If the Boston Red Sox ever needed a victory, it was Thursday night in New York and slugger JD Martinez delivered to help the team avoid a three-game sweep.
Following a 17-2 start, the Boston Red Sox have found themselves suddenly looking up at the New York Yankees following two consecutive losses. It is still very early in the season, but Thursday night’s final game of the three-game series was a very important one both in the standings and mentally for the Sox.
After blowing a 4-0 lead and masterful pitching performance by Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox needed a clutch hit to stop the Yankees from another comeback win.
That hit came in the form of a go-ahead homerun off the bat of JD Martinez.
The Sox slugger led off the eighth inning by barely getting the ball out of the yard over a leaping Aaron Judge. While it wasn’t a loud homerun, it was one in which may end up being a very important one in the race between the two teams.
With the eventual 5-4 victory, the Boston Red Sox are now tied with the Yankees for first place in the A.L. East. With the way these two teams have been beating up on the rest of the league, these head-to-head battles are going to determine who takes the division crown. Just like the good ole days.
A clutch moment
As far as the go-ahead homer goes, it was great to see JD Martinez deliver the way the team envisioned after finally signing him this offseason. Stepping up in a big spot in a renewed rivalry and delivering is just the kind of clutch production this team needs.
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"“I hit it, and I was like blowing, praying, doing everything I can to push it over,” JD Martinez said of homer hit off Yankees reliever Dellin Betances. “I knew it had a chance.”"
Thank god it did get over the wall. Not only did the clutch homer get the bullpen off the hook from another blown lead, it ended the Yankees winning streak. That’s always a good thing for Red Sox fans.
Hanley Ramirez told JD Martinez to go yard
A night after Hanley Ramirez delivered his own go-ahead homer and another blast earlier in the game, the Red Sox DH rubbed some of his clutch fever off on JD Martinez.
Just before his eighth inning at-bat, Ramirez had a little something to say to Martinez.
"“I told him before he went up, ‘You better hit a homer right here,’” Ramirez said following the game. “And he did. That’s good. I told him to his face. ‘We need a homer right here from you.’ And he went out and hit it.”"
The words from Ramirez showed how engaged he is this season. The enthusiasm within the words also magnified how big the game was for the team.
After blowing a lead the game prior, taking one back was just what the doctor ordered.