Hi Everyone. I am Jason from The Heartland writing a guest wrap for yesterday's 14-3 thrashing in Fenway. My apologies for the late post, but I had a heck of a time trying to write this last night, between Blogger's not saving my lengthy post, then not allowing me to log in when I already was logged in. Very frustrating. Anyhoo, thanks to Jay and Matt for the chance to pinch-hit. I have a little different style of game recaps than the Fack Youk authors, brought from my time formerly blogging at Heartland Pinstripes. Away we go with a wrap on a very long yet thoroughly enjoyable game.
The Yanks had an early opportunity to score runs, putting Jeter and Brett the Jet aboard in the first with infield singles and no out. Yet Pedroia made a wise move on Gardner's bunt single made the difference between a run and the eventual DP, for he backed up first on Martinez's poor throw. This kept Jeter and Gardner at first and second and, more importantly, the DP in order instead of giving them second and third, for Teixeira's grounder to second, which would have otherwise plated Jeter from third, instead resulted in a 4-6-3 DP. CC pitched out of initial trouble in the second for, after Youkilis and Lowell singled to open the inning, The Big Guy whiffed Drew on a nasty 2-2 slider, then induced Beltre to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 DP.
The Yanks got two in the third when Pena led off with a double, Jeter walked, Gardner bunted them over, Teixeira singled in Pena, and A-Rod singled in The Captain before Cano's own inning-ending DP pruned what portended to be a big rally. The Big Guy fanned Hall with a slider before allowing Darnell McDonald to homer over the monster on what appeared to me to be an unusually long home run trot, 2-1. After retiring Scutaro, C.C. then did the right thing, reared back, and brought his very best 98-mph fastball and spotted it right on Pedroia's left ass cheek, to me unquestionably in response for Beckett's wildness the night before. Initially, it cost the Yanks, for it extended the inning and Martinez subsequently homered to briefly give Boston a 3-2 lead. Yet I had absolutely no problem whatsoever with The Big Guy's action. Good.
The Yanks tied it in the top of the fourth when Swish walked and Beltre, as part of a miserable day in the field, threw away what should have been a 5-4-3 DP on Winn's grounder, giving them second and third. Frankie C. laced a single, but Winn was thrown out at home after Swish scored, with Frankie C. The RBI Machine taking second. Although he went to third on a wild pitch with one out, neither Pena nor Jeter plated him. Not to worry; the floodgate of runs blew wide open soon enough.
After C.C. worked a quick 1-2-3 fourth, including getting Hall looking on a vicious 97-mph heater, the Yanks commenced the ass whipping in the fifth. Teixeira ripped a one-out homer way deep in right center, 4-3 Yanks. A-Rod walked, Cano laced a single to center, Swish was caught looking on a slider that painted the outside black, Winn walked the bases loaded, and again, Frankie C. smoked a single to center to plate both A-Rod and Cano, with Winn, to me, unnecessarily getting caught in a rundown between second and third to allow Cano to score. I was initially bothered because it seemed that Cano would have no problem scoring, and Winn's self-sacrifice ended a good rally. Yet it ultimately didn't hurt, for C.C. and the bullpen allowed nothing more the rest of the way.
Their work, however, had to wait until after a rain delay of just over an hour, which occurred with Martinez facing a 2-2 count and two outs. This too irked me, for it had just begun to rain--and it started to rain hard--when I saw McClelland's hands go up to halt the action. I had hoped he would at least give C.C. the chance to get Martinez and therefore have a chance at the decision, but it seemed McClelland wanted an early crack at the post-game buffet. If nothing else, this gave me a chance to rip into the delicious roast turkey and stuffing we enjoyed last night. When the game resumed, Aceves entered and finished off Martinez. After Aceves exited with a stiff back and Logan came on, whiffing Hermida on a nasty slider, the Yankees finished off Boston with eight late runs to chase most of the "Fenway faithful" before a laughingly lackluster version of "Sweet Caroline."
Teixeira ripped a homer around Pesky's Pole to begin the seventh, 7-3 Yanks. A-Rod then singled and stole second and, after Cano whiffed, Swish singled to right, 8-3 Yanks. The rout was on in full force in the eighth with a magnificent, leave-no-doubt two-out rally. Gardner singled with one out and, after Teixeira was robbed of a hit on a nice diving grab by McDonald, A-Rod and Cano walked before Bard relieved Schoenweis and promptly allowed a single to Swish that plated Gardner and A-Rod, 10-3 Yanks. After Winn walked to re-load the bases, The RBI Machine that is Francisco Cervelli smoked yet another RBI single to center to sore Cano and Swish, 12-3 Yankees. On a personal note, even though he's well regarded and throws 100 mph, I just am not that impressed by Daniel Bard. The Yanks appear completely unfazed by him and, as they worked him over last night, all I could think of was JD and Teixeira hitting back-to-back homers off him last August 9th to cap the great four-game sweep in the Bronx. Sorry, kid. Try again next time.
With outfielder Jonathan Van Every in for the 9th to rest the rest of the beleaguered Boston bullpen, Jeter ripped a double to center and Teixeira absolutely destroyed a pitch off the middle of a light tower above the monster that was destined for Lansdowne, capping the scoring at a football-like 14-3.
What a job Frankie C. has done --5 RBI yesterday, batting .429. Three out of every seven at-bats Cervelli has had thus far this season have been hits. Plus, the guy has 12 RBI in just 42 at-bats; amazing job to let the Yanks not miss a beat as Jorge continues to rest. Teixeira broke out in a massive way, homering thrice and also driving in five to finally breach the Mendoza line. Jeter and Brett the Jet were each 2-5 and, combined with A-Rod's 2-2, three-walk day, the 1-4 spots (including Kevin Russo, who subbed in for A-Rod late) combined to go 10-19 with 9 runs and 6 RBI. Swish was 2-4 with 3 RBI, giving him 23 for the year to lead the team, and a .298 average. Swish to a certain degree has been overlooked, for the second straight year getting off to a strong start if not outright carrying the offense as he did last April. He's batted in several spots in the order--second, clean-up, sixth, seventh, and eighth--has played a good right field, and avoided streaky play with consistent productivity. Thank you again, Kenny Williams, for taking that steaming pile Wilson Betemit in exchange for Swish. Thank you too, Ozzie Guillen, for being an asshead and inspiring Swish to exact revenge on you.
C.C. had one rocky inning in an otherwise good start, failing to get the decision due to the rain delay and Girardi's understandable unwillingness to send him back out afterward. The bullpen allowed no runs in 4 1/3 innings of relief, with even Robertson not allowing any despite surrendering two singles.
Although Girardi said he wouldn't use him as his regular DH in Johnson's absence, I advocate Cervelli catching more often to allow Jorge to DH. Cervelli obviously does a strong job behind the dish and, with his hot bat, allowing him to keep the bottom of the lineup strong as Jorge returns should let the offense click even better.
With Tampa losing to the A's, the Yanks pulled within a half-game of first with their sixth consecutive win. Outscoring Boston 24-6 thus far this series, the Yanks go for the sweep tonight, with Burnett (4-0, 1.99 ERA) facing Lester (2-2, 3.93 ERA) on ESPN.
Despite a slew of injuries, the Yankees are hitting their stride, going 21-8 out of the gate backed by strong pitching (second-best team and starters' ERA in the AL) and, despite Teixeira, Johnson, and to a degree A-Rod's struggles, an offense starting to erupt. 24 runs the last two games has vaulted the offense to the top of the AL in runs with 175 (6.03/game). Not too shabby for the 2-3-4 spots starting more slowly than we might like.
Get the sweep tonight, Yankees. Happy Mother's Day to all the great moms out there!