Tim Wakefield, can you believe it? The 42 year old who recently got his All-Star bid came into the game at 10-3, trying to become the first 11 game winner in the American league.
And boy, did he ever want it. It was as if the bid gave him a boost and he was now showing the rewards, his knuckleball looked better than it had all season.
The Oakland Athletics started the game first, in the second inning the pitched two singles and a double together to bring Matt Holliday into the plate. Quickly the game was 1-0, but already Wakefield was on top of his game. He got two strikeouts in the second to close out any chance of more scoring.
Wakefield kept up his game at a perfect level, he didn’t have any trouble until the seventh inning, when he left as the A’s got two on with no out.
He pitched 6+ innings, threw 8 K’s and gave three earned runs. He did give up 10 hits, but his outing was good enough to keep the Sox in the game. Delcarmen let in both runners in the seventh, but they already had the lead.
Boston’s offense made sure Wakefield got the win. In the fourth inning, they had still not gotten a hit until Dustin Pedroia's double, but in the sixth, the offense began.
With Trevor Cahill on the mound still, J.D Drew had a solo homer to tie the game 1-1 and begin the offense. They weren’t done though, after Dustin singled and Youk walked Big Papi came up to bat.
Ortiz took a two-seam fastball and absolutely crushed it, sending it over 400 feet and into the crowd. Boston had a 4-1 lead and David Ortiz knew he was out of the slump. He was the hero of the game for the Sox, commanding their lead.
When Delcarmen let those two runs come in at the top of the seventh inning, Boston’s lead was just 4-3. They needed to add, and when Ortiz grounded to second base that's exactly what they did. J.D Drew came home from third, and Ortiz got his fourth RBI of the game.
He would end up going just 1-4, but even one of his outs was key. Big Papi came up big for the Sox, and going into the eighth inning, they needed just six outs for a two-run win.
Jonathan Papelbon couldn’t control the ninth inning. He had two men on with no outs, and then Scott Hairston crushed a ball.
It couldn’t be, no, not a three-run homer. We would be down 6-5 going into the bottom of the ninth.
The wind tonight was coming in from the outfield, and this ball hit a wall. It fell right down even though if not for the win it would’ve been gone.
The run scored from third, but the fact is the Sox were very lucky. The lead just 5-4 with one out and one on.
Matt Holliday struck out, but with Kurt Suzuki’s single the tying run was in scoring position.
Pap went into All Star mode, he struck out Jack Cust on all fastballs, the last one going inside that Jack would have been LUCKY to tip.
The Sox won a close 5-4 win, but the Rays and Yanks won also. The Sox just can’t break away, but its still a great day to be a Sox fan.