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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Now That's What I Call A Baseball Game! (Ducks Eggs and Tomatoes Being Thrown)

If you were enough of a loser (like me) to sit through five hours and 17 minutes (spoiler: I didn't really pay attention until hockey was over), at least the Red Sox rewarded us with a 6-4 win in 14 innings over the White Sox are U.S. Cellular Field. We could get wrapped up in the details like Chicago's (8-7 overall, 6-3 home) losing pitcher-Luery Garcia-is actually a utility infielder. Nope, Boston (6-9 overall, 4-5 away) snapped its three-game losing streak despite going 3 for 17 with runners in scoring position and leaving 16 on base.

The Red Sox only had six total hits so this victory was all about Chicago's wretched bullpen which allowed 15 walks. Each team had a golden opportunity to end it much earlier but both obviously choked. The White Sox were up 3-1 in the eighth before they allowed a sacrifice fly to A.J. Pierzynski in the eighth and Grady Sizemore in the ninth.

Jonny Gomes put Boston up 4-3 in the 11th thanks to a-you guessed it-sacrifice fly. Temporary closer Edward Mujica failed as he allowed an RBI single by Tyler Flowers in the home half of the frame. Things finally came together in the 14th as Chicago had run out of pitchers so they were forced to use Garcia who allowed a two-run double to Jackie Bradley Jr. Chris Capuano (1-0) had two scoreless innings of relief and he recorded the first two outs of the 14th before Burke Badenhop got the last out with a runner on first for the vultured save.

Boston led 1-0 in the first on Xander Bogaerts' (2 walks, stolen base) RBI single. Chicago tied it in their first at bats thanks to a throwing error by Ryan Roberts. Alexei Ramirez smoked a two-run homer in the sixth for a 3-1 White Sox advantage.

Dustin Pedroia returned to go 2 for 6 with three runs, two walks and a stolen base. The unsung heroes that made this all possible was Boston's bullpen: 8 innings, 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk and 9 strikeouts. Craig Breslow got four outs, Junichi Tazawa had two outs and Andrew Miller worked two scoreless innings.

It felt like it happened a week ago but Clay Buchholz (6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 2 walks & 6 strikeouts) and John Danks (6 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts) were both pretty good on another chilly night in Chitown.

Both teams will be going for the series clincher tomorrow night (8:10) as young ace Chris Sale (3-0) faces Jon Lester (1-2). Runs have been at a premium for Boston all season but they'll really need to dig deep to get anything vs. Sale. Lester has only allowed two earned runs in each of his three starts. For your sake, I hope you haven't seen much if anything of the last two night's games. I know more playoff hockey is on but you should at least click over to what should be a wonderful pitchers' duel.

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