It’s Jacoby Ellsbury’s world; we just live in it.
A few hours after becoming the first Red Sox 30/30 man Ellsbury was one of the few offensive forces on either team in the 14-inning long game. Not only is the season a marathon but these last few games determining the American League wild card have proven prolix contests of endurance.
Terry Francona had to call upon J.D. Drew, who had not seen action since July 19. The curious call paid off when Drew singled in Jed Lowrie in the fifth for the visitors’ first score of the game. Francona’s decision to pinch run Lars Anderson for Adrian Gonzalez in the ninth, leaving his team without one of its best hitters for five innings, didn’t turn out as well. Anderson went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a stranded runner.
For 22 outs the Red Sox relievers held the Yankees scoreless. Granted, the lineup was more Scranton/Wilkes-Barre than Bronx, but Daniel Bard, Jonathan Papelbon, Franklin Morales, and Felix Doubront still kept a mix of all-stars and young players hungry to prove themselves at bay in hostile territory.
I was surprised to see Scott Proctor make an appearance because Joe Torre had no compunction sending out Proctor until his joints were dust. The reliever took the mound with one down in the fourteenth and allowed a single to Darnell McDonald and permitted Marco Scutaro to reach on a walk.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia gave the ball a ride to deep center, far enough advance McDonald to third base. The platoon outfielder wouldn’t need that extra base as his fellow ballhawk Ellsbury sent his 31st circuit clout into the Yankees bullpen.
No word on how Alec Baldwin’s kidneys took the news.
This might be the least inspirational big win of the season. The night was tainted with John Lackey’s surliness, but for once the starter had reason to be churlish. A reporter had texted Lackey with a question about his personal life 30 minutes before the game.
As historically bad as Lackey has been, I sympathize with him as a person. But as a pitcher, his name needs to be expunged from any and all playoff roster permutations.
|Game 159: September 25, 2011 ∙ 14 innings|
|Boston Red Sox
||BS: Alfredo Aceves (3)|
W: Franklin Morales (1-2)
S: Felix Doubront (1)
|2B: Jed Lowrie (14), Marco Scutaro (24)|
3B: Lowrie (4)
HR: Jacoby Ellsbury (31)
|New York Yankees
||L: Scott Proctor (2-5)|
|2B: Mark Teixeira (25), Jesus Montero (4)|