Throughout this entire mess with COVID-19, the Boston Red Sox have managed to win games by committee.
Saturday’s extra inning win over the Chicago White Sox was no different.
En route to a 9-8 victory were seven Red Sox pitchers used, a five-run advantage erased and four lead changes. It was all eventually made up for with solid defense and an unlikely hero.
After J.D. Martinez was scratched just prior to the game, Travis Shaw stepped up as designated hitter, driving in four of Boston’s nine RBIs. His single in the 10th scored Alex Verdugo and ultimately won the game. That was all after his three-run homer in the third.
“(Alex Cora) told me about halfway through BP that there’s a chance that I might be in there if J.D.’s back kept acting up, and then right at the end of BP I got the notice that I was in there,” Shaw said after the game.
“Honestly I think we deserve huge credit. I mean we’ve lost a lot of guys for COVID here in the last two weeks. …I think guys have stepped up, guys getting opportunities to step in. And even guys that we’re calling up from Triple-A that have come up and played a role here and done a lot of good things here in the last two weeks.
“I think everybody can can say that we were doing the best we can and it definitely could be much worse.”
Indeed, considering Boston lost 14 players to the virus, in some capacity, in recent weeks.
A loss would have been costly, but the Red Sox remain in second place in the American League East, one game ahead of the New York Yankees for the first AL Wild Card spot.
“One less day, one more win,” manager Alex Cora said postgame. “And that should be the mentality for us.”
Here are more notes from Saturday’s Red Sox-White Sox game:
— With a hole in the rotation, Boston knew it had an issue for Saturday’s starting spot. The Red Sox filled it by committee, with seven different guys taking the mound over the course of the game.
Taking over for rookie Connor Seabold in his debut, Garrett Richards, Ryan Brasier, Hansel Robles, Michael Feliz, Garrett Whitlock and Josh Taylor let up just one earned run over the last six innings.
“I forgot who else pitched, I don’t even know who pitched today,” Cora admitted, revealing they also don’t know the plan for who will take the mound tomorrow behind Nick Pivetta, who is expected to return from his own stint on the COVID IL to get the start.
“We threw the ball well,” Cora continued. “I don’t know where we’re going tomorrow to be honest with you. But winning tonight is important.”
— Probably one more day out of the lineup for J.D. Martinez, who was a late scratch for the second consecutive day due to some back spasms. Cora shared pregame that they’d rather lose him for one or two games than lose him for a week if they pushed it. Now, it’ll be three.
— The Red Sox have one more game against the White Sox, with Sunday’s series finale at 2:10 p.m. ET.