If the Boston Red Sox win the 2017 World Series title, they might look back on their 19-inning win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park as their season-defining moment.
The Red Sox entered Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park having lost three straight and four of their last five, their American League East lead shrinking to 2 1/2 games in the process.
And for eight innings Tuesday, it looked like that margin would continue to dwindle as the Sox trailed 2-0 heading into the ninth, while the New York Yankees held an early lead on the Baltimore Orioles.
But the Sox rallied just in time, tying the game with a two-run rally in the ninth, setting up what would become a long night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox and Blue Jays dueled deep into the Boston night, as neither team’s offense could generate much offense against the parade of relievers coming from both bullpens.
The innings ticked by — 15, 16, 17, 18 — and still, there was no resolution.
Boston used 12 pitchers, and its bullpen tossed 13 scoreless innings. Carson Smith made his long-awaited return to the mound, and still, the game remained tied at two.
The Yankees and Orioles, who started two hours later than the Sox and Jays, finished when Manny Machado crushed a two-run walk-off home run to ensure Boston’s AL East lead would (at least) remain at 2 1/2.
And then, after New York’s loss was finalized, a switch flipped. Hector Velazquez got Ezequiel Carrera to line out to right field to end the top of the 19th and send Boston’s offense to work.
One night can change everything in baseball. And as his teammates chased him around the field, it was clear Ramirez’s heroics could be the catalyst for something big on Yawkey Way, if the Red Sox can capitalize.
Let’s take a look at more notes from Red Sox-Blue Jays.
— Chris Young snapped an 0-for-20 streak against left-handed pitching when he singled off Matt Dermody in the 13th inning.
— Mookie Betts made a ridiculous catch Tuesday, and according to Statcast, he had a catch probability of only six percent.
— Smith pitched in a Major League Baseball game for the first time in 480 days, recording a strikeout in a scoreless inning of work. Here’s a taste:
— The Red Sox used 12 pitchers Tuesday night, the most in franchise history in a single game (per the Elias Sports Bureau).
— Boston’s 13 scoreless innings from its relievers was the club’s longest scoreless bullpen effort since 1913.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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