The memories of Game 2 of the 2013 ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers aren’t as sweet for Rick Porcello.
While Red Sox fans associate the now-famous bullpen cop and utter joy with David Ortiz’s series-altering grand slam in the eighth inning of Boston’s eventual 6-5 win, mostly swear words come to Porcello’s mind. The right-hander recently recalled the memories of that fateful night to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, remembering vividly that his Tigers had one job to do when Ortiz walked up to the plate while Porcello was warming up in the bullpen.
“We’re up four runs and the bases are loaded, and I remember thinking, ‘Just keep the bleeping ball on the good side of the fence, and we’ll be all right,’ ” Porcello told Edes.
The Tigers weren’t all right. Ortiz pounced on Joaquin Benoit’s first pitch and lined it over the wall of the Red Sox’s bullpen, shocking Porcello in the process.
“I felt like it was a movie — I can’t believe that just happened,” Porcello said. “First pitch, Ortiz hits a grand slam. I just couldn’t believe it. I was genuinely in awe because it was one of those situations you feel like it was so easy to avoid, and then it actually happens.
“Crazy. A lot of feelings going on in a short period of time. Then it’s, ‘(Expletive), I’ve got to go in there’ (in the ninth inning).”
Expletive indeed. Porcello entered the game in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied, but it didn’t remain deadlocked for long.
“Jonny Gomes hits a broken-bat groundball, and Jose Iglesias throws it into the stands,” Porcello said. “I throw a wild pitch, and (Jarrod) Saltalamacchia hits a groundball into left field.”
We all know how this story ends: Gomes scored the winning run, Porcello was charged with the loss and the Red Sox went on to win the series in six games. That game was as heartbreaking for Porcello as it was incredible for the Red Sox, but the pitcher is more than ready to put the loss behind him.
“It’s over now,” Porcello said. “I’m glad to be on the other side of it now.”
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
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