Seriously, didn’t you think that at one point this game would never end?
Or maybe it would have to go to penalty kicks?
At no point in the 16th inning did I think the Red Sox were going to score.
Josh Beckett threw a damn masterpiece.
So did Jeff Niemann.
And the Red Sox bullpen was mindboggling.
8 innings, no runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and only Aceves was taxed.
THAT was a dodged bullet in the greatest sense of the word.
Let’s update the tally.
DODGED BULLET GAMES – 30
April 8 – 9-6 win against the Yankees. (The Sox end their 6 game losing streak with a slugfest. John Lackey stinks but Phil Hughes stinks even more.)
April 10 – 4-0 win against the Yankees. (Beckett and Sabathia duel in a game that was 1-0 until the late innings.)
April 20 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (Red Sox survive a lead off homer and two bases loaded situations and facing the tying run at the plate to win their first road game.)
April 21 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (The Red Sox stranded 15 men on base and Josh Beckett’s went 8 strong with no decision. But the Sox rallied in the 11th to win.)
April 22 – 4-3 win in Anaheim. (Peter Bourjos makes a 2 run errors and the Red Sox survive a bizarre passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that let a run scored from second.)
May 1 – 3-2 win against the Mariners. (Ichiro loses a ball in the sun that turns into a 9th inning triple for Lowrie. Crawford singles him home for the win.)
May 8 – 9-5 win against the Twins. (Dice-K lets up 3 runs in the first but settles down as the Red Sox clobber Carl Pavano.)
– 2-1 win against the Twins. (A bullpen breakdown cost Beckett the decision but Cark Crawford ended the game with an 11th inning walk off hit.)May 13
– 5-4 win in the Bronx. (Youkilis homers off of Joba and Bard and Papelbon make it more interesting than it needed to be.)May 15
– 7-5 win in the Bronx. (Sox fall behind 4-1 but come back as Youk, Papi and Salty all homer.)May 16
– 8-7 win against the Orioles. (Down 6-0 after 6 innings, the Sox rally and win it with a 2 run walk off double by Adrian Gonzalez)May 18
– 1-0 win against Detroit. (With 2 outs in the 8th, Salty doubles home Crawford from first for the only run. Papelbon gets himself in and out of 9th inning trouble.)May 19
– 4-3 win against Detroit. (Bard blows Beckett’s lead but Carl Crawford wins it with a walk off hit.)May 24
– 4-2 win in Cleveland. (Varitek throws two runners out and homers as the Red Sox win their first game against the Indians.)May 29
– 4-3 win in Detroit. (The Red Sox blow an early 3-0 lead but David Ortiz wins the game with a pinch 9th inning homer.)June 3
– 8-6 win against Oakland. (Buchholz lets up 4 runs in the first but the Sox come back thanks to Carl Crawford’s 2 run single.)June 4
– 9-8 win against Oakland. (Red Sox blow a 4 run 9th inning lead and trail in the 11th before Ellsbury ties it and Drew wins it in 14.)June 7
– 6-4 win in the Bronx. (Papelbon strikes out A-Rod to end the game with a runner on base.)June 9
– 8-3 win in the Bronx. (Down 2-0 to Sabathia in the 7th, the Sox score 7 runs as Papi exacts revenge after getting plunked. A 3+ hour rain delay pushed the game past 1:30 AM)
– 3-0 win in Tampa Bay. (Youkilis homers in the 7th for the only runs in Beckett’s 1 hit masterpiece.)June 16
– 4-2 win in Tampa Bay. (Papelbon wiggles out of a 2 on, nobody out jam in the 9th thanks to Youk’s diving catch.)June 26
– 4-2 win in Pittsburgh. (The Pirates make 4 errors and the Red Sox score 2 in the 7th to avoid a sweep by the Bucs.June 30
– 5-2 win in Philadelphia.(An injury to Cole Hamels leads to the Red Sox bats waking up.)July 1
– 7-5 win in Houston. (The Sox score 6 in the 7th inning to come back and win.)July 3
– 2-1 win in Houston. (The Red Sox score a run in the top of the 9th on a walk to break a tie.)July 5
– 3-2 win against Toronto. (Lester gets hurt but Darnel McDonald throws out the tying run at the plate to end the game.)
July 6 – 6-4 win against Toronto. (The Sox score 4 in the 4th to take the lead and Wakefield and company hang on for dear life.)July 10
– 8-6 win against Baltimore. (The Orioles score 6 runs off of rookie Kyle Weiland in the second, but the Red Sox hit three homers in the bottom of the second to tie the game and hold for dear life.)July 16
– 9-5 win in Tampa. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 3-0 first inning hole, but 3 Sox homers bring them back for the win.)July 17
– 1-0 win in Tampa. (Beckett throws a masterpiece and the bullpen throws 8 amazing innings. But the Sox bats go dead, leaving 17 men on base before Pedroia drove in a run with 2 outs in the 16th inning.)
TEETH GRINDER GAMES – 23
April 1 – 9-5 loss in Texas. (The Sox tie Opening Day in the 8th with an Ortiz homer only to have Bard implode and the Sox let up 4 in the bottom of the 8th.)
– 3-1 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox drop their 4th straight as the bats are dead in Cleveland.)April 7
– 1-0 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow a great Lester performance on a squeeze bunt and Darnell McDonald overrunning the bag to end the game.)April 12
– 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. (A solid Lester performance is wasted as Kyle Farnsworth of all people shuts down the Sox.)April 15
– 7-6 loss to Toronto. (Bobby Jenks implodes with a 4 run seventh inning as the Red Sox waste Pedroia and Youkilis homers and a clutch RBI double by Scuatro.April 19
– 5-0 loss in Oakland. (Pedroia gets picked off, the Sox bats go dead and waste a solid Lackey start.)April 26
– 4-1 loss in Baltimore. (Buchholz pitches tentatively and the Sox let Kevin Gregg of all people to close out the 9th.)April 27
– 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (The Sox tie the game with a 3 run 8th only to have Bard lose it in the bottom of the 8th.)April 29
– 5-4 loss to Mariners. (Bobby Jenks blows a 7th inning lead, wasting 2 Mike Cameron homers.)April 30
– 2-0 loss to Mariners. (The Sox strand 11 runners and let Milton Bradley double home the go ahead run.)May 4
– 5-3 loss to Angels. (7 hours with rain delays and stranded runners. Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate in the 12th)May 10
– 7-6 loss in Toronto. (8th and 9th inning heroics, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez, are undone by a walk off sacrifice fly by David Cooper.)May 21
– 9-3 loss to Cubs. (Up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the bullpen and defense implode. The Cubs score 8 runs while both teams wear their 1918 uniforms.)May 23
– 3-2 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox blow a 2-1 8th inning lead when the Indians rally with 2 outs. Crawford ends the game on a double play.)May 29
– 3-0 loss in Detroit. (Verlander keeps the Sox off base and prevents the sweep.)June 1
– 7-4 loss to White Sox. (Konerko drives in three, spoiling a game tying Ortiz homer.)
– 4-0 loss in Tampa Bay. (Wakefield’s solid outing is spoiled. Longoria scores on a passed ball.)June 18
– 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. (The Brewers hit three homers early off of Lester and hang on.)June 21
– 5-4 loss to San Diego. (Ortiz hits a double play in the 9th to stifle a potential winning rally.)
– 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox strand 7 runners in scoring position.)June 25
– 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox fall out of first as Pedroia’s error leads to a Pirates run.)June 29
– 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Vance Worley duels John Lackey and slumping Raul Ibanez drives in both runs.)July 4
– 9-7 loss to Toronto. (John Lackey’s miserable start puts the Sox in too big a hole to climb out of.)
They are +7.
The Red Sox have a week more of games that they pulled out than let slip away.
That’s not bad.
Neither is the Magic Number, which is 69.
And if you can’t figure out why I didn’t put 69 in the title of this post, then you have a much cleaner mind than me.