The Red Sox were in great position to earn their fourth straight game -- and the 12th win in their past 17 games -- Tuesday against the Blue Jays. Boston led 5-2 heading in the bottom of the ninth, and had Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon ready to enter the game when starter John Lackey finally ran out of gas.
That happened quickly, when Lackey surrendered a lead-off home run to Jose Bautista, cutting the Sox lead down to 5-3. But no worries, right? Bard, who was already warming up in the eighth, will come and 1-2-3, Boston wins. Oh ... here comes Papelbon. Well, OK, it is a safe situation, after all. Let's have Over The Monster tell us how it went:
On his first pitch, Papelbon allowed a double. On his second, a single, bringing the Jays within one. On his seventh pitch, the tying run went to third with nobody out on another single--this time off his own foot--and on the ninth pitch, Edwin Encarnacion tied the game with a double.
Daniel Bard, who probably should have been the one trying to lock down the save in the first place, came in to try and work a miracle with the bases loaded, one out, and the tying run at third. But when you can't even allow a flyout, that's a tall order. Fred Lewis pushed a 1-0 fastball to center field, and Ellsbury's throw was not in time, giving the Jays a crushing walkoff win.
WEEI's Alex Speier points out that today was the first time Papelbon the reliever has ever been pulled from the game in the middle of an inning with the game tied.
It was Papelbon's sixth blown save in 2010 (in 35 chances), which matches his career high of 2006 (in 41 chances).