It was a pitchers duel all the way. That is, until the top of the 13th inning. Both of the starters, Boston Red Sox‘s Jon Lester, and Philadelphia Phillies Joe Blanton pitched gems, as well as their bullpens, but it was to no avail, as both of the starters got a no-decision.
The 1st inning often times can predict how the game is going to turn out, and what style the game itself will take on. Well, this game took on it’s style from the very first out. So yeah, the game was a pitchers duel all the way to the very last out of the 13th inning.
The first six outs were recorded easily enough. Each team went one-two-three in the 1st inning, to make it easy for the pitchers. The game went like that for most of the game. The pitchers in this outing did not make many mistakes. Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester was the one to make the first.
In the bottom of the 2nd, with Raul Ibanez leading off with a single, and Shane Victorino following with a double, moving Ibanez to third base, the Phillies were getting a quality inning together. If it weren’t for Lester’s dominance, they might have ended up with more runs than they did. Pedro Feliz grounded to third to score Ibanez, and then, Carlos Ruiz grounded out to advance Victorino to third. Joe Blanton then ended the inning with yet another groundout.
The scoring then stopped until the top of the 4th, when Kevin Youkilis hit a leadoff homerun to tie the game at 1 each.
Exactly one inning later, J.D. Drew hit a homerun to put the Sox up by one run. The Red Sox would hold that lead up until the bottom of the 9th.
With Lester now long gone after going 7 strong innings, the Phils made their move. It may have been only a small move, but yet it was one of the biggest of the night.
With one out in the 9th, and Ryan Howard at the plate, and Ramon Ramirez on the mound because of the unavailability of closer Jon Papelbon, there could only be trouble. Howard made sure that the Red Sox payed for sending an inexperienced pitcher out to the mound to face him. Howard hit a missile into the right field stands to tie up the game at 2.
For the next three innings, both teams bullpens shut the other team down. No team could muster quite enough hits to get rally going.
In the 11th, Greg Dobbs looked to win the game for the Phightins,with a towering blast to right field that looked to just wrap around the foul pole, but was ruled foul instead. Charlie Manuel went out to argue the call, but had no success, as the umpire would not review the play on instant-replay.
There would be no more drama until the top of the 13th inning. With newly called up pitcher Kyle Kendrick pitching, the Red Sox got their bats alive. With one out, Jason Bay and Julio Lugo both hit singles to put runners on 1st and 2nd base. Kendrick then walked catcher Jason Varitek to load the bases with only one out. Jacoby Ellsbury then made Kendrick pay for his mistake. Ellsbury hit a bases loaded single to right to score Bay, and move everybody up a base.
The runs did not stop there for the Sox. Nick Green, the Sox new shortstop, hit a sac fly to score Lugo, and increase the Red Sox lead to 2, and the score up to 4-2. Then, with Mike Lowell up to bat, he cranked out a single to center to score Varitek, and move Ellsbury to third. Kendrick then got Dustin Pedroia to ground out to Jimmy Rollins to end the rally.
In the bottom of the inning, with the Sox bringing in Dan Bard to close, got Chase Utley on base with a leadoff walk, and then to 2nd base on a fielder’s indifference. Jayson Werth and Howard both struck out swinging, but Bard then hit Ibanez to put runners on 1st and 2nd base. The rally then ended with a Victorino strikeout.
The game featured 38 strikeouts, and was a true pitchers duel. The Phillies were shut down, and there was just nothing more that they could do about it. It looked like they had gotten the win in the 11th with Dobbs fly ball, but instead, they just had a long foul ball to talk about.