By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — After a tough begin in Sport 1, Eduardo Rodriguez was cruising for the Pink Sox in Sport 4 towards the Rays. With an opportunity to clinch a visit to the ALCS on the road, Rodriguez retired the primary six batters he confronted on Monday night time at Fenway Park.
After which he bumped into Austin Meadows. And issues slowed down.
Quite a bit.
Meadows, batting within the seventh spot in Tampa’s lineup, fouled off the primary three pitches he noticed. Down 0-2 within the depend, he then took three straight balls — one up excessive, two off the plate — to fill the depend.
After which the battle started.
A 94 mph sinker – fouled off. A 95 mph sinker — fouled once more. An 81 mph slider: foul.
It wasn’t till the tenth … after which the eleventh, and twelfth, and thirteenth pitch of the at-bat that the Fenway crowd actually grasped the mano-a-mano showdown that was enjoying out between Rodriguez and Meadows.
And it continued, with Meadows fouling off 10 consecutive choices from Rodriguez.
With the pitch depend climbing, Rodriguez reared again and threw a slider that caught the sting of the plate. Meadows swung … and missed. In the end, the battle was over.
Obtained all that? pic.twitter.com/CMvc45lyLF
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) October 11, 2021
🔊 Woo Woo pic.twitter.com/tk2qIEB9IX
— Pink Sox (@RedSox) October 12, 2021
Pitches formally started being tracked in 1988, and this was essentially the most pitches in a playoff at-bat since that monitoring started.
The 17-pitch battle between Eduardo Rodriguez and Austin Meadows is the longest by pitches in a #postseason PA since at the least 1988 (when pitch depend information began being tracked). pic.twitter.com/zjEdbzXUcf
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 11, 2021
Luckily for Rodriguez’s sake, he then retired Mike Zunino on two pitches and Kevin Kiermaier in only one pitch, giving him a manageable 20-pitch inning that left him at 49 pitches by means of three good innings.
The Pink Sox then broke the scoreless tie with an offensive outburst within the backside of the third to take a 5-0 lead.