Monday, August 24, 2009

Yanks Go Yard, Go Home

Tonight's game was a vintage late summer contest with the gametime temperature sitting at a balmy 80 degrees with the threat of thunderstorms lurking. At one point, the grounds crew was in position to deploy the tarp but it was never necessary. It was far closer to a so-called playoff atmosphere than the either two games before the first pitch was thrown.

However, Derek Jeter quickly quieted the Fenway crowd by ripping said first pitch into the home bullpen in right centerfield. Hideki Matsui did almost the exact same thing to Beckett's first pitch of the second inning.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Red Sox continued their two out hit barrage that started last night with a double, a single and another double but Mike Lowell, Rocco Baldelli and Jason Varitek to bring the score even at 2-2. The Yanks answered with two of their own in the 3rd on three straight singles by the top third of the order and a RBI ground out by A-Rod. An error by Robinson Cano in the fourth allowed another Sox run, but the Bombers kept their foot on the gas, plating runs each of the first five innings.

Matsui added a dinger in the 8th for his 2nd multi-HR game of the series while A-Rod and Cano each went yard as well. Amazingly, the Yanks only had 3 at bats with runners in scoring position, but didn't need them with all the long balls that were flying.

Sabathia threw 118 pitches and due to the fact that 80 of them were strikes, didn't walk a batter. Nor did Beckett who threw 87 of his 120 pitches over 8 innings for strikes. Beckett gave up all 8 of the Yankees' runs and was tagged with 5 homers for the first time in his career. Allowing 4 runs and 8 hits over 6 2/3, Sabathia picked up his 15th win on the season and fifth in a row. His ERA is now lower than Beckett's, despite being 0.20 higher when the game started.

Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera shut down the Sox for the final 2 1/3 innings and the Yanks pulled out of Boston last night having taken the series, turned a road trip which people were suggesting would test their dominance at 7-3. I'd say they passed that "test".

They boys are rewarded with another day off today, before they begin a 6 game homestand and host the Rangers on Tuesday. Derek Jeter seemed to be nursing some sort of a leg injury he picked up during the third inning and he could probably use a breather anyway. The lead is 7.5 games once again while the Sox edge the Rangers by one and the Rays by 3 in the Wild Card.

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