In a four game series against the Phillies (2 home, 2 away) the Red Sox took the 2 at Fenway into extras, giving the fans free baseball with walk-off wins. Although, the Phillies are the worst team in baseball at 21-42, the Red Sox showed some serious grit winning both games in extra innings.
Monday night at Fenway, in game 1 of the series, it was Dustin Pedroia who ended the game with a base hit in the 11th inning, scoring Deven Marrero from 2nd base. After another rough start from the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, Rick Porcello (6 IP, 10 hits, 5 ER) the bullpen shut it down for 5 innings, not allowing anymore base-runners to cross the plate. Matt Barnes was the winning pitcher in this one, tossing 2 innings and striking out 5.
In game 2 of the series, the story was rookie, Andrew Benintendi, who went 3-for-5 including the walk-off drive to deep right field, ending the game in the 12th inning. Benintendi, who hit his first walk-off, said after the game that there will be plenty more to come, and with the promising future the young outfielder has in front of him, he’ll back that up. Benintendi also saved the go ahead run from scoring in the 8th inning when he played the ball off the monster from a Maikel Franco and threw out Howie Kendrick with a strike to the plate. David Price pitched a quality start in this one, going 6 innings, while allowing 3 ER on 4 hits and 4 BB, striking out 6. The bullpen was awesome in game 2 as well, with a surprise 2 SO innings from Fernando Abad, who earned the win after the Benintendi walk-off.
Back-to-back extra innings walk-off wins are exciting, no matter who the opponent is, but let’s be real here, both games ran over 4.5 hours and even for the biggest of baseball fans, the pace of play in some games is just ridiculous. There is a lot of speculation for a pitch counter to be implemented, so the time between pitches lessens, and I’m all in for that. It’s a minor change that probably won’t make the game much shorter, but in extra inning games like the Sox have played in the two previous nights, we’d definitely see a shortage in time.
The Red Sox have won 15 of their last 22 games, and are currently 3 games back of the Yankees for 1st place in the AL East. The Sox look to win both games at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia to finish off the 4-game sweep of the Phillies.