Now, that’s more like it! Especially with Dice-K pitching well! Admittedly, he didn’t pitch long, but let’s remember that our expectations unfortunately shouldn’t be too high at this point. But we can celebrate coming back in the late innings to win it; it shows resilience, strength, and a never-say-die attitude. We needed a win like this to keep our momentum going, our spirits up, and our record intact.
He pitched five and two-thirds innings and gave up one run on six hits. That one run was the only run the Jays would score all night. In the first, Dice-K gave up a double, followed by a fielder’s choice. Then there was a popout followed by an RBI single, and that was it. (Incidentally, Middlebrooks made another error that allowed a runner to advance to third on the following play. Fortunately, it didn’t result in any damage, and all else being equal, even if it did we would have won anyway, but still.) Dice-K also walked one and struck out five. He had a killer cutter last night that was thrown for strikes almost eighty percent of the time. Fortunately he threw mostly cutters and four-seams, which were also thrown mostly for strikes. He threw some curveballs, which honestly were horrendous, as well as a handful of two-seams, changeups, and sliders, which were alright. He also threw a lot of pitches; I guess some things never change. He needed one hundred pitches to get through his outing.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get the win. When he exited the game, we were down by one because we hadn’t scored anything and wouldn’t until the seventh, when we saw three different relievers and sent seven batters to the plate. We almost scored in the sixth, though. With one out, Pedroia walked and tried to come home on a double by Papi but was out at the plate.
Anyway, the seventh inning began with two quick outs followed by a solo shot by Salty on his second pitch, a fastball down and away. He put it in the first row of Monster seats and tied the game with one swing; it’s always nice when you can do it efficiently with one swing of the bat. Kalish then came in to pinch-hit for McDonald and doubled. Nava then came in to pinch-hit for Lillibridge and was hit by a pitch. Then Aviles walked to load the bases. And then Pedroia singled in two, with Aviles out at third.
We scored two more in the eighth to cement the win. Papi doubled, Ross singled, Papi scored on a double by Gonzalez, and Ross scored on a sac fly by Middlebrooks.
Seriously, how many of you thought we were going to lose this one by a score of 1-0? Games like this show you that you can never count us out. It’s good to have a reminder of that every once in a while. Even though ideally you hope we’re never in a situation where we have to come from behind.
Atchison pitched the last out of the sixth as well as the first two of the seventh, Miller pitched the last out of the seventh and picked up the win, Padilla pitched the eighth and picked up a hold, and Aceves pitched the ninth. The final score was 5-1. We are now in sole possession of second-to-last place. If we win today, we will have one nine of our last eleven and our fifth consecutive series.