The Sox certainly showed they had some fight when they played Detroit Tuesday night. A brawl cleared the bench and Kevin Youklis and Terry Francona were ejected.
Really Detroit? You think this was such a good idea? You are playing a team that is in a month-and-a-half-long funk and you decide to do something like this? The rest of the American League thanks you, they really do.
The Boston Red Sox were coming off of a demoralizing four game sweep at the hands of the Yankees. They sat 6 ½ games behind their bitter rival in the AL East. Monday morning, they woke to see themselves tied with Texas atop the AL Wildcard lead.
The season was slowly slipping through their fingers. Injuries were mounting. The roster was in continuous flux and the morale of the team was at an all-season low. The team was listless.
So what does Detroit decide to do? Start a beanball war.
Not a wise choice.
During Monday’s game, Boston’s starter came up and in on the Tigers star 1B Miguel Cabrera and hit him on the arm. The Tigers retaliated by plunking Kevin Youkilis an inning later. OK, fine it’s done. Wrong.
Tuesday night, the Sox send out a 22-year-old Japanese rookie for his first big league start. In the first inning, he already has two men on base. With Cabrera up, he gets hit again to load the bases. There is no way it was intentional.
In the bottom half of the first, the Tigers’ 20-year-old rookie throws up and in on Red Sox 1B Victor Martinez, prompting some finger pointing and jawing. Next inning, the same hurler plunked Youkilis, which led to the fracas.
The next thing you know, Jason Bay hits a mammoth three-run homer to tie the game. That rookie pitcher, he starts to find his groove, and the Sox pile on a few more runs and walk away with the win.
This could be exactly what the doctor ordered. This little brush-up could light a fire under the Sox. I’m sure the rest of the AL can’t be thrilled now. They all smelled the blood in the water. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers were licking their chops just waiting to pounce on this “dead” team.
Remember in 2004 when Varitek and A-Rod got into it? That kick started the Sox’s run all the way to the world title.
In a few months, are we going to look back on this incident as the start of the run? Only time will tell of course, but if last night’s results were any sort of harbinger of the future, it could be a fun end of the season.