It wasn’t pretty, but the bullpen held on just long enough for Trot Nixon to belt the first extra-innings playoff walkoff homerun in Fenway Park since Carlton Fisk’s famous blast in the 1975 World Series and give the Red Sox another day to keep hope alive.
Not everything is copacetic. The heart of the order—Mueller, Ramirez, Ortiz, and Millar—have a dismal playoff batting average. Ramirez and Ortiz are something like a combined 0-24 or something. Oakland’s pitchers are putting their pitches right in the Sox batters’ weak zones; great scouting by their team.
But the A’s seemed to be working harder to lose the game than the Sox were at winning it. And I wonder if the non-interference call on the Manuel Tejada-Bill Mueller collision will be the baseball equivalent of Tom Brady’s tuck in the 2001 wild-card game against the Oakland Raiders.
Still, hope remains alive for one more day. Whether they win or lose on Sunday or Monday, at least they weren’t swept. And perhaps, just perhaps, Trot’s towering pinch-hit blast might be the necessary spark for the Red Sox gunpowder.