The term "Seventh Heaven" is, at its core, a religious reference to a place we all hope to find upon passage from this world. There was also the television show 7th Heaven, which starred Jessica Biel, a place we all hope to find upon passage from this world.
It could also be used to describe the nirvana that exists in several Red Sox games this season. The team has had many instances in which it breaks open a game or rallies from behind in the seventh inning, and it is doing so at an alarming rate. After scoring five runs in the seventh inning of Friday's 7-4 win over Seattle, Boston had outscored opponents 90-32 in that frame this season.
There are a multitude of reasons. The club owns a scoring advantage in all but two innings this year, a product of a league-leading offense. But as was the case Friday, the seventh is often around the time that a lineup loaded with grinders finally does in an opposing starter. And when it does, thereby reaching the bullpen, there is a pretty dramatic shift.
Essentially, when the Red Sox smell blood, they pounce.
Adrian Gonzalez, who had a two-run single to start the scoring in the seventh, said it can be a matter of coincidence. "Just the way the game goes," he said.
But it's clear that while Boston's relief at that stage of the game has been superb (Daniel Bard has a lot to do with it), the opponents' has not.
"You don’t see the eighth or ninth-inning guys at that point. You see more the middle relief,"Gonzalez said.
That middle relief has been no match. The Red Sox are hitting .320 in the seventh, averaging nearly one run per game for that inning. They have yet to reach 70 runs in any other frame. By comparison, last year's team finished the year with just 79 runs in the seventh, nine fewer than their opponents.
Of course, they did dominate opponents in the second and third innings. But there's simply something more spiritual, more poetic, about when the team is having its big rallies this year. Just ask Jessica Biel.
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