Soxtober has officially begun! And the beginning is good! We’ve got our first win very much in the bag; it was a slugfest. That’s what I call starting the playoffs off right!
We got to play the Rays, and we really put them in their place. Lester got the nod to start this one, as we knew he would, and he delivered an absolutely excellent performance. He pitched seven and two-thirds innings and gave up two runs on three hits while walking three and striking out seven. His two runs were the results of two mistakes; in other words, he gave up two solo shots, the first one with two out in the second and the second one leading off the fourth. Other than that, he was a master.
Tazawa pitched the rest of the eighth, and Dempster pitched the ninth.
And that brings us to the offense. Both of Lester’s home runs occurred before we got on the board, so I’m sure the Rays thought they had a real shot at winning this one. Man, were they sadly, sadly mistaken.
We didn’t waste time; we scored our first runs, but certainly not our last, in the bottom of the fourth. Pedroia singled, Papi doubled, and both scored on a double by Gomes. After Salty struck out, Gomes scored on a single by Drew, who scored on a double by Middlebrooks, who scored on a single by Victorino.
With one out in the fifth, Napoli doubled, Gomes walked intentionally, and both scored on a double by Salty. After Drew struck out, Middlebrooks walked intentionally, and Salty scored on a single by Ellsbury, with a little help from a deflection.
We put on the finishing touch in the eighth. Ellsbury singled, stole second, and scored on a single by Victorino. Then Pedroia singled and Papi walked to load the bases. Then Napoli walked in a run. Pedroia scored when Gomes grounded into a double play, and Papi scored on a single by Salty.
And that’s how we won our first playoff game, 12-2. Done.