The Boston Red Sox outlasted the St. Louis Cardinals in 13 innings on Wednesday night. In the first 12 innings, the Red Sox used seven relief pitchers. This left them with just Ben Taylor for the 13th, and he didn’t disappoint.
Boston spent the majority of the night playing catchup. By the end of the second inning, they were already down 4-0. The score would stay that way until the top of the seventh inning, when Jackie Bradley Jr. smacked a 441-foot two-run home run to center field.
That was still the score heading into the 13th inning — at that point, the Boston bullpen had thrown six scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and one walk.
Manager John Farrell elected to pinch hit Chris Young for the pitcher, leaving just Taylor in the bullpen. The move paid off, as Young singled home Moreland to give the Red Sox their first lead of the day, 5-4.
Taylor came on in the bottom of the 13th, attempting to pick up his first career save. He struck out two, and walked just one while closing the door on a comeback win.
It’s pretty incredible to look back on the year for Taylor. When Spring Training started, he was just a non-roster invitee who didn’t seem to have a chance. He had never pitched above Double-A before the year, and just seemed to be getting some work in with the big leaguers.
Instead, he won a spot on the roster with a fantastic March, and two months later, he picked up career save number one.
Obviously, the closer role for Boston is Craig Kimbrel‘s. He’s as dominant as ever, and under contract through 2018.
Still, Ben Taylor’s given the Red Sox some confidence should Kimbrel be unavailable.