Fifteen innings. Wow. How exhausting was that? The game exceeded five hours. We’ve gone into extras during a decent number of games this year, but fifteen innings? We had the lead during the regular nine, and it was really awesome to finish the night that way. But even more awesome was winning a game that lasted for fifteen innings. Can you imagine if we’d lost this one? It would have been completely and totally devastating. We didn’t have a lot to do to win; all we had to do was score one run. It’s exciting to win, it’s awesome to win, it’s exhilarating to win, but especially in this particular situation, it’s also a huge relief to win.
That would be a quality start from Lackey. Three runs on eight hits while walking only one and striking out six over seven innings. That is a strong, lengthy, efficient start; he threw ninety-five pitches, seventy-one of which were strikes. He faced the minimum through three and then a single, a steal, and a double led to Seattle’s first run in the fourth. En route to securing the first out of the sixth, he loaded the bases thanks to two singles and a walk. That opportunity produced two runs thanks to a sac fly, which at least provided another out, and a single. The seventh inning was the only one during which Seattle did not sure, during which Lackey did not also face the minimum.
Thanks to three straight singles in the bottom of the first, we had the bases loaded with nobody out. But Papi grounded into a double play. Then Napoli walked, and Salty ended the inning by lining out. It was a complete disappointment. But we took a one-run lead when we scored twice in the fifth. Brock Holt doubled, Ellsbury reached on a fielding error, and Victorino reached and Holt scored on another fielding error. Ellsbury was able to score on Pedroia’s grounder.
When the Mariners scored twice in the sixth, they took a one-run lead of their own, which we promptly countered by scoring another two runs in the seventh, both of which came courtesy of Pedroia, who unleashed on a sinker. He was thrown six pitches in that at-bat; the fourth one was a slider, which he took for a ball, and the rest were sinkers. The count was full. And he turned on the laser show yet again. After Victorino had already singled, that is. So we scored two runs on one swing.
Tazawa came on for the eighth and gave up a solo shot with one out. That was the tying run. It was awful. We had a one-run lead, which was obviously more fragile than we thought. I mean, you’re supposed to bring in the reliever to preserve a lead, not to squander it.
Uehara pitched the ninth and tenth. Thornton pitched the eleventh. Breslow pitched the twelfth and thirteenth. Britton pitched the fourteenth and fifteenth.
Yes. Fifteen innings. It ended as humbly as it started. Pedroia walked and moved to second on a groundout by Papi. Napoli was walked intentionally, Salty struck out, and Gomes walked. So we had the bases loaded with two out. And it was the best score we had in, well, hours.
Drew was up. He took a slider for a ball, a sinker for a strike, and a slider for a ball. And then he got another sinker. The Mariners had not always had good luck with sinkers last night. And Drew got one, and all he did was single. He just hit a single. That’s all. But the bases were loaded. Pedroia scored. Cue mob. End game. 5-4.