September 7, 2013


Another Wild Win for Sox : Napoli's Grand Slam Keys Big Rally as Boston Stops N.Y. (Mike Fitzpatrick, September 7, 2013, AP)

Will Middlebrooks homered for the third straight day and Boston erased a five-run deficit in another wild game between these longtime rivals. One night earlier, the Yankees took an 8-7 lead with a six-run seventh -- only to lose 9-8 in 10 innings on Victorino's tiebreaking single.

New York has lost consecutive games when scoring at least eight runs for the first time since September 1949, according to STATS. The last time it happened with both games at home was 1911 against Cleveland.

Napoli also doubled, singled and walked twice in a perfect night at the plate. He scored three times, one night after sparking Boston's ninth-inning comeback with a two-out single off Mariano Rivera.

The Red Sox, who began the day with a 6½-game lead in the AL East over Tampa Bay, have slowed New York's wild-card charge by winning the first two games of a four-game set, improving to 9-5 against New York this year. They have scored 41 runs in their past three games and won 11 of 13 overall. [...]

The game lasted exactly 4 hours, one night after the teams played 10 innings in 4:32.

Sox odyssey sweetened by oddities (Gordon Edes, 9/07/13,

This is the week the Red Sox crossed over the threshold from rational to irrational, from fact to fiction, from things that can be explained to things that go bump in the night.

Our humble suggestion: Just accept this as a baseball odyssey like very few others, and grab on with both hands for the ride. And if you're able to grow a beard -- or a single whisker, which was about all that separated Mike Napoli's game-tying grand slam from being just another fly ball to right field in Yankee Stadium Friday night -- so much the better.

As the great Ned Martin said in a broadcast long ago during another wildly improbable saga, words that surely echoed in the memories of longtime Sox fans: "If you've just turned your radio on, it's happened again."

A franchise that began the year bent on winning back New England hearts and minds can not only declare mission accomplished, but can lay claim to reviving a message that once inflamed the imagination of an entire generation of Sox fans.

Did you say impossible? Tell that to Yaz and Rico and Gentleman Jim, then try slipping that by the Soggy Bottom Boys of Napoli and Gomes, Victorino and Ross, Carp and Pedroia. Good luck with that.

Will Middlebrooks, who homered for the third straight game himself, celebrates with Shane Victorino after the Flyin' Hawaiian's blast gave the Sox the lead for good.
"Impossible? I don't think there's anything impossible about it," Jonny Gomes said.

Posted by at September 7, 2013 4:44 AM

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