Francisco Cervelli hit a soft grounder that made Adrian Beltre come in towards home plate, leaving third base unoccupied, allowing the runners to move over. Marcus Thames then worked a walk, loading the bases for Juan Miranda. The recent AAA call up drove in his first run of the year with a single to right and Randy Winn followed with an RBI ground out, putting the Yankees up 2-0.
2. Miranda struck again in the fourth inning on a 2-0 fastball. The pitch from Beckett was on the outside part of the plate but Miranda yanked in on a line, just clearing the wall in front of the Yankees' bullpen. 3-0 Bombers.
3. Brett Gardner got ahead of Beckett 3-0 with one out in the 5th inning before slicing a ball down the right field line (if that's possible for a lefty) for a double. Teixeira followed with a walk and after A-Rod scalded a liner right to Bill Hall in left field, Robinson Cano smacked a two run double to right center and stretched the Yanks' lead to 5-0.
Immediately after Cano's hit, Beckett was pulled from the game, purportedly with some sort of back problem. Neither the announcers nor I noticed anything in real time, but replays showed that Beckett landed awkwardly on the pitch that A-Rod made an out on. The Yankees played the game under protest, claiming that the Sox signaled to the bullpen before they told the umpire that Beckett was hurt. Therefore, their relief pitcher shouldn't have had eight pitches and not an unlimited amount of time to warm up. It was a shrewd move by Girardi considering the Yanks were up 5-0 at this point and given how the game turned out.
4. The Youkstah got one back for the Sawx in the sixth inning when he took a 1-1 fastball from CC into the left field seats to make it 5-1.
5. The Yankees loaded the bases with one out in the sixth but Brett Gardner grounded out softly, allowing Dustin Pedroia to come home for the out and Mark Teixeira popped out to end the threat.
6. Joba Chamberlain came out to pitch the eighth inning and was put in a hole when A-Rod fielded a grounder by Marco Scutaro but his throw pulled Teix off the bag, resulting in an error. Dustin Pedroia then poked a base hit through the right side and J.D. Drew followed with an RBI double down the left field line to make it 5-2.
A base knock by Youkilis made it 5-4 and he advanced to second on a grounder by Victor Martinez. Still with just one out, David Ortiz hit a deep drive to center and judging by his reaction, I assumed it was a home run. It was not, but it hit off the wall in right center and scored Youk, tying the game at 5. Ortiz, who admired his shot instead of running out of the box was gunned down at second. Adrian Beltre grounded out to end the inning but the Yanks' lead had evaporated.
7. With the game still tied in the top of the 9th, Joe Girardi called on Mariano Rivera. Mo got Mike Lowell to ground out but it was all downhill from there. Darnell McDonald lined a single to center field and Marco Scutaro reached when he popped a ball to shallow right field between Thames and Cano. Both were in the neighborhood and Thames called for it but ended up dropping the ball. Instead of having two outs with a man on first, the Yanks had one out with two men on.
Dustin Pedroia moved the runners over on a grounder to first and Jeremy Hermida hit a two out double over Randy Winn's head in left. Winn was playing extremely shallow and whether it was designed or the result of a miscommunication, it put the Sox up 7-5.
8. Like last night, the Yankees put together a rally in the 9th. A-Rod led off the inning by grounding a ball to short that went just under Marco Scutaro's glove, apparently returning the favor from the top half of the inning. Robinson Cano drove in A-Rod with a slicing double that stayed just fair to put the Yanks within one. Cano was nearly picked off on a snap throw by Victor Martinez but then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt that Cervelli damn near beat out.
Marcus Thames came to the plate in an easy RBI situation with a chance to atone for his error and tie the came, but worked a walk. With a chance to cap off an already excellent night, Juan Miranda grounded one back up the middle sharply, but Papelbon snared it and checked the runners before getting the out at first. Randy Winn was the Yankees' last hope. He took a weak hack on a 1-0 heater and Papelbon kept the fastballs coming. He fouled a few back and took two more for balls, eventually working he count full. He swung and missed on a 3-2 fastball low and away for the final out of the game and the Yanks lost 7-6.
IFs, ANDs & BUTs
- CC Sabathia struggled early, burning through 59 pitches in his first three innings and 90 through five. Although he wasn't efficient - throwing only 66 of 112 pitches for strikes (only three of those swinging) - he still got the job done, holding the Sox scoreless until Youkilis' solo homer in the sixth. His final line was 7 IP, 4H, 3BB, 1ER, 5K, but he got the no decision thanks to Joba's awful 8th.
- Right as Sabathia was delivering that pitch to Youk, Michael Kay was saying how CC hadn't allowed a run yet. Right in mid-sentence. Some will inevitably get their panties in a bunch about the apparent jinx but I thought the timing was somewhat comedic. Before the Sox came all the way back to win. DAMN YOU KAY, WHY DID YOU CURSE THIS GAME!
- That home run was the 100th of Youk's career.
- It ended in an out, but Brett Gardner had a great at bat against Beckett in the first inning. He took two strikes, fouled off two more pitches, took two balls, fouled another off, took another ball, and fouled off the 9th pitch before grounding the 10th to first base. He never swung and missed, made Beckett work and showed his teammates a little something. That's about as successful as a groundout with no one on base can be.
- Francisco Cervelli and Josh Beckett exchanged some words during Cervelli's at bat in the 2nd inning. Apparently Frankie called time and and Beckett was upset (because apparently he can stay in the set for thirty fucking seconds but the batter can't step out of the box to counteract that).
- CC Sabathia took exception with Dustin Pedroia complaining about the called strike three that ended the fifth inning and let him know it.
- Marcus Thames gave Jonathan Papelbon some evil eyes when Paps came up and in during the 9th inning.
- But no batters were hit during the game and those three incidents were as serious as it got.
- The two heros of the game last night, A-Rod and Thames, both made errors in the field late in the game but both reached base in the 9th inning.
- None of Rivera's runs were earned because of Thames' error but he still was tagged with the loss. Thee out of four of Joba's were earned.
- Not counting the 59 minute rain delay, the game clocked in at 4:09.
- YES chose Jonathan Papelbon as their player of the game. Um, what? The guy who pitched one inning, gave up a run and came dangerously close to blowing his second save in as many games? How about Youkilis, who went 2-3 with 2BB and 3RBI or Hermida, who drove in the decisive two runs?
- The Yankees surrendered 5-0 leads in both of these two games and entered the ninth inning trailing by two in both. On one hand, they were lucky to escape with one win considering the deficits they faced with just three outs to overcome them, but on the other hand, it never should have come to that.
The division-leading and MLB-best Rays come to town for a two game set starting tomorrow night. There were a lot of things not to like about this series against the Sox, but Yanks have bigger fish to fry. Or members of the Batoid family, as the case may be.