Boston's Win Wednesday Defines a Championship Caliber Team

Dan McConeCorrespondent IJuly 3, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 04:  Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after getting the final out of the game with the bases loaded against the New York Yankees on May 4, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 6-4.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It was gut check time for the Red Sox on Wednesday at Baltimore.


They were coming off an embarrassing loss that featured the Sox bulletproof bullpen to blow a nine run lead.


Piled on top of that was the fact that the Sox infielders thought there were three outs in the eighth inning and ran into the dugout.


Talk about a lack of focus.


The Sox followed up that disaster with their ace, Josh Beckett on the mound. Figuring he would come out and get the Sox to rebound, Beckett stumbled early. He allowed five earned runs in the first four innings.


Beckett went on to pitch seven innings and was figuring for the loss.


Ths Sox couldn’t figure rookie pitcher Brad Bergesen for eight innings. Then Baltimore went to the bullpen and the heart of a champion came out.


Baltimore reliever, Jim Johnson faced two batters, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis. Quickly it was 5-3 after a Youk home run.


The O’s went to closer George Sherrill after the Youkilis bomb.


Boston remained patient at the plate in the ninth inning. Sherrill walked three batters, loaded the bases up and then Rocco Baldelli hit a two run pinch hit single to tie the game.


It was the 2009 version of the "Mother’s Day Miracle". 


In the 11th, forgotten player, Julio Lugo hit a single to drive in Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a Jeff Bailey sacrifice fly.


The phenomenal part of all this was the rebound from the bullpen. The night before they allowed nine runs after John Smoltz had thrown a gem before a rain delay took him out of the game.


Dan Bard went two hitless innings and struck out four.


Ramon Ramirez went one inning of hitless ball.


Then Jonathan Papelbon came in. Seeing that the 12th inning would consist of the same players Paps faced the night before, the Red Sox closer wanted revenge.  


Papelbon went 1-2-3 to end the game.


Boston finished up the nine game road swing with a 6-3 record.   


This was the type of game that defines a championship-caliber team. It showed that the Sox have heart and didn’t fold when it looked like Boston was about to begin a tail-spin.


It’s was defining game for Boston.