Red Sox Recap: Mookie Betts Ends Yankees Marathon


Nineteen innings.

That was how long last night’s game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, at Yankee Stadium. It was the longest game, in terms of time, ever played in Red Sox history. The game went from 7:05 PM to around 2:00 AM, the next morning, and had everything you could see in a baseball game happen before your very eyes. In front of just over 41 000 people, the match-up began; however, in front of much less people in the stands, in the wee hours of the morning, Boston’s center fielder Mookie Betts broke the tie, which the Yankees finally could not answer, to win the game, 6-5.

However, the game should never have gotten to that point.

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The game’s two starters were forgotten, near the end of the game. Red Sox lefty pitcher Wade Miley took the mound and dominated the Bronx Bombers for what was thought to be most of the game, but turned out to be only most of the original nine innings that were set to play. The Louisiana native finished his night with a pitching line of 5.1 innings, giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts. Those two runs did not come until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez singled to center field, scoring Gregorio Petit. Catcher Brian McCann also hit a sacrifice fly, off of Robbie Ross, who relieved Miley, to cash in Brett Gardner, the run charged to Boston’s starter.

Yet, those two runs were not enough to catch the Red Sox, who scored earlier on to keep Miley on the line for the victory. In the top of the first inning, third baseman Pablo Sandoval singled to center field, driving in Dustin Pedroia. To be fair to Yankees starter Nathan Eovaldi, he was not touched after that point until the top of the sixth inning, when he threw two wild pitches, which shook his confidence. Boston’s right fielder Daniel Nava took advantage by hitting a single that deflected off of Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, which cashed in Sandoval and Mike Napoli. Eovaldi also pitched 5.1 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 8 hits, a walk, and a strikeout.

The game was Boston’s for the taking. Ross, Alexi Ogando, and Junichi Tazawa did a great job in relief to bring victory into their sights. Especially Tazawa, who faced the heart of the Yankees’ lineup, shutting them down, including striking out A-Rod while swinging at an 84 mph Forkball.

Then, Edward Mujica took over the pitching duties in the bottom of the ninth.

Apr 10, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Wade Miley (20) gestures before pitching against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Everything was going well for the Venezuelan, as he caught Teixeira looking at strikes and he got McCann to fly out to center. On a 2-1 count, Mujica watched as Chase Headley sent a screaming solo home run to right field, to match the screaming fans, excited that the Yankees tied the game.

Little did they know that it would be the run that sent everyone into the extra-innings marathon that would take place.

Nobody would score again, until the top of the sixteenth inning. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz performed his vintage throw of the bat, after cranking a solo home run off of relief pitcher Esmil Rogers, which seemed to mercifully put this game to an end. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Teixeira countered with a leadoff home run of his own in the bottom of the inning, off of reliever Steven Wright, which knotted up the game, again.

Poor Brett Gardner. The Yankees’ left fielder kept thinking that he was safe on the bases, only to be continually called out. In fact, after already losing a challenge earlier in the ballgame, Gardner could have sworn that he was safe, after a Red Sox pickoff play at first governed an out call, in the bottom of the seventeenth inning. He protested so vehemently that Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to ask for another challenge, only for Gardner to be proven out, again, by instant replay. He was not a happy camper with the umpires, last night, to say the least.

The top of the eighteenth inning saw the Red Sox thinking that they had broken the deadlock, again, only for the Yankees to, again, respond. Sandoval singled to center field to score Pedroia, but the newly-acquired, heavy-hitting, Hanley Ramirez made a terrible baserunning error on the play to be called out. The ball was hit much too shallow for him to stretch the play from first to third base, as he was thrown out. This left the door open for Carlos Beltran‘s double, in the bottom of the inning, to score John Ryan Murphy and tie the game, again.

It seemed that this situation would never come to an end. Then, in the top of the nineteenth inning, Betts, who had not done much at the plate, this evening, hit a sacrifice fly to center that cashed in Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

As so many relievers were used on both sides, Rogers and Wright pitched almost as much as their starters. Rogers pitched 4.2 innings, giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, on 6 hits, a walk, and 4 strikeouts. Wright did an inning better, by closing out the bottom of the last inning, without giving up a run to win the game for the Red Sox. His final line was 5.0 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks, and a strikeout, to record the victory.

Game Notes:

  • The 55-degree temperature was reflected in many of the Red Sox and Yankee bats, throughout the game. Both Sandoval and Bogaerts got 4 hits, but it was due to the extra innings helping that total. Other than the victorious sacrifice fly for the RBI, Betts did little to help lead off innings, going 1-for-8 for the evening.
  • The Red Sox went 3-for-16 and the Yankees went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Boston’s 20 runners left on base beat out the Yankees’ 13 forgotten men.
  • Both shortstops, Bogaerts and Petit, had the only fielding errors of the game.
  • Nava had a good outing, coming off of the bench to start the game. He had 2 hits in 3 at-bats, recording 2 RBIs.
  • Anthony Varvaro, Tommy Layne, and Craig Breslow came in before Wright, denying the Yankees any runs. They combined for allowing 2 hits, a walk, and 4 strikeouts in 4.3 innings of work.


A-. . Game Ball. Wade Miley. STARTING PITCHING

The man, who became almost an afterthought, did well in his first regular season start for the Red Sox. Making the move from the Arizona Diamondbacks of the National League to the American League had potential pitfalls for Miley. He had to pitch against a potent, if aging, lineup that he did not have a ton of experience against. Yet, he held the Yankees to only two runs, which only came late in the game, when a reliever would normally be necessary. Miley’s efforts kept the Red Sox lined up for the win, even if it was short-lived.

RELIEF PITCHING . B+. . Game Ball. The Bullpen

This night was a group effort. If the Red Sox would have lost the game in the ninth or the nineteenth inning, Mujica or Wright would have been the proverbial scapegoat, ostracized from the hearts of Red Sox Nation. The fact remains that they won the game, and it took 8 relief pitchers to hold onto the game for 13.9 innings, until the offense could score more runs than the Evil Empire. The only reason why the grade isn’t higher is because Mujica’s run cost everyone a chance to go home at a reasonable time and for television viewers to get any sleep.

B+. . Game Ball. Pablo Sandoval. OFFENSE

Why not Betts, you ask? Check the game notes. You can’t give the game ball to a leadoff hitter who barely did anything, offensively. Sandoval’s numbers, however, put the Red Sox into chances to win the game, repeatedly. If the pitching would have held in key moments, we would have been praising Sandoval’s hits for winning the game, not Betts’. Yet, for a young player, with all of the pressure in the world on his shoulders, starting for the Red Sox against their mortal enemy, under the lights, on television, for so many innings, to fight off a pitch to put into play and win the game is a huge step in his maturity. Betts did what was best for the team, instead of trying to do too much. That deserves applause, but not the game ball.

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