Red Sox Win In Extras: Now That's a Comeback
Revenge is a funny word. In most occasions, it's speaking of a rivalry or hate that you have had for years. For instance, 2004 was revenge for the years the Yankees had beaten them.
Josh Beckett was having one gorgeous June month, going 4-1 and deep into games. In the four wins he had, he pitched 29.2 innings and gave up a single run. Now it is July, though, and it seemed different already.
Brad Bergesen was on the mound for the Orioles. His 5-2 record was impressive, and the 24-year-old looked like a good opponent for Josh.
When Beckett got to the mound in the bottom of the first, he started off very badly. He walked Brian Roberts on four pitches. All were outside four-seam fastballs.
Felix Pie then hit a line drive to Jason Bay that was enough to score Roberts, but got him tagged out at second. After a tough loss, a 1-0 deficit wasn't a friendly sight.
Then, on the first pitch of the next inning, the fastball failed him again. Luke Scott took it out of the park, and the lead became 2-0.
The Red Sox finally got in a word as Dustin Pedroia doubled in the third inning. J.D. Drew scored as Pedroia got his second hit of the day.
The score of 2-1 didn't last long at all, though. Beckett couldn't keep the game close enough. Nick Markakis, exactly like he did in the eighth inning the day before, got a two-run double to open up the lead to 4-1.
It just got uglier for Beckett, as his fifth run came on, gasp, his four-seam fastball. The only crucial hit not on this was Markakis's double, but Ty Wiggington used the fastball in the fifth to get a solo homer.
From the third inning, the Sox didn't get a single hit until David Ortiz got a single in the seventh. By the end of that inning, Josh Beckett was done. Bergesen had defeated him.
Josh went seven innings, giving only six hits but also five earned runs. He achieved two K's, but two walks as well. It wasn't his best debut, yet it wasn't awful. In the last innings he calmed down and settled a bit, not letting his first few innings bug him.
Bergesen was done after eight beautiful innings, giving only four hits on one run. He left just one run for his bullpen to complete, yet that was too much for them...
It began very quickly.
Dustin Pedroia walked as Jim Johnson pitched. Then, with a 2-1 count, Kevin Youkilis slammed a homer as he and Pedroia scored. That quickly, Jim Johnson was done.
So, they brought in the closer, George Sherrill.
George started very quickly, as well.
He struck out Bay and Ortiz, and, with two outs, it looked as if he had weathered the storm.
But Jacoby Ellsbury singled and Varitek and Bailey walked. The bases were loaded, and Rocco Baldelli pinch hit for Nick Green.
On a 1-1 count, he hit what looked like a ground ball.
But it was right up the middle.
Bailey and Lugo (running for Varitek) both scored easily.
The comeback, the incredible ninth-inning comeback, was complete. The Sox had come back from 5-1 in the ninth to push the game into extras.
The Sox came into the 11th inning with a good vibe, and they made sure that inning was their inning. Jacoby Ellsbury led with a double, and with one out, Julio Lugo (the pinch runner) came up to the plate.
What an unlikely hero. Last week it was Nick Green against the Braves, but Lugo? Julio singled to allow Ellsbury to run home from third base, and just like that, they had taken a 6-5 lead.
The bullpen was perfect, they weren't even a question. In four innings, they didn't let a single person on base. Bard pitched the first two, and in extras it was Ramon Ramirez (who got the win) and Jonathan Papelbon (who got the save).
Pap now has more saves than any other Red Sox player in history, passing Bob Stanely with his 133rd save.
A beautiful win, and it's another great day to be a Sox fan.
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