Allen doesn’t throw a wild pitch on the strikeout, the game is over. The wild pitch gave the Sox one last shot, and Vasquez capitalized. Baseball can be a beautiful thing.