Sunday’s Game 162s across Major League Baseball came with high potential chaos, particularly in the American League. There, four teams entered the final day with a game of each other for the two wild card slots: the 90-71 Seattle Mariners, the 90-71 Toronto Blue Jays, the 91-70 New York Yankees, and the 91-70 Boston Red Sox. If New York and Boston both won, they’d get the spots, but a falter by one or the other could have created at least one and possibly more tiebreaker games. And the Red Sox looked likely to fall short for much of Sunday’s game, trailing the 65-96 Nationals 5-2 into the seventh inning. There, though, they pulled out a four-run inning to tie the score, capped off by a two-run double by Alex Verdugo.
The seventh inning started with a pitching change, with Erick Fedde replacing Patrick Murphy. Murphy had come in during the previous inning to get the final two outs after starter Joan Adon (making his MLB debut) was pulled after allowing six hits and two runs over five-and-a-third innings. But while Fedde started things off well with a strikeout of Enrique Hernandez, Kyle Schwarber then singled, and so did Xander Bogaerts. Rafael Devers then singled, scoring Schwarber from second. Jose Iglesias popped out, but then Verdugo (seen above during the second innings) hit this two-run double:
Alex Verdugo with his biggest hit of the year! pic.twitter.com/Rakx0oXb9z
— MLB (@MLB) October 3, 2021
Andres Machado came in for Fedde after that and got Hunter Renfroe to fly out to end the inning. But this inning, and Verdugo’s hit in particular, did a lot to improve the Red Sox’s chances of not having to play a tiebreaker game.
[MLB on Twitter]