Has the 2020 campaign been exactly what the Boston Red Sox were hoping for?
Well, obviously not. But that doesn’t mean manager Ron Roenicke and the Red Sox don’t love the winning feeling, and specifically the feeling that comes after a walk-off victory.
Boston got to celebrate one Saturday after a 9-8 walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays. It was a bit unexpected, as the Red Sox trailed by one run entering the ninth before scoring a pair of runs in bottom half to claim the win.
“But good win. Good battle,” Roenicke told reporters on a video conference after the game. “I thought we did a great job offensively, kept coming back. Busted out early, which has been something we’ve been wanting to do. So, good job early getting the lead.
“And then coming through there at the end. So, pretty fun,” Roenicke continued. “I don’t care what our record is at any time. It’s pretty fun winning a game like that.”
Boston tied the game in the ninth on a solo home run by Xander Bogaerts. The winning run was scored by Christian Vazquez as Yairo Munoz continued to shine against the Blue Jays. Munoz, as you might recall, recorded six hits during Boston’s Friday doubleheader. He recorded the game-winning RBI on Saturday.
Here’s some other notes from Saturday’s game:
— Does Christian Vazquez, in fact, have wheels? It certainly seemed that way in the ninth inning.
Vazquez broke up a double play, reaching on a fielder’s choice. He then read the Toronto catcher was out of position behind the plate and took off for second. He was safe on the steal, then advanced to third base on the overthrow.
Most importantly, though, was how Vazquez beat the tag as he slid across home plate for the game’s winning run.
“Thankful to my speed,” Vazquez joked while speaking with NESN’s Guerin Austin after the game. “I know the catcher, we play a long time, he was in a one knee stance. And I think I had a chance with my speed not to throw me out.”
Roenicke applauded Vazquez for the heads-up play.
“It was just Vazquez being heads-up and trying to do something. So, good job by him,” Roenicke said.
— First baseman Bobby Dalbec belted his second home run of the year during the second inning. Boston had three balls leave the yard in the second with J.D. Martinez and Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting homers, as well.
“Huge for him. He’s been battling and frustrated and then he comes through with a nice home run. You know, it’s just, this is a strange game. You can be feeling really bad and then next thing you know you’re a hero. So, good to see him get that. Hopefully that will relax him some, Roenicke said.
Dalbec explained the tweaks he had made to his swing, which have him feeling a lot better.
“Yeah, it felt good. Just made a couple tweaks. Just timing stuff, stopped pressing a little bit and it felt good to get that one today,” he said. “… I was just kind of getting stuck on the backside, I was spinning, tying myself up. And I was seeing the ball well, that was was even more frustrating, but I was just not capable of putting a good swing on it. I was a little twisty, and I think I got it ironed out now, so just got to continue to stay on top of it and continue to get better.”
— Right-hander Ryan Weber put together an efficient start for the Red Sox, throwing the first five innings. Weber scattered five hits with two earned runs, which was was a promising sign for Roenicke.
“Yeah, really nice,” Roenicke said. “That’s been something we’ve talked about and how we can use less bullpen pieces when we do it ’cause our bullpen they’ve thrown a lot. so I thought that was important for him to get us that far. … Those five innings were big.”
The Red Sox will return to the diamond Sunday at 1:35 to host the Blue Jays in the fifth and final game of their series.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images