Wake, yet again, did not pick up his two hundredth win. Why? Because, yet again, he went up against another starter who matched him pitch for pitch, so he left the game tied and received a no-decision. Which is a real shame because, not only was Tuesday his birthday, but the way in which we won last night was perfectly conducive to history-making.
Wake pitched six and two-thirds innings, gave up three runs on five hits, walked two, and struck out six. He gave up a solo shot to lead off the fourth. Sixty-four of his ninety-nine pitches were strikes. Two of his innings were one-two-three; it should have been three but Scutaro made a fielding error in the third. And it took him only thirty-five pitches to get through those three innings. Then he gave up a solo shot, and a single followed by a double meant two runs scored in the fourth. He issued a walk in the fifth and that should have been it, but Salty passed a ball. (Actually, in the game he passed two.) In the sixth he issued another walk. The seventh wasn’t great; he allowed another run before he was pulled. After him, it was Williams and then Paps with the win.
So it’s that same debate about the fact that it’s not like Wake helped his own cause much by giving up runs, but at the same time it’s not like the offense backed him up much because they should have been able to score more than three runs.
With two out in the first and runners on second and third, Papi singled them both in. With one out in the fourth and the bases loaded, Scutaro grounded into a force out, which scored one. Yes, that is one of the most anticlimactic ways to score a run when the bases are loaded.
Were there opportunities after that? Again, not really. A baserunner or two here and there, but nothing after that bases-loaded situation that could really be construed as a real rally-starter. But there should have been more. We picked up ten hits to their five, but we left only one more man on base than they did and we had one more opportunity with runners in scoring position. I was sure Pedroia’s fly ball was going out in the third. Then again I also assumed that Pedroia wouldn’t take off too early if he were to try to steal a base, and he did that in the third too.
Yet again the bottom of the ninth rolled around. With two out in the inning, Ellsbury yet again stepped to the plate. And yet again he pulled it off, this time in more powerful and dramatic fashion. It was his second walkoff in as many games, but it was the first ever walkoff home run of his career. He took a slider for a strike, and then he got a ninety-mile-per-hour fastball. And he knew exactly what to do with it. He powered it on a straight shot all the way to center field. And then, of course, the walkoff mob. That walkoff mob is a blast, isn’t it?
Ellsbury is the first to close the park in two consecutive games since Papi did it in 2006. It was the first time Paps earned wins in two consecutive games since 2008. We won, 4-3. It was awesome. All I can say is, Jacoby Ellsbury, ladies and gentlemen!