Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Tuesday, Sept. 19.
There was a song in the fifties that went “Stay just a little bit longer.” Two decades later Jackson Brown revisited the old song and put his own spin on it-the spin of a touring musician. One memorable line (to me at least) was “We want to play just a little bit longer.” Whether the Red Sox have ever heard that song or not, they’ve been playing just a little bit longer all season and winning a disquieting number of those games-disquieting to Yankee fans at least. The folks who live where Route 84 merges with Route 91 don’t seem to mind staying up late, and why should they? The Old Town Team is 14-3 when they work overtime, and they hold the audience captive from Rhode Island to Quebec and beyond-wherever Joe Castiglione’s voice has been heard since 1983.
Last night was yet another of those_ games for the Red Sox that make a long night even longer for the teams that lose. In May, in St. Louis they beat the Cardinals in what would turn out to be a modest 13 innings. In July they lost a 16-inning tussle with the Yankees-one of the few times the Sox haven’t won a marathon this year. That was on July 15. Just two nights later they tangled with the Blue Jays for 15 innings. That time they won. Just two weeks later they met the Indians which, though it was over in 9 innings had 2 or 3 games worth of excitement. The apocalyptic moment was a 3-run walk-off home run in the last of the 9th by someone named Christian Vazquez. On Sept. 5, the Red Sox won a 19-inning affair over the Blue Jays. And just this past Friday night in St. Pete, the Red Sox took a 13-6 win in 15 innings over the Rays in front of fewer people than read this forum.
As if all this weren’t enough the Red Sox struck again last night, taking a 10-8 win over the Orioles in 11 innings in Baltimore. The O’s built an early 4-0 lead and expanded it to 6-1 and Yankee fans held out hope. While the Yanks pulled off a 2-1 win the Red Sox disappointed Bronx fans by taking a 7-6 lead in their game with the Birds at 7-7 before the game was half over. Pedro Alvarez tied it for the O’s at 7 with a home run-not bad for a guy who had languished most of the year in AAA Norfolk, Virginia. Baltimore took an 8-7 lead heading to the 7th but it wasn’t enough. The names are familiar to Red Sox Nation-Brock Holt who singled home a pair in the 5th, Mookie Betts who doubled home 3 more in the same inning. As Midnight approached, the Sox’ prize rookie Andrew Andrew Benintendi singled home 2 runs in the top of the 11th for the final margin of victory. With 14 wins the Sox have won more extra-inning games than any Red Sox team except the 1943 version who won 15.
If there’s a bright side as far as Yankees’ fans are concerned, the Red Sox’ Doug Fister may find his carriage and four horses may have turned into a pumpkin and 4 white mice. After claiming him off the scrap heap the Sox thought they had a find in Fister but the last two outings have looked like the man who was lucky to get a major league contract. Fister has been here before-as early as 2011 he was 3–12 with the Mariners who sent him to Detroit where he went 8–1 the rest of the way. Last night He looked nothing like the Fister who threw a one-hitter against the Indians just before they began their 22-game winning streak in late August. The Orioles pounded him for 4 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks, and he needed relief before anybody was out in the home third inning. Boston fans have to hope David Price can start and remain healthy during the playoffs. For his own protection the team is using him in the bull pen until postseason play starts next month.
All Tuesday’s games will be played under the lights. Boston sends out Drew Pomeranz in Baltimore against Kevin Gausman. Pomeranz and Chris Sale each have 16 wins for the Red Sox. The Dodgers are reeling after Clayton Kershaw gave up his first grand slam in his 10-year MLB career. In spite of 3 Dodgers’ solo home runs the slam was enough to beat them 4-3. The 4-run 4-bagger was hit by the Phillies’ Aaron Altherr (AllTair.) They hope Yu Darvish can shut down the Phillies, a team he’s never seen and a team that needs to go 4–8 the rest of the way to avoid another season of 100 losses. In the Bronx, as so often happens baseball’s past and (hopefully) future collide head on. The past is CC Sabathia who didn’t survive 5 innings last time out against the Rays. The future, for the Twins at least is jose Berrios, tonight’s starter. Last time around he gave up just a run in almost 6 innings against the Jays. The Nationals’ Max Scherzer faces the Brazilian phenom Luis Gohara in Atlanta. The Astros, with their pennant sewn up send out Collin McHugh hoping he can be ready for October. His season only began in mid-July, then on Sept. 8 he was out after 3 innings with a broken fingernail.0