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Home » October 2010 Game CommentsOctober 2010 » It Really is a Marathon

It Really is a Marathon

The miles show on Mike Lowell’s face but not in his words. “You know, I’m kind of at a loss for words to kind of explain the emotions I’ve felt over the last five years, with respect to the support and positive response I’ve gotten from Red Sox fans,” said Lowell during the pre-game festivities celebrating his baseball career. “But I think it’s your passion and your knowledge for baseball, I’ll truly miss but I don’t think I’ll ever forget.”

Josh Beckett, who came with Lowell in the trade with the Marlins, gave the corner infielder a third base bag. The left field wall echoed fans’ signs and thoughts: “THANK YOU MIKE.”

The Red Sox’s marathon season reached Heartbreak Hill. The Red Sox ran it with crutches and the Yankees participated in it like a relay, handing off the baton to deadline acquisitions. While perennial All-Star Lance Berkman hasn’t become a true Yankee yet, adding him to the lineup along with Austin Kearns and Kerry Wood gave the Gothamites proven major league options while Boston’s lineup card closely resembled something Torey Lovullo would draw up in McCoy or Arnie Beyeler puts together at Hadlock.

Despite the vast disparity in talent the Pawtucket/Portland Red Sox tied the Yankees late in the game. Joba Chamberlain inherited baserunner Lars Anderson from Boone Logan in the seventh and immediately surrendered a Bill Hall line drive single over Robinson Cano’s glove. Anderson advanced to third on the hit. The rookie first baseman then scored on Chamberlain’s wild pitch to Daniel Nava, bringing the score to 5-4. Chamberlain hasn’t looked so discomfited since being attacked by a swarm of midges.

The local nine scored the tying run in the eighth under similar circumstances. Wood walked Jed Lowrie, Victor Martinez, and David Ortiz in succession to load the bases. Pinch runners Eric Patterson and Josh Reddick replaced Lowrie and Martinez, tactics that paid off in part. Patterson scored easily on a wild pitch but Reddick in his rookie enthusiasm tried to score as well and was thrown out at home.

On that play Tim McCarver marveled at the Yankees response rather than how the score was leveled 5-5 by Wood’s wildness. Ramiro Pena had the common sense to catch the ball Jorge Posada threw to him and then tossed to Wood, who did what any pitcher would do and covered home. But in McCarvers’s eyes it was comparable to Derek Jeter’s play against the Athletics in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS.

Who else but Jonathan Papelbon, who blew eight saves in 2010, would give up the winning run in extra innings?

The Red Sox closer, who compared himself to Mariano Rivera, allowed a base on balls to Brett Gardner to begin the tenth. With the speedster on base Joe Girardi went with small ball maneuvers. Pena bunted Gardner over. Jeter singled off Hall’s bare hand and Gardner scored as Boston’s multipurpose player stumbled after the ball.

In the bottom of the tenth Rivera showed Papelbon what a proven closer can do with a one-two-three inning. Robinson Cano demonstrated how to bare-hand a grounder for the second out. The Yankees kept pace with the Rays, who defeated the Royals, for first place in the AL East.

Game 160: October 2, 2010 ∙ 10 innings
6H: Boone Logan (13), Joba Chamberlain (25)
BS: Kerry Wood (4)
W: Phil Hughes (18-8)
S: Mariano Rivera (33)
2B: Nick Swisher (33), Mark Teixeira (36), Robinson Cano – 2 (41)
3B: Curtis Granderson (7)
HR: Robinson Cano (29)
Red Sox
5L: Jonathan Papelbon (5-7)
2B: Mike Lowell (13), Darnell McDonald (18)

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