Yes. Yes, yes, yes. This, my friends, is how it’s done. This is the kind of win we need consistently. This is the way we need to play on a regular basis. This was awesome. It was awesome, awesome, awesome. Good pitching, good hitting, and good fielding; what a winning combination, to state the obvious.
Cook was the starter, and he delivered. That was the sinker we’ve been missing during those starts where he was just awful. He’s still got it in him, and he just made a statement that he can’t be counted out yet.
To be even more corny, he cooked up quite the start. He pitched seven extremely solid innings, giving up only one run on six hits. That one run scored in the second as a result of a double-single combination. Other than that, he had only isolated threats that he expertly negotiated by mixing his pitches and keeping his head down. He seemed to really find his stride starting in the third; over the course of the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, he faced only two above the minimum. He walked three and struck out two. And he was efficient, throwing a total of ninety-eight pitches.
He was relieved by Tazawa for the eighth and ninth. Tazawa gave up a solo shot to lead off the ninth, but fortunately by that time we were in a position where the game was more than put away.
We didn’t score until the third, so Texas had the smallest of leads for a very short time before we promptly took it back and never gave it up, which was a nice change of pace. Ellsbury and Crawford opened the third with back-to-back doubles that scored one, and Gonzalez doubled in Crawford one out later for two. We gave ourselves more of a cushion in the fourth; Middlebrooks flied out to open the inning, but then Kalish walked, Aviles singled, and we had three straight scoring plays: Ellsbury hit a double, Crawford hit a sac fly, and Pedroia hit a double. Three more runs just like that.
We took a break in the fifth and sixth before adding another run in the seventh. Pedroia doubled and scored on a single by Gonzalez. We put the final touches on the win in the eighth. Aviles started out with a groundout, which was not at all an indication of things to come. I can imagine that it may have put Texas in a bit of false security for a bit. But then Ellsbury singled and scored on a double by Crawford. Pedroia then walked to put two men on base. Crawford scored on a single by Gonzalez, and Ciriaco, who had come in to pinch-run for Pedroia, scored on a sac fly by Ross.
So let’s tally it up, shall we? The final score was a grand 9-2. We scored in four of eight innings during which we made plate appearances. We had fourteen hits, eight of which were for extra bases. All of those eight hits were doubles; none were homers. Our starters in spots one through four all had multi-hit games, and they were huge: Ellsbury went three for five with two doubles, Crawford went two for four with two doubles, Pedroia went three for four with three doubles, and Gonzalez went three for five with one double. Only two members of the starting nine went hitless, Salty and Middlebrooks, but even they walked once.
So not only did we win, and not only did we do it on the back of strong performances from pitching and hitting and fielding, and not only did men who have been struggling, including Cook, end up delivering, but we also managed to have a slugfest without slugging. In this game we did it all, which shows that we have it in us to do it all. All we have do now is, well, keep doing it. How awesome would it be to win like this all the time?