Red Sox Walk-Off Marlins in Much Needed Win
Boston, MA - It was looking like old times in the American League East when the Red Sox took a 4-1 lead against one of the worst teams in the National League into the eighth inning and the New York Yankees trailed the Chicago White Sox 4-0. It seemed like an evening primed for the Sox to gain another game in their division lead. Instead, everything seemed to flip.
Yesterday's game between the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins was, for the most part, like any other baseball game. Jose Urena got the start for Miami and Brian Johnson was on the mound for Boston. Johnson threw for a solid outing, only giving up one run on a solo shot by Isaac Galloway. Boston, on the other hand, teed off against Urena as they scored runs off of an Ian Kinsler single, an Andrew Benintendi double, a Xander Bogaerts sacrifice fly, and an Eduardo Nunez solo home run.
After being swept by the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston fans were feeling great about the late inning 4-1 lead until the bullpen collapsed once again. The bullpen has been a concern as of late for Boston, as it seems like the pitching ability of many relievers has completely evaporated. Manager Alex Cora recognized this in a post game interview and he acknowledged that the relief pitching has to get better.
Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree combined to give up five runs off of six hits in the top of the eighth, dropping Boston down to a 6-4 deficit. Fortunately, the team's potent offense bailed them out with a three run bottom of the eighth and some clutch hitting by Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Closer Craig Kimbrel added to the bullpen woes in the ninth when he blew the save and allowed the Marlins to tie the game, but a bizarre play where Nunez legged out a potential double play ball to force an error and allow J.D. Martinez to score so the Red Sox could walk off with the win.
Conversely, the Yankees mounted their own comeback to win against Chicago. The Red Sox definitely got lucky last night and the bullpen problems must be solved. But it feels nice to be back in the win column.