NEW YORK -- After all that, after all the angst, it wasn't the eighth inning -- or the seventh or sixth, for that matter -- that the Red Sox had to worry about.
It was ... the ninth.
Getting the last three outs was the last thing the Red Sox had been worrying about.
For much of the season, the team's middle-to-late inning relief incited plenty of worries. And when the team didn't upgrade its bullpen at the non-waiver trade deadline, it seemed like relief pitching would ultimately represent their fatal flaw.
But with a ticket to the ALCS up for grabs, the Red Sox navigated their way through the sixth, seventh and eighth without incident, if with a slightly altered game plan.