Well, that was exhausting. That game was about half an hour short of lasting for a quarter of a whole day. It was ridiculous. There was good, but there was a whole lot of bad and plenty of ugly.
We had ourselves a huge first. Ellsbury singled, Victorino doubled, and Pedroia singled them both in. Papi walked, Pedroia scored on a double by Nava, and Papi and Nava both scored on a single by Carp. Salty doubled, Carp scored on a single by Middlebrooks, Drew popped out, and Ellsbury grounded into a double play.
Lackey made two big mistakes in the bottom of the first and gave up two solo shots as a result. Somehow it didn’t really make much of a dent. Unfortunately, the two runs he allowed over the course of the third and fourth did. He gave up three consecutive singles in the third, secured the inning’s first out, and then induced a force out that scored only one run. He gave up two consecutive singles in the fourth, secured the inning’s first out, and then allowed another single that scored a run.
Two groundouts, a hit batsman, and a double into the sixth, Lackey was lifted in favor of Breslow. But not before he hit Matt Joyce in the back. Joyce tried to charge the mound, but Salty kept him at bay. Meanwhile, both benches cleared, but there were no brawls or ejections, just warnings.
Breslow ended the sixth. Miller got the first two outs of the seventh and allowed a solo shot. Tazawa got the inning’s final out. Unfortunately, he threw the game into extras when he issued a wild pitch in the eighth. He had allowed a double, and it turned into a run as a result. Mortensen got through the ninth, but we still had extras to contend with.
Pedroia led off the tenth with a walk, moved to second on a groundout by Papi, and stole third while Nava was busy working another walk. Carp struck out, Nava moved to second on defensive indifference, and Pedroia and Nava both scored on a single by Salty.
It was small ball, and yet it was huge. That was the game right there. Lackey had a bad night, and the relief corps had an even worse night. And as many runs as we scored in the first inning alone, it wasn’t enough. We needed more. I regret that we had to go into extras to get it. But as long as we won, we should ultimately feel good about it.
Bailey gave up a solo shot in the tenth, but our two runs could handle it. Two walks and one single later, he had the bases loaded with nobody out. But then he walked in a run. It is the worst possible way for a pitcher to allow a run because it is completely preventable and based solely on the pitcher just being bad. And just like that, the game was tied back up at eight.
Uehara pitched the eleventh and twelfth. Morales pitched the thirteenth and the fourteenth.
Finally, in the fourteenth inning, the game was won. By us! Victorino singled, moved to second on a flyout by Pedroia, and scored on a single by Nava. Papi, meanwhile, had walked intentionally; Iglesias came in to pinch-run and scored on a single by Salty.
The game lasted five hours and twenty-four minutes. We sent out eight pitchers, two of whom blew saves (Tazawa and Bailey); Morales got the win. It was exhausting, and without the W at the end of all that baseball, especially since we had a six-zip lead before the Rays sent their first batter to the plate, it would have undoubtedly been devastating. But that doesn’t change the fact that we needed fourteen innings to redo something we’d already done in the first due to bad pitching. A lineup that puts together that many runs should not need to play that much baseball just to win by two.