This one was not dramatic. It wasn’t a nailbiter. At no point was it the least bit suspenseful. No, we just had to deal with the fact that we were on top from the very beginning. Somehow, it wasn’t that hard to adapt to that kind of situation. Somehow, when we’re busy cleaning up like that, it just feels natural.
Aceves started this one, and I have to say that he did an absolutely spectacular job. Just going in there and randomly starting a game when you’re not doing it on a regular basis is no easy task, but Aceves made it look like just that. He pitched six innings of one-run ball, giving up seven hits, three walks, and four strikeouts. Even that one run was the result of just one isolated mistake; Aceves missed his spot with a fastball thrown with one out in the third, and it was hit for a solo shot. Other than that, his start was as solid as solid gets.
So was Mortensen’s seventh. The same can not be said of the eighth. Mortensen gave up a double to start the frame. Then there was a fielder’s choice, and then he was replaced by Miller. Miller gave up the second home run of the night for the Phillies; this one, though, was a two-run home run that came on a slider that missed.
Fortunately, it didn’t matter. We were way beyond the point where another two runs would have counted for anything. The Phillies scored three runs all game, and all three came via the home run. Well. We scored three runs in the first inning alone, and all three came via the home run.
First, Ellsbury singled. Then Nava grounded out, moving to Ellsbury to second. He took third on a wild pitch, and then on a 2-1 count, Pedroia got a bad cutter and made the Phillies pay. He rocketed the ball right around the Pesky Pole. And we all know how small of a guy Pedroia is and, therefore, how awesome it is to see him just unleash on a ball. And it’s not like the ball took its time leaving the ballpark, either. It was awesome.
Papi struck out. And then Napoli went yard on his first pitch of the game, which was also a bad cutter. This one went beyond the fence in right center. And we all know the kind of power that Napoli possesses, so he just made it look so easy and so effortless, like it was the most natural thing in the world that he would be doing at that moment.
Then Drew walked, and Carp flied out. End inning one.
We had two runners in scoring position in the second but didn’t take advantage of that opportunity. Not that it mattered in the end. We were back at it in the third anyway, doubling our run total. Papi doubled and scored on a double by Napoli, who scored on a single by Drew. Carp struck out, Salty singled, Iglesias popped out, and Ellsbury doubled in Drew. Unfortunately, Salty was thrown out at home, but again, it’s not like it mattered in the end.
We went down in order in the fourth and resumed in the fifth. Napoli struck out swinging to lead it off, and then Drew singled, Carp doubled, and Salty hit a bases-clearing single with a little help from a fielding error.
We took a break in the sixth and seventh and padded our lead even more in the eighth. We had the bases loaded with two out, thanks to a single and two walks, and the pitcher to whom the Phillies had turned that inning walked in a run. All Drew had to do was stand there, wait, and accept what was given to him. Fantastic.
Bottom of the ninth? With a score of 9-3? I don’t think so.