Saturday, April 11, 2015

Long Night's Journey Into Morning

I detest Edward Mujica.

I thought he was an awful free agent signing by the Red Sox after the 2013 World Series win. He was the closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, and was so awful down the stretch, he was barely used by them in their run to the World Series. So for what ever unfathomable reason, the Sox signed him to a two-year deal. And with Koji Uehara's hamstring injury (thank God he returns on Monday), John Farrell made him the temporary closer. Yikes.

And he gave it up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, allowing a game-tying home run to a struggling Chase Headley. The game goes to extra-innings. 10 extra-innings.

It was the longest game by time in Red Sox history: 6 hours and 49 minutes. It included a 16-minute power outage delay in the 12th inning, and the Sox scoring runs in the 16th (David Ortiz' first HR of 2015) and 18th innings, only for New York to tie it both times.

The Sox scored the game winner in the 19th on Mookie Betts' sacrifice fly in the top of the 19th. They turned a sparkling DP started by Xander Bogaerts to conclude matters at 2:13 AM. The Red Sox used up the entire bullpen, with Steven Wright pitching the last four innings for his first win.

I think Steven Wright can put this gritty performance into his collection of his "Very Best Of":

The only longer game between the two rivals was in 1967, with New York winning the second game of a doubleheader (remember those?) in 20 innings.

The teams play their second game of the weekend series at 1 PM today. Barely 11 hours after the final pitch of Friday night/Saturday morning's game ended.

And everyone has a stiff named Edward Mujica to thank for it.

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