Four games against the Cardinals and four Red Sox wins.
It wasn’t the World Series this time, it was the four games of the 2017 season set, which the Red Sox closed on Wednesday with yet another walk-off win. For Boston, it was the ninth walk-off win of the season, six more than they had all of last season. The Sox are now tied with the Dodgers and Athletics for the most walk-off wins this season.
Boston’s nine walk-off victories in 2017 are the most in a single season since recording nine in 2014. It’s the club’s 10th season with nine or more walk-off wins since 1992.
Over the last 105 seasons, the Boston franchise record for walk-off wins is 12 in 1961.
Tuesday’s Red Sox win was a 10-4 blow out, but Wednesday’s game didn’t have the feel of a Boston win.
Sox starter Eduardo Rodríguez, so good so often this season, stumbled in an interminably long second inning, allowing four Cardinals go-ahead runs. After a lead-off double by Yadier Molina, Rodríguez walked Jedd Gyorko. A Kolten Wong single, a double by Luke Voit, a Christian Vazquez passed ball and then another single by Matt Carpenter put Boston in an early 4-0 hole.
Rodríguez would, in fact, settle in, ultimately allowing no further damage. But his 45 pitches in the second inning meant a short night. He departed after 5.1 IP (98 pitches). The Boston bullpen did it’s job, with scoreless innings logged by Matt Barnes, Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel.
The Sox got to St. Louis starter Lance Lynn in the bottom of the third, scoring twice on an error and a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly, but from there, nothing.
But in the bottom of the ninth, Red Sox magic, once again.
Walking It Off
Xander Bogaerts led off the 9th with a home run against Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal, just the third he’s allowed in 47.2 IP this season.
Now a one-run game, Manager Mike Matheny went through two more relievers, but ultimately Mookie would come to the plate with two outs and runners at first and second. Betts worked the count full then doubled to deep left, the biggest of his three hits of the game. Jackie Bradley sprinted from first, diving into home as Cardinals catcher Molina botched the relay throw.
For the second time this season the Sox thrilled us with a two-out, two-strike walk off hit, the other coming off the bat of Mitch Moreland on August 4.
It was the club’s first two-out, full-count walk-off hit since Mike Napoli‘s home run on July 21, 2013 against the Yankees.
With a Yankees win earlier in the evening and a looming series with the Bombers this weekend, Wednesday’s win was especially important to Boston.
The Red Sox have now won eight of their last nine home games and are 26-12 (.684) at Fenway since May 23.
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