When was the last time you experienced a three-hour rain delay? You could fit an entire baseball game into that period of time. Wow. That’s what I call a delay. But it was a great game, and I’m glad we got to see it through to the end. Not that we had anything to lose if we hadn’t been able to do so. We won after nine, and we would have won after seven-plus.
Middlebrooks scored the game’s first run when he went yard in the second. He got a slider and then three straight changeups; the last one ended up, like Saturday’s home runs, beyond the fence in right center field. Quite the powerful and positive note to start on.
With one out in the next frame, Victorino walked, moved to third on a single by Gomes, and scored on a force attempt by Pedroia. That was a gift. That ball was a double play waiting to happen, but an exceptionally aberrant throw put it in the outfield. With one out in the fifth, Pedroia, Papi, and Napoli hit back-to-back-to-back singles, scoring another run. Nava actually made it back-to-back-to-back-to-back, but no further runs scored, and Middlebrooks and Salty provided two quick outs, Salty grounding out on only one pitch.
We scored the game’s last two runs in the ninth, the only inning during which we scored more than one run. With one out, Gomes walked, and then Pedroia went yard on a fastball, the third one of that at-bat and the fourth pitch overall. This time, the ball went beyond the fence in left field; I guess it’s good to have some variety. Either way, it was two runs on one swing.
Lackey had himself a great start in the meantime. His first four innings were literally perfect; he didn’t give up any hits or issue any walks. But his third pitch of the fifth was hit for a double, and then he hit a batter, got a strikeout, and a run scored on a force out. But at least we got an out out of it. The inning then ended on a groundout. He then threw a perfect sixth. So it was just the fifth that was problematic, and even the fifth wasn’t that problematic, if you think about it. He only allowed one run, and it wasn’t even earned, because the only reason why the runner advanced to first on the force out was because Ciriaco made a throwing error. In the end, that double was his only hit. And he pitched through six rather than five, so it was definitely a quality start, and I’d say it’s a start we can be proud of.
In total, Lackey threw eighty-four pitches and probably would have pitched even longer had it not been for the rain delay. He ended up striking out five and, of course, didn’t walk anyone.
Miller pitched a perfect seventh, and Uehara gave up a double, a walk, and a single to load the bases with two out but pitched himself out of it, ending the eighth unscathed. Tazawa pitched an almost-perfect ninth, giving up a single but no runs.
The final score was 5-1. It turns out that none of our runs were scored with nobody out, but I’m glad we’ve shown that we can handle the pressure. By the way, we just swept.
In other news, we find ourselves up in the series, two-zip; the B’s took the second game from the Rangers, 5-2!