By Ted Gay – @TedG63
For nearly six innings it was a combination of brilliant pitching and inept hitting. When Eduardo Rodriguez took the mound, having pitched five desperation innings, for the sixth, you would not have bet a dollar to win a hundred that before the contest was over 15 runs would cross the plate, nine of them wearing Boston on their chest.
E-Rod didn’t survive the sixth, left in the game by Alex Cora, who admitted, postgame, that he asked too much of the young, and still immature, lefty. Yasiel Puig, also known as Dumb Manny Ramirez, made Cora pay, with a three-run homer, putting the Dodgers ahead 4-0, and tying the series at two, at least according to the Boston Weak who shot their load, a streaming river of excrement, on social media, all but declaring the season over. The Dodgers reacted like they had driven a stake in the Relentless Sox’s offense and they were preparing for a best two out of three series.
It was, a masterful managing performance by Cora, who, after making a mistake against Puig, got two innings out of Joe Kelly, saving his bullpen, and rode out Craig Kimbrel’s Travelling Salvation Show, to go up 3-1.
The Sox are in this spot despite getting little out of Mookie Betts, JD Martinez, and Xander Boegarts, the heart of the Sox order, that, the experts said, absolutely had to produce for Boston to win, and having their worst two pitchers be Kimbrel and Chris Sale, the subject of a Cora bombshell at the end of Saturday’s night press conference, when he announced David Price would be starting Game Five, with a subtle jab at the media, telling them “I wasn’t going to wait for Russo to ask me.” Sick burn, Alex.
Remember Friday when the geniuses posted and spewed on talk radio that JD Martinez should play first base because anyone can play first base according to no one who has ever played first base in the big leagues. The two Sox, first basemen, the immortal Steve Pearce, who has carved his name in the list of Red Sox legends, and Mitch Moreland, albeit in a pinch-hit role, drove in a combined seven runs Saturday while Martinez went 0-4. I am starting to think that Cora is better managing this nine than all the talk show hosts, callers, and internet posters who constantly disparage him, combined.
The Dodges had this explosive Sox lineup stymied. They have been owned by junk-balling left-handers all season, and their king of the mountain, Rich Hill, was in total command in the seventh inning when Dave Roberts, in a move so despised that even the President of the United States called him out on it, using up one of the few times Trump will be right during his reign on baseball, pulled him, in a move it’s best for Boston not to question, like when your pulled over with an open six in the passenger seat, or a car full of weed smoke, and the cop lets you off with a warning. Roberts used six pitchers who gave up nine runs while getting eight outs. Chlamydia is outpolling Roberts in LA right now.
Before Moreland’s blast the Red Sox had gone 25 innings without driving in a baserunner, one of their dryest spell of the year, but thanks Nathan Eovaldi, and the Dodgers inability to score, the slump lasted one game.
The Sox have one last peek to climb before they are in the conversation as one of the greatest baseball teams ever. It won’t be easy, it never is. They’ll have to climb past some of the game’s best starters, past Manny Machado’s spike, past Puig’s butt wiggling, past Craig Kimbrel single handily causing avalanches; it won’t be easy.
Stay Boston Strong, ignore the Boston weak, and keep the faith no matter how dire things look.
The Sox have found a way all season. They have three cracks at doing it one more time.