WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox escaped with one win after a marathon of baseball that began at 1 p.m. Sunday and ended at nearly midnight. The nightcap went five hours and 11 minutes.
Boston has one-game lead over the Rays in the wild card and, if the Red Sox make the playoffs and face the Yankees, a lot of Yankee fans will feel that the Yankees should have put them away Sunday night.
BLAME TORRE: After the Yankees' relievers were great, Scott Proctor came in and gave up a three-run homer to Jacoby Ellsbury in the 14th. If you have watched how Proctor has pitched, you know it was predictable. In seven appearances since being called up, Proctor has not had a 1-2-3 inning yet and has given up runs in five of his seven times out there.
HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF?: Boone Logan, Rafael Soriano, Marinao Rivera, Raul Valdes, Cory Wade and Aaron Laffey combined to throw seven innings of scoreless relief.
UNLUCKY 13: In the 13th, Franklin Morales walked Robinson Cano and, of all people, Greg Golson. Nick Swisher finished off the game. After Nick Swisher flew out to right, Brett Gardner came up. Gardner struckout.
GIRARDI GETS MAD AGAIN: Joe Girardi was thrown out in the 13th and after a head-first sliding into first base Dustin Pedroia was called safe and he was clearly out. Nick Swisher, playing first, complained and then Girardi came out, arguing, putting up three fingers, apparently signaling the number of calls he felt were missed during the game. We know one was when Swisher was called out and he should have been safe on a doubleplay attempt in the third. Not sure what the last one was.
It was the third time this year that Girardi had been thrown out. All have been against the Red Sox.
HIP HIP, JORGE? ALMOST: In a tie game in the ninth, Mark Teixeira worked a 12-pitch walk from Daniel Bard to lead the inning off. Pinch-runner Greg Golson moved to second on a Nick Swisher groundout. Golson moved to third on a Brett Gardner groundout.
After the Red Sox intentionally walked Jesus Montero to get to Brandon Laird. The Yankees turned to Jorge Posada in what is likely his final regular season game. It what could have been another all-time moment for Posada, Bard walked him on four pitches (the last one intentional). With the bases loaded, Austin Romine, against Johnathan Paplebohn struckout to end the ninth.
FIRST DEFENSE: In the sixth, Robinson Cano misplayed a potential double play ball, but got David Ortiz at first. With one-out, the Sox had two men on when Adrian Gonzalez shot a hard one-bouncer toward the hole. Mark Teixeira made an athletic diving stop to save a run.
With a man on first, Nova threw a wild pitch. Austin Romine retrieved a hard carom off the back wall and had plenty of time to get in front of the plate. Dustin Pedroia tried to leap over Romine, but Romine tagged him.
3 UP, 3 DOWN: Ivan Nova was given a three-run first inning lead (Look at previous post). He gave it up though, allowing single runs in the fifth, sixth and two in the seventh. For Nova, he left on the losing side, which would have been his first lost since June 3rd. Instead he got a no-decision for his 6 1/3 innings for four-run (all earned) on eight hits.
MAN OF STEAL: In the seventh, Brett Gardner stole his 48th base of the year. It is a new career high. Gardner came around to tied the game on a Chris Dickerson sacrifice fly.
MONTE KEEPS 'EM COMING: In the second, Montero led off with a double. He was on-base four times. He is on the post-season roster and will be a vital member. The question now is if he starts at the DH against lefties and righties in the playoffs.
SELLOUT: There were 49,072 on-hand. It was the 20th sellout on the 81st game of the year.
WHAT IS NEXT: The Yankees go to Tampa and will help decide if the Red Sox completely blow this thing or not. Joe Girardi planned on revealing his rotation after this game so look to the blog to see what Girardi does. The Rays plan on sending James Shields (15-12, 2.84 ERA) on Monday, Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.90) on Tuesday and David Price (12-13, 3.35) on Wednesday.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: Do you think the Red Sox will make the playoffs or not?