Considering that it included twenty-two runs scored, it's pretty miraculous that tonight's game ended at a reasonable hour. Before the contest started, NESN's pregame analysts were discussing an interesting stat: of all current Red Sox players, only Stephen Drew had ever faced Rangers starter Justin Grimm, and he was 1-for-1, meaning that the team was technically batting 1.000 against him.
Once Grimm got on the mound, things didn't improve. He gave up two runs in the first inning, and managed to record just two outs in the second while allowing six Red Sox to score, before he was lifted for the first of four relief pitchers of the night. Indeed, Ranges manager Ron Washington apparently tired of calling on his bullpen (and likely wanted someone to be rested for the rest of the series) and resorted to putting a postion player on the mound for the bottom of the eighth inning.
You might remember David Murphy? He played for the Red Sox in 2006 and part of 2007, and he's been an outfielder for the Rangers ever since - until tonight, when he made his pitching debut. Indeed, he did better than any of the pitchers who came before him, as he allowed just a single hit (a double to Daniel Nava) and no runs.
The Red Sox were practically having batting practice tonight against the Rangers, scoring seventeen runs, and every single starter had either a hit or an RBI - only Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli failed to record at least one of each. David Ortiz's triple and Jackie Bradley Jr.'s first major league home run became footnotes in an explosion of offense Ryan Dempster came through on the defensive end, allowing just three runs in seven innings before handing the ball off to the Red Sox bullpen. Normally having a 'pen give up two runs in as many innings isn't something to brag about, but compared to the travesty of Rangers relief pitching, I'll take it.
I was in sort of a funk all day, and this game was exactly what I needed. I know that a win is a win, and this one won't count for any more than the others when the season records are tallied up come October - but it counts more to me today.