Dateline: Hook Road 1
On a perfect spring evening, the Red Sox returned to their friendly home confines of Hook Road 1. After a tough loss to the Devil Rays, the Red Sox started the day a half a game behind their season-long rival the Yankees. The team wanted to repay the Yankees for a 9-8 loss earlier in the year. It was to be another thriller. Fans lined the field in anticipation — they were not to be disappointed.
Sox starter Garrett looked great on the mound in the first with two strikeouts but the Yankees were able to slip past three runs. Down 3-0, the Sox began to rally. Garret and Justin walked. Ben hit a sharp single to right. With the bases loaded, Chris hit a huge RBI single to left to score Garrett. Jack was hit by a pitch to score Justin, Jared walked to score Ben. After one it was tied at three.
In the second, Garrett looked even better. He struck out two and made a nice catch on a popup. The Red Sox went down quietly and we went to the third with the score still tied at three. In the third, Michael had some control problems but settled down to induce a popup where he made a great catch. Unfortunately, the Yankees scored four. The Red Sox had a determined look about them as they embarked upon yet another comeback. And come back they did. Ben led off with a shot to left. Matt and Chris walked to load the bases with no outs. Jared walked to score Ben. Michael walked to score Matt. An overthrow back to the pitcher scored Chris. And then, with two outs and the game on the line, Kyle strode calmly to the plate and hit a shot to right. Red Sox fans rejoiced as Jack scored with the tying run. After three it was 7-7 and the coaches were reaching for their standard supply of blood pressure medication.
Matt was dominant in the fourth with three strikeouts in four batters. In the bottom of the fourth, the Red Sox continued their offensive barrage. Corey stroked a nice single to right. TJ singled to move Corey to second. Garrett continued the hitting attack with another single to load the bases. Justin continued with the Red Sox fourth hit in a row with a single to score Corey. Ben was hit by a pitch to score TJ. Matt singled to score Garrett, for the fifth hit of the inning. Chris grounded out to short and Justin scored with the fourth run of the inning. The Red Sox now held a commanding 11-7 lead.
The Yankees were not to be denied. In the top of the fifth, Matt struck out one, but four runs scored on a series of unfortunate plays and some good base running by the Yankees. Matt settled down to strikeout the side. With darkness looming, the Red Sox came to bat with the score tied 11-11. A single run would win the game and put the Sox in sole possession of first place. A leadoff walk to Jared put a very fast winning run on first. Michael grounded out to first, but Coach Grossman sent Jared to third. The Red Sox were sixty feet away from a victory. Will hit a shot to first but the Yankees made a nice play getting the out. With two outs, Kyle was at the plate. On a 1-1 count, the Yankee ace threw a wild pitch, Coach Grossman sent Jared home who streaked down the line towards home. The Yankees catcher made a brilliant play on the ball and expertly flipped to the pitcher. Jared slid in as the ball landed in the pitcher’s mitt. It was a bang-bang play and suddenly the ball came loose and gently rolled away from the plate. Red Sox fans rejoiced and the Red Sox players leaped for joy. Final Score: Red Sox 12, Yankees 11.
Coach Grossman was available only for a very terse interview after the game as he began immediate preparations for the season ending game against the Orioles. “Its been a great season”, Coach Grossman said. Anytime you can secure a win or at least a tie against every team in the league, you can’t really complain. The Yankees were the only team we had not beaten and they are a great ball club. Our bats were fantastic today and I am sure our defense will come together against the Orioles and into the playoffs. We obviously need to have this same kind of `game against the Orioles to end the season on a positive note. We are looking far more alert in the field and I think we’ll be ready for the Orioles. This game was a real thriller.”
Coach Goldstein was being given oxygen by the Red Sox team physician, but was able to wheeze out this statement from his prone position, “We still have a lot of work to do on fielding, but this game once again proves what Coach Grossman has been saying, “It ain’t over until we say its over.”