If there’s one thing that many teams in the MLB have learned, it’s to not give the Red Sox the opportunity to catch up. Because chances are, they will.
With Stephen Drew’s ninth inning three-run homer Wednesday night against the Astros, the Sox notched their 27th comeback win on the season. That’s a little over one-third of their total winsn. And while it gives the fans heart attacks, it’s good to see that the Sox can play a full nine (or more) innings without slowing down or fizzling out.
“Some teams and some guys kind of lack the late-inning mental focus that it takes,” Gomes said after Wednesday’s game, according to NESN.
And that’s just the thing. The Sox have shown that they can do damage early and stay in the game long enough to take it late if they have to. While getting behind and coming back to win it is not the ideal situation for any team, it’s an important thing to be able to do.
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan
“Hopefully it continues and hopefully we don’t have the need to have so many comebacks,” manager John Farrell said, according to NESN. “But again, it just continues to build on what the spirit and the characteristic of this team is. It’s ‘never quit.’”
The Red Sox certainly never do quit. Eleven of those 27 comebacks have been walk-off wins, the most in the MLB, which has led Boston to be christened “Walk-Off City.” The Sox stick to it as long as they have to, even going 15 innings into the early hours of last Thursday morning in a victory against the Mariners.
Every member of the Sox has a role in those comeback victories. The relievers have been solid at keeping opponents at bay. The defense has been backing up pitchers when they need it. And the offense has been blasting out of the batter’s box at the most crucial moments, especially guys like Jonny Gomes, Mike Carp, and Drew, who don’t boast the best averages but can get on base (or around them) when it counts.
“It’s nine innings. It might go more,” Drew said after Wednesday’s game according to NESN. “This team, we have a lot of fun, also come out and we play hard. Everybody knows their role, and that’s a great part to be at, because you come in every day and you know your role. It makes your job a lot easier.”
“I’m just proud of the way we continued to fight back and show a lot of character and a lot of grit,” Farrell said.
Because, after all, character and grit have been what define this year’s Sox. They’re the team that, after last season, everyone thought would be back sitting in the AL East basement, but a total change in attitude has kept them winning, no matter what the score looks like in the ninth inning.