Unlikely sources power Red Sox to thrilling walk-off victory

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Christian Vazquez
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 1: Christian Vazquez /

Against the defending American League Champions, the Red Sox were carried by a few unlikely sources, powering them back into first place.

To say Tuesday night’s game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians was strange, would be an understatement. In a game that featured four lead changes and two ties, it was Christian Vazquez that delivered the walk-off bomb.

There were many reasons why this game was an anomaly. First of all, with Chris Sale and Carlos Carrasco on the mound, many anticipated a very low scoring game. However, Sale allowed a season-high seven earned runs and Carrasco coughed up a five run lead in the second inning.

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The bullpen followed suit, as Andrew Miller / Cody Allen / Craig Kimbrel all blew leads, despite being known as some of the best relievers in all of baseball.

Despite the star-studded lineups, it was the little guys that made the biggest impacts. Eduardo Nunez carried the offense with three hits and four RBI’s, including a go-ahead three-run double off of Miller. The newly acquired Nunez, has been everything the Red Sox could’ve asked for. He has continued his torrid pace at the plate, now hitting .500 since being traded.

Vazquez also struck late in the 9th inning, with the Red Sox backs against the wall. Boston’s catcher drove a 3-1 fastball to deep center field, sending Fenway Park into utter pandemonium.

It is interesting to note that Sandy Leon is Sale’s typical catcher; however, with Leon day-to-day with an ailing knee, Vazquez drew the start – and did not disappoint. As, “Dirty Water” blared throughout the stadium speakers, Vazquez rounded the bases in triumph, handing the Sox a much needed victory.

With the huge win, the Red Sox reclaimed first place, as the Yankees fell 4-3 to the Detroit Tigers. It may not seem possible that the Sox could be back in first place, largely due to all the negativity that has followed the club. Dombrowski didn’t make any big time moves during the July trade deadline; however, it appears that his assessment of the Red Sox lineup was correct. This team has the pieces to contend for not only an AL East title, but for a deep run into October.

Next: How did Dombrowski fare at the deadline?

There is little question that this is the game of the year, thus far. It was a true enigma, relying heavily on the most unlikely of heroes and captivating a Red Sox fan base. As Red Sox nation yearns for the excitement of playoff baseball, this game was just a tune-up for what is in store.