BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox are currently in a very tenuous position when it comes to playing in the post-season, but at 63-59 halfway through August, there is still plenty of season left to play. And after last night's game against the Cleveland Indians, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the Red Sox and there are always reasons to smile.
Boston lost in heartbreaking, walk-off fashion on Monday night, but Tuesday night's game was a different story. It ended up being a record-setting victory for a couple signature Sox players.
Boston found their way to a 6-1 lead against the Indians last night, but Cleveland steadily rallied for the rest of the nine innings when the game was tied 6-6 after a Francisco Lindor double. Sending the game into extra innings, there was not much bonus baseball to play as Jackie Bradley, Jr. sent a solo home run over the right field fence and Andrew Cashner closed the door in his first bullpen appearance. Boston came away with a 7-6 victory over the red hot Cleveland team.
The major takeaways from the game, however, were two history-making performances from starting pitcher Chris Sale and third baseman Rafael Devers.
Chris Sale recorded twelve strikeouts during the game, but his most important one was his fifth. That strikeout came in the third inning on an off-speed slider against Oscar Mercado. When Mercado fanned, Sale had officially recorded strikeout number 2,000 of his career. He became the pitcher in baseball history who achieved the milestone the fastest, doing it in 1,626 innings. This topped former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, who had previously done it the fastest by striking out 2,000 in 1,711 1/3 innings. Sale remains on pace with ultimate baseball history.
As for Devers, he became the first player in the history of modern baseball (which dates back to 1900 officially) to record a game in which he went six for six at the plate and put up four doubles along the way.
Two of Boston's best showed why they are the best last night and record-breaking performances like those help keep spirits up in the long month of August for Sox fans.