BOSTON — Derek Jeter’s farewell helped salvage the Red Sox’s season finale.
The Red Sox’s final game last season ended with a champagne-drenched clubhouse. This season, the Sox packed up for the winter with a feeling of disappointment, masked only by the joy of having the unique opportunity to celebrate Jeter’s illustrious major league career.
Boston lost Sunday’s finale against the New York Yankees 9-5, dropping the Red Sox’s record to 71-91. It’s a stark contrast from what was expected from the defending World Series champions.
Let’s go over some notes from game No. 162.
Jeter left the game in the third inning after reaching on an infield single. He saluted the Red Sox’s dugout and shook hands with Boston starter Clay Buchholz while exiting the field. The admiration for Jeter within the Red Sox’s clubhouse was obvious, as several players expressed gratitude for being part of such a special moment.
Sunday’s contest marked Jeter’s 153rd game (regular and postseason) at Fenway Park, passing Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle for the most games ever played in Boston as a Yankee.
Jeter finished his career with 3,465 hits, the sixth-most in Major League Baseball history. He’s a .310 lifetime hitter with 260 homers, 1,311 RBIs and 358 stolen bases. He won five World Series and earned 14 All-Star selections.
— Buchholz allowed four earned runs — all in the third inning — on five hits over six frames. He struck out four and walked one.
It was a disappointing season for Buchholz, who finished with an 8-11 record and 5.34 ERA. But the right-hander made strides down the stretch, giving the Red Sox reason to be optimistic about 2015.
“We’ve been able to answer, I think, a very sizable question with Clay, and that’s durability,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He finishes with roughly 170 innings despite missing a month. And when you consider that final start on May 28 I believe, or Memorial Day in Atlanta, he righted the ship in a number of ways. The overall year not what we’re accustomed to with him, but still, I think he’s learned some things along the way.”
— Craig Breslow’s disappointing season ended in disastrous fashion.
Breslow allowed five consecutive hits without recording an out in the seventh inning. All five runs scored.
The Red Sox hold a $4 million team option for Breslow, who finished the year with a 5.96 ERA.
— Burke Badenhop put the finishing touches on a very good season. He posted a 2.29 ERA in 70 2/3 innings spanning 70 appearances.
— Dan Butler collected the first two RBIs of his major league career. He cleared the bases with a double in Boston’s five-run seventh inning.
— Mookie Betts went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
The 21-year-old finished the season hitting .291 (55-for-189) with five homers, 18 RBIs and seven steals in 52 games with Boston.
— Rusney Castillo went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a hit by pitch.
Castillo reached safely in nine of his 10 games with the Red Sox. He hit .333 (12-for-36) with a .400 on-base percentage.
— The Red Sox finished the season with a 34-47 record at Fenway Park. They went 37-44 on the road.
Photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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