BOSTON — It’s not often that a bullpen steals a baseball game, but that’s exactly what happened at Fenway Park last night.
After David Price was tagged for six runs and gave his team four outs, Red Sox relievers answered the bell.
They didn’t allow another run over the next 7 2/3 innings, allowing the offense to claw back into the game, homer by homer, and the Sox took the series finale against the Rangers, 7-6.
Here are five takes from a four-hour game at Fenway:
1. Bullpen gets it done
It didn’t matter who came out when the bullpen door opened, as every Sox reliever did his job against the Rangers.
Mike Shawaryn was the first man up, stranding an inherited runner in the second and spinning 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.
Colten Brewer got a clutch strikeout when called upon, then Travis Lakins, Marcus Walden, Travis Lakins, Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, and Josh Smith all threw a scoreless inning of their own.
It was a total team effort to bail Price out.
2. Bogey finishes the HR Party
Boston beat Texas with their bullpen — and the long ball. The Red Sox went deep five times and Xander Bogaerts delivered the dagger in the seventh inning.
An absolute moonshot, Bogaerts knew it was gone the second it left his bat, and when the ball touched down in the Monster Seats, the shortstop had his team-leading 14th homer of the season.
3. JBJ is on fire again
It’s been the story of Jackie Bradley Jr.’s career: Grit your teeth through the cold streaks, because when he heats up, he really heats up.
Bradley is white hot right now.
He homered in the second inning, and then came feet away from going deep again later in the ballgame, settling for a wall-scraping double instead. The lefty isn’t just pulling the ball, he’s driving the baseball to left-center. That’s a very good sign.
4. An aberration for Price?
David Price hasn’t delivered a dud like last night’s all season.
Boston’s most consistent starter in 2019, Price was off from the get-go. He struggled to throw strikes in a 38-pitch first inning, and when he did, they weren’t where he wanted them to be.
The Rangers capitalized on Price’s mistakes, chased him in the second inning, and left the Red Sox to hope this was just a blip on the radar, not something worse.
5. Pace is ridiculous
It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to figure out why MLB attendance rates are dropping steadily. In addition to the tanking epidemic (that’s a story for another day), the pace of play has been absolutely brutal.
Last night marked the sixth time in the last seven games the Red Sox have played at least 3:20. On a raw night like Thursday, nobody wants to sit in the stands for that long. Consider that a June Red Sox game is taking significantly longer than Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. The problem is obvious.
Chris Mason is a Red Sox beat writer for the Eagle-Tribune and CNHI Sports Boston. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMason