What was that, deja vu? Through five and a half, we were right back where we were on Wednesday. The score was 3-2, and not in our favor. Needless to say, things weren’t looking so good most of the time. But ultimately it doesn’t matter how or when you win as long as you do in the end.
Lester gave up a double to lead off the second followed by a home run. He threw three straight balls and two straight strikes, and then there were two straight fouls and a big mistake. He made another big mistake in the third, a solo shot being the result.
Our big inning, if you could call it that, was the third. Iglesias walked, Ciriaco struck out, Ellsbury singled, Gomes lined out, and Pedroia cleared the bases with a double.
I am glad to report, however, that we did deviate from Wednesday’s performance by tying the game at three in the seventh. Ellsbury led it off with a double, and then Gomes singled, Pedroia struck out, and Papi walked to load the bases. It was a golden opportunity to put the game away. Especially with Napoli at the plate. And let’s face it; the entire offense has been so quite that everyone was due. But all Napoli came up with was a groundout. Still, it was just enough to tie things up.
Lester’s night was six innings long. He gave up three runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out four. If not for those two home runs, he’d be looking at a shutout performance. Tazawa pitched the seventh, and Uehara pitched the eighth, holding the tie intact. And Bailey pitched the ninth.
In the end, it was Bailey who picked up the win. It turns out that it wasn’t quite deja vu after all because we pulled out that good, old resilience that we’ve proven so many times so far this year. Napoli’s groundout with the bases loaded was extremely anticlimactic, but the same, as it happens, can’t be said for the way the game ended.
Gomes doubled to lead it off. Then Pedroia walked intentionally. Then Papi stepped up to the plate. There was a sinker. It was the first pitch of the at-bat. It was also the last pitch of the game. Because Papi, as we’ve seen him do so many times before, uncorked massive power on that ball. It was a straight shot beyond the right field fence. And because we were at home, after the mob we walked off the field. The final score was 6-3. How’s that for a walkoff?