Tonight’s game had all the makings of a classic teeth grinder.
The Sox potentially blowing a 1 run over 8 innings Lester performance.
In fact for me it was a classic teeth grinder moment. I saw the Red Sox and Angels were tied in the 8th inning and the Angels had runners on second and third and only 1 out… and Francona was leaving Lester in there.
Then I had to go to the studio where we were taping an episode of The Bonnie Hunt Show.
And I just assumed the Sox were going to let those runs come in… and a day after scoring 17 runs, they’d lose with a single run on the board.
When I came back to my office from the studio, I saw that not only did the Angels not score, but the Red Sox somehow won 5-1.
And watching the highlights made me see what a true dodged bullet it was.
After The Late David Ortiz struck out 3 times and grounded into 2 double plays (I think all in the same inning) Jeremy Hermedia hit a ball to left field with the bases loaded, 2 outs and 2 strikes and the game still tied at 1.
It was a catchable ball. Maybe not an easy catch, but certainly not a circus catch either.
And Juan Rivera played the ball as miserably as he could… he took the wrong route to it, let it bounce over his head and turned what should have been a 1-1 game in the 9th into a 4-1 Red Sox lead and eventually a 5-1 win.
Just a year ago, Rivera had another interesting adventure in Fenway’s left field. With the score tied and 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th last September, Alex Gonzalez hit a shallow fly to left that Rivera let fall in front of him… standing.
Playing on the bounce means the game would be over and the Angels would lose… the only hope would be to dive.
He didn’t. It was odd then and it was odd now.
And today another misplay turns a bad Red Sox night into a truly dodged bullet.
And FINALLY we can update the tally the way I want to!
DODGED A BULLET GAMES – 11
April 4 – 9-7 win against Yankees (On Opening Night, the Red Sox overcome a 5-1 Yankee lead with a game tying HR by Pedroia and a go ahead passed ball.)
April 10 – 8-3 win against Kansas City (Beckett out pitches Zack Greinke and nearly gets decapitated by a line drive.)
April 14 – 6-3 win in Minnesota. (Okajima gets Morneau to pop up with the bases loaded in the 7th and Papelbon wiggled out of a 9th inning jam.)
April 20 – 7-6 win against Texas. (Darnell McDonald introduces himself to Boston with an 8th inning game tying homer and a walk off hit in the 9th.)
April 21 – 8-7 win against Texas. (The Red Sox were down 4-0 early only to win it on Youk’s 2 out 11th inning double.)
April 23 – 4-3 win against Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 3-0 lead but win it on Adrian Beltre’s bases loaded walk.)
April 24 – 7-6 win against Baltimore. (The Red Sox score 6 in the 7th and hold off a late Baltimore comeback attempt.)
April 26 – 13-12 win at Toronto. (The Sox blow an early 5-0 lead but hang on for dear life in a slugfest.)
April 27 – 2-1 win at Toronto. (Buchholz holds the Jays down for 8 but it takes a bases loaded walk in the 8th to go ahead.)
April 28 – 2-0 win at Toronto. (Daniel Bard wiggles out of trouble in the 8th to help Lester shut down the Blue Jays and finish the sweep.)
May 4 – 5-1 win against the Angels. (Juan Rivera misplays Jeremy Hermedia’s 2 out flyball into a 3 run game winning double)
TEETH GRINDER GAMES – 9
– 6-4 loss against the Yankees. (Scutaro’s error leads to the winning run.)April 7
– 3-1 loss against the Yankees. (Sox leave the winning run on in the 9th only to lose on Granderson’s 10th inning homer)April 9
– 4-3 loss in Kansas City. (Bard coughs up the lead, denying Wakefield a win.)April 17
– 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Sox can’t score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 11th… lost it in the 12th.)April 17
– 6-5 loss to Tampa Bay. (The Red Sox comeback falls a run short, leaving two on in the 8th)April 25
– 7-6 loss to Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 4-1 lead, leave the winning run on second in the 9th, let up 3 in the 10th and could only score 2 in the bottom of the 10th)April 30
– 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (Tejada ties the game with a 2 out 8th inning homer and wins it with a bloop in the 10th)May 1
– 12-9 loss in Baltimore. (Dice-K and Wakes get pounded, wasting 2 homers from Ortiz and an early 4-1 lead.)May 2
– 3-2 loss in Baltimore. (Varitek is thrown at home trying to score with 2 outs in the 8th. Sox get swept in the 10th.
Back to +2.
Win one of the next two and it is another series win… maybe the Baltimore series was a fluke.
Let’s hope so.