Monday, August 10, 2009

"You Got No Wins Here, So Better Luck Next Time"

Victor Martinez probably thought he was going to be the hero of last night's game. You could tell by the way he watched his two run homer run off Phil Coke soar into the left field seats in the eighth inning. It was understandable. He was 1-14 in the series to that point, the Red Sox had been trailing 1-0 and were mired in a 31 inning, 116 plate appearance scoreless drought. The difference between 4.5 games back and 6.5 is increasingly significant at this point in the season considering there are only 6 head to head match ups remaining. Instead of saving the Red Sox from a brutal four game sweep, Martinez's shot was more of a last stand; a heroic effort that only temporarily stemmed the tide.

The game started as another pitcher's duel up. Andy Pettitte distributed seven baserunners over 7 innings while striking four without allowing a run. Jon Lester was almost as good, with the only run he allowed in 7 frames coming on a solo shot to A-Rod in the bottom of the seventh inning to break the scoreless tie.

Daniel Bard came on in the bottom of the 8th and looked as if he was about to hand the lead over to Jonathan Papelbon after Hideki Matsui and Derek Jeter both grounded out after a barrage of 97 and 98MPH fastballs. However, Johnny Damon scorched the next one of those he saw into the Yankee bullpen. For the third time in the series, the Red Sox had taken the lead and the Yankees responded by scoring in the next half inning. But they weren't done there.

With Mark Teixeira at the plate, Bard went away from his fastball and instead threw two breaking pitches. In stark contrast to Damon's bullet before, Teix turned on the second one and lofted a sky high shot down the right field line and followed it towards first base with his bat lofted triumphantly in the air. It hung in the air interminably, allowing the crowd noise to swell even louder before landing in the second deck. Teix stole Victor Martinez's thunder and then took a curtain call to top it off. Bard had faced 138 hitters in his major league career to that point and allowed just one home run. Make that that 140 and 3.

Bard allowed the inning to continue by walking A-Rod and was lifted in favor of Hideki Okijima. The lefty allowed three consecutive base hits, a double to Jorge Posada and singles to Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, which pushed the Yankee lead to 5-2. In all, they sent six runners to plate with two outs in the 8th.

The Sox brought the tying run to plate in the top of the ninth after Mariano Rivera walked David Ortiz, but Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to first base to end the game.

The Sox are now reeling, having lost 6 straight and fallen into a tie with the Rangers for the Wild Card with the Rays lurking only a game and a half behind them. The Yanks have won seven straight and have the best record in baseball.

I know we don't usually drop songs in our game recaps, but this one is too good to pass up.

Straight like that, straight out the gate,
Cause it's never too late, to set this fuckin' record straight.

But it is too late, for you and your crew, son,
You had the audacity to come against me, the gifted one?
And Primo with the tracks, to inspire my next line,
You've got no wins here, so better luck next time.

You thought you brought your best lines,
But they couldn't touch mine,
I rocked you in your knot,
Hope you have better luck next time.

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