Sometimes, one has to put a bad game into perspective. It’s always disappointing when your team fights back from an early deficit only to fall late in the game, especially on such an anticlimactic ending as a walk-off passed ball. However, the Red Sox have been playing spectacular baseball lately and won three out of four games in this series, the sixth consecutive series that the Red Sox had won or swept. All in all, there’s no reason to panic with the Red Sox on such a streak and still 8 games ahead of the Rays.
As disappointing as the end of the game was, there was a lot to like about this game. Jon Lester was at his best for most of the game. Aside from a single run in the fourth and two more in the fifth, Lester was stingy and finished the day with only 3 runs allowed in 8 innings of work. Lester lowered his ERA to 3.86 on the season and Brandon Workman may have turned in a quality relief inning if not for some superb baserunning from Ichiro Suzuki. After reaching on a single, he stole second, advanced to third on a fly ball, and then scored on a passed ball to win the game.
In some senses, it was almost nice to not see the Red Sox clobber the Yankees in a four hour slugfest. Seeing them get some clean, easy runs like they scored in the second when Mike Carp doubled in David Ortiz for the first run of the game was a nice touch. Also, despite the lack of the huge home runs and three-run doubles, we got to see some vintage Red Sox heart as they came back from a 3-1 deficit.
David Ortiz doubled to lead off the sixth inning, got to third on a Stephen Drew groundout, and then scored on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia. However, the biggest hit of the day from the Red Sox perspective came on a game-tying opposite field blast off the bat of Will Middlebrooks. After that point, the game did get disappointing, culminating in Suzuki running home from third. However, it should be clear that this game was not all that bad.