Game 105: Minnesota Twins at Red Sox (July 27, 2018)

Another blessed Friday night and another night of Red Sox baseball. After a long week and an hour at the cages pitching batting practice to my oldest daughter, I got home to catch the Sox game. I was still fairly irritated by last night's loss but confident that Chris Sale would lead the way and that the bats would wake up. What we got instead was a rollercoaster of a game and one that was probably harder than it needed to be.

This post contains affiliate links which means that at no additional cost to you, I may receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This helps me keep this site going to bring you more great content. Thanks and enjoy!

The real shame on this night was the fact that Chris Sale didn't end up getting the win. He certainly pitched well enough to do so. He went six innings and struck out 10 batters while only walking two and gave up three hits. He surpassed 200 strikeouts on the season during this game and did exactly what an ace is supposed to do in a start following a loss (including a huge strikeout with the bases loaded in the fifth inning). Unfortunately, two things conspired against him: the first was that the Sox still struggled to score runs (this time against Lance Lynn), and the second was, as always, the bullpen. Jackie Bradley put the Sox on the board with an opposite field two run homer over the Green Monster in the fifth to break the scoreless tie and put them up 2-0. They gave a run back in the seventh in one of the more bizarre innings I've seen this season that almost felt like a slow motion trainwreck to watch. Max Kepler scored on a fielding error by Eduardo Nunez (and it really wasn't his fault) to cut the lead in half. The team ended it with one of the more unusual and impressive double plays I've ever seen which ended with Steve Pearce sprawled out in the dirt covering first base with his leg underneath a leaping runner. Things still seemed alright in the top of the ninth with Kimbrel on the mound. He had come in to get the final out in the eighth and even though he led off the ninth by walking a batter he then induced a fly out and looked on his way to another save. Then the wheels fell off the cart. First Kimbrel walked a batter when he was one strike away from slamming the door shut on the Twins. It culminated in disaster the next batter when he allowed a two-RBI double to Eddie Roasrio to put Minnesota up 3-2. You could hear the collective groan at Fenway Park and I'm sure they could hear my cussing all the way there as well! Thankfully, this team never quits. Rafael Devers smacked a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and then, in the bottom of the tenth, Mookie Betts hit his 25th home run of the season (and first career walkoff homer) to give Boston the exciting  4-3 win. Yes, it was another game in which every Red Sox run came from the long ball, but it was exciting enough that I didn’t find it boring. Welcome to MLB in 2018.

Boston Red Sox Gear at

With the Yankees rained out yet again, Boston picked up a half game and is now five games up in the division. I'm not trying to indulge in hyperbole when I say that this was a much needed win for the Red Sox. They've been sluggish coming out of the All Star break and needed to avenge for the previous night's showing. They scored more runs in this one (although still not a lot) and managed to outhit Minnesota 8-6. The real shame was that Sale got yet another no decision...he's pitched far too well this season to only have eleven wins thus far. That's the nature of the game, but it's got to be a little frustrating for him as it is for us fans. Still, it was an important, dramatic win and a relief; I'm hopeful that the team will carry the momentum from this one over going forward. Rick Porcello will take the ball for game three of the series tomorrow and should again give the Sox a great chance to win. As long as they can score runs and keep swinging the bats better, they should be fine.