You know those cheesy made-for-TV movies in which the happy ending is really a moral victory? Well, the Red Sox and Yankees just starred in a movie that would make Hallmark and Disney Channel drool.
The win streak ends at nine games, but it still feels like we won. Why? Because this team is AWAKE. And even more importantly, they showed us tonight that they are a real team who will fight for and defend each other.
In the 3rd inning, Tyler Austin spiked Brock Holt, a dirty move not unlike the Pedroia-Machado incident from last season.
It resulted in a bench and bullpen-clearing, but no actual brawling ensued.
Four innings later in the 7th, Sox reliever Joe Kelly was on the mound when Austin came up to bat. Kelly drilled Austin in the back with a 97 MPH fastball.
Austin slammed his bat down and moved towards Kelly. Kelly didn’t flinch, shouting, “Come on!”
As Austin and Kelly exchanged blows, their teammates and members of their respective staffs joined in. Behemoth Aaron Judge actually tried to protect Kelly from Austin, who might be certifiably insane. It took multiple minutes and ejections for the game to resume.
The Yankees ended up winning 10-7, but no one really cared about the final score.
What matters tonight is the message Kelly sent with his words and his actions: the Sox are a united front and they’ve got each other’s backs. If losing one game and breaking the streak showed us something that important, I have no complaints. A team that fights for each other is a team that goes the distance.
Photo: Boston Globe