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In Sunday's Red Sox-Yankees game, there was weirdness

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

More MLB: Scoreboard | Standings | Probable Pitchers | Sortable Stats | Odds

The entire four-game Red Sox-Yankees series in the Bronx was rather odd as these things go, but Sunday's finale, in which the Yanks narrowly avoided the sweep, was particularly unusual.

Consider ...

- Going into the ninth, Red Sox starter Jon Lester was poised to pull off the rare and unwelcome feat of recording an eight-inning, complete-game loss (possible only when the visiting starting pitcher pitches the eighth and is behind going into the ninth or gives up a walk-off with no outs in the bottom of the ninth). As you'll soon see, he was spared from such a fate.

- At the start of the eighth inning, Yanks manager Joe Girardi summoned future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera to protect a 3-2 lead. Rivera is no stranger to two-inning saves in the postseason, but Sunday would have been his first regular-season six-out save since 2006. As you'll soon see, he was spared from such a fate.

- Rivera worked around a Mike Carp one-out single in the eighth, but leading off the ninth Will Middlebrooks touched him for a game-tying, opposite-field home run that just sneaked over the wall. It was Rivera's second blown save in the last four days, and it was his seventh blown save of 2013. He hasn't blown seven or more save opps in a season since 2001.

- Rivera, though, completed the ninth without further damage. So it wasn't a two-inning save, but it was, by the standards of a closer, a fairly taxing outing ...

- So we go to the bottom of the ninth. Ichiro laces a one-out single, swipes second base, tags up and goes to third on a Vernon Wells fly-out. Then this happened ...

According to ESPN Stats & Info, that was the first time the Yanks prevailed on a walk-off wild pitch since way back yonder in the "Bronx Zoo" days of 1977.

Oh, and Rivera now has more wins than Phil Hughes does.

Funny game, baseball.

 
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