If the headline seems a little too optimistic or a tad over the top, let’s face it if the Red Sox had lost to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, everyone would be predicting doom and gloom and saying that the season was over. The Sox are just 1.5 games out of the Wild Card and 10 behind the Yankees in the AL East. (The Yanks won last night too.)
Good Use of Hits
The Red Sox managed to compile 7 hits but did well by getting 3 runs off those hits. Ellsbury and Middlebrooks were both back in the lineup. Ellsbury struck out twice and got 1 hit and Middlebrooks went 0-4 and also struck out twice.
The big hitter was Pedro Ciriaco who went 3 of 3, knocking in 2. Ciriaco, who was playing second in place of the injured Destin Perdoia, has 10 hits in 16 Abs over 4 games. He’s batting .625. Believe me the output is greatly appreciated. Ciriaco’s bad was huge in helping the Red Sox achieve victory in a must-win situation.
Franklin Morales (2-2. 3.16 ERA) pitched well allowing just 2 hits and striking out 5. Morales walked 3. Five other pitchers made appearances, allowing a total of 3 hits and 1 run. Alfredo Aceves pitched a perfect ninth evening, striking out 1 and getting his 20th save. It was a solid pitching performance all around.
Yes, David Ortiz was the other offensive force. (What else is new?) Ortiz went 1-2, hitting a homerun. He also walked twice. Big Papi saved himself during the All-Star Game and did not compete in the Homerun Derby. I think this was a good idea. He’s hitting .313 with a .616 SLG% and .410 OB%.
Why is this Win Important?
Besides the fact that it’s a win, it was against a division rival and a team that is just ahead of them in the Wild Card. Although it may not appear to be quite as big as a win versus the Yanks, it is actually bigger as it knocked the Rays down a bit in the overall AL East standings and in the Wild Card and gave Boston a boost in the Wild card. Plus, with a Yankee win, it means that the Red Sox lost no ground to the Bronx Bombers. The Red Sox have two more against the Rays. We’re hoping for more good news!