The best part about the win last night? The Red Sox didn’t check out. Once you got a big lead for Chris Sale, it would have been human nature to just pack it in. “We got four. We’re all set.” But, as the lead started to evaporate, the Sox got it back.
Then they did it again.
Goodness knows there have been plenty of times this season where Chris Sale has gotten little to no run support. It was nice that the offense had the chance to return the favor.
It’s also nice when everyone gets a chance to get clicking again. After starting the season without a home run for what seemed like forever, Xander Bogaerts is hitting them in bunches. Jackie Bradley Jr had another homerun, to hopefully continue breaking out of his woeful slump. Craig Kimbrel was able to get back into action, and didn’t disappoint at all.
Speaking of Kimbrel, it's always nice when John Farrell reminds us that he doesn't have a magic book when it comes to treating his closer. Kimbrel came into the eighth inning to put out a fire. Then the Red Sox extended the lead in the top of the ninth. The EEIdiots actually asked Farrell if there was a "number" that would have indicated that the lead was safe enough to not bother bringing Kimbrel back out. Thankfully, the game situation dictated that, instead of a magic spreadsheet. The game seemed to be going back and forth. The White Sox certainly should have felt they could score a bunch of runs. Kimbrel was rested, the other members of the bullpen were not. It made sense to just have him finish the game and get it over with. Absolutely correct call in this situation.
It was the sort of wonderful team effort that is fun to see. Because, Sale isn’t going to strike out ten batters every game. So, it’s nice to realize that he doesn’t always have to. It works both ways. Sometimes he’ll bail out the offense, sometimes they’ll save him.
The next step is to keep it going.