Daniel Nava, Will Middlebrooks, Ryan Kalish. Who are these guys? Ladies and gentlemen, on Thursday night they were YOUR Boston Red Sox. They were the primary players in an eighth inning drama that saw Boston come back from a near-dead 5-3 deficit to once again send the Miami Marlins back to their hotel rooms wondering what they have to do to beat this team.
They rode the power of a Middlebrooks two-run homer to tie the game and eventually pushed across what would be the winning run when Kalish made a heads up Charlie Hustle first-to-third base running move on a Mike Aviles squibber to first and then scored when Nava stroked a single to center field to put Boston up for good 6-5. This is a game to like. This is a team to like.
Daisuke Matsuzaka predictably got down 3-0 in the first inning and then rather unpredictably settled down and stiffened through 5 1/3 to keep Boston in the game, allowing the Red Sox youth corp to come to the rescue.
Boston’s bullpen was stout. Andrew Miller gave up an RBI double to Omar Infante in the sixth but that’s all the Marlins would get in the last 3+ innings. Scott Atchison, who got the win, and Alfredo Aceves combined for three innings of shutout ball, Aceves notching his 18 save of the year.
Last night also once again served notice that Middlebrooks should not be kept out of the Red Sox lineup for another inning. Middlebrooks went 3-4, scored a run and knocked in four runs. Without him, Boston goes down 5-1. Mr. Youkilis, your cab awaits.
We were ring-around-the-rosy children
They were circles around the sun
Never give up, never slow down
Never grow old, never ever die young
Never Die Young, James Taylor