Today's Red Sox victory perfectly encapsulated everything I've come to love about this team. Sure, it started off badly, with Ryan Dempster turning in an absolutely putrid start. But pitchers have bad days, and good teams have to learn to find a way to win, which is exactly what the Red Sox did.
Though Dempster made it through just 3.1 innings and gave up all seven Mariners runs (four earned), young knuckleballer Steven Wright came to his rescue and tossed 5.2 innings of shut-out baseball. On the offensive side, today was truly a team effort as seven Red Sox had at least one hit, and three had two.
The Sox managed to claw their way back, and the score was tied at the end of regulation play. Ryan Lavarnway walked to lead off the top of the tenth inning, and Jackie Bradley Jr. took his place as a pinch runner. Brock Holt executed a successful sacrifice bunt to move Bradley into scoring position, but Jose Iglesias lost a battle of an at-bat, striking out after eight pitches. Jacoby Ellsbury was intentionally walked after the home run he hit in the first, but Daniel Nava hit a two-out single to put the Red Sox up by one run.
Koji Uehara, spurned by the All-Star Game Final Vote, went out and recorded a save, facing just three batters and striking out two of them. Wright earned his first ever major league win, and the Red Sox extended their new winning streak to three games before they head to Oakland tomorrow, proving once again that you can't count these guys out. How can anyone resist loving this team?