Let’s get the most important business out of the way first. Andrew Bailey has to go. Period. End of story. It can’t be said any more plainly. He’s not the answer and proved it once again Tuesday night. His saving – and I use that word with all the irony I can muster – grace was that Jonny Gomes hit a two-run walk off homer in the bottom of the ninth to literally hand him a victory deserved not by him but rather Felix Doubront.
An exhausted Red Sox bullpen got just what they needed from Doubront in the second half of their double header against the Tampa Bay Rays. Doubront pitched eight stellar innings, posting a goose egg against Joe Maddon‘s crew while allowing just three hits, striking out six and issuing no walks. Boston’s offense, as well, would need just that kind of performance, after eking out just one run against Rays starter Jake Odorizzi.
Bailey’s latest face plant ruined Doubront’s outing when he gave up a solo jack to Kelly Johnson in the top of the ninth to allow the Rays to tie the game 1-1 and then walked Ben Zobrist. Had it not been for a brilliant diving stab by Jose Iglesias at third base off the bat of Evan Longoria to force Zobrist at second to end the inning, it could have been a lot worse. The damage was done. Boston would need to pull out the win in the bottom of the ninth or go to extra innings with a depleted bullpen. As The Cars sang years ago, “I guess you’re just what I needed.” Mr. Gomes, do your thing.
After a surging Daniel Nava walked to lead off the inning, Gomes took Ray reliever Joel Peralta deep into the Monster seats and the night. Gomes’ blast triggered a raucous celebration that capped a very long day of baseball. Boston won the first half of the double header 5-1 after suffering through a three hour rain delay. All in all, players got the park about 9 am this morning and will leave after 11 pm.
Great starting pitching performance by Doubront. Terrible blown save by Bailey. Clutch homer by Gomes to claw back the win and hand Bailey a most undeserving win.
With the two wins on Tuesday Boston pushed the Rays seven games off the pace while leading the Yankees by four and the Orioles by 2.5