The Red Sox are in the middle of a 13-day stretch in which they play 11 games on the road. Monday they stopped in New York for a quick 2 game series. Wait, “quick” is probably not the best choice of words when describing a Sox vs Yankee game.
The Daisuke Matsuzaku we all know and hate was back in action. He got our hopes up last week when he threw one of his best games as a Red Sox. Monday, he was back to his old ways and had his typical “bad inning” from the first pitch of the game. The first six batters he faced all reached base safely. He gave up 5 runs on 5 hits in the first inning and threw primarily fastballs to give the Yanks an early 5-0 lead. Of the 18 runs Dice K has allowed this year, 15 of them have only been allowed in 3 innings of work. So I am not sure what that says about him. Aside from 3 innings of work he has pitched quite well. Dice K finally settled down eventually giving up two more runs before he was relieved by Wakefield who pitched two scoreless innings, followed by a scoreless inning from Daniel Bard.
The Sox fought back all night with the bats. David Ortiz hit his 7th home run of the year in the fourth, making it 6-2. In the fifth, J.D. Drew turned it into a ball game by crushing a 3-run homer making it 6-5. The following inning it was Victor Martinez’ turn, he hit a solo shot making it 7-6. The home run derby continued in the 8th when Kevin Youkilis and Martinez hit back to back jacks finally giving the Sox the lead 9-7. To see these guys battle back, it was just what the city of Boston needed. The bullpen was pitching well and it was time for Jonathan Papelbon to come in and steal one from New York. If we have learned anything this season, it’s things don’t go as planned.
Brett Gardner started the inning off with a double to deep left. Two batters later Alex Rodriguez crushed one over the wall tying the game in the bottom of the 9th! Two batters later Marcus Thames took the first pitch deep to left to win the game for the Yankees. It was the most shocking loss of the season, especially after they fought from being down 6-1.
It was Papelbon’s 1st blown save in 23 chances. He pitched .2 innings, gave up 3 hits, 4 earned runs and 2 home runs. Both home runs were first pitch fastballs and they knew it was coming. Papelbon has frustrated me since winning the 2007 World Series. I have said numerous time that he is not as good as he thinks he is. I think he needs to go to dinner with Tom Brady and eat a shitload of “humble pie”. He thinks he is larger than life and can rely solely on his fastball. I think if he would get over himself he can get back to the fundamentals of pitching and not rely on his scare tactics. You know what I am talking about, that “death stare.” Sometimes I think he is more worried about his ego than proper pitch selection that will effectively close out games.
Last night the Sox were able to leave New York with a win. Josh Beckett faced C.C. Sabathia. Beckett struck out six and left in the fifth inning when he re-tweaked his back landing him back on the DL today. He went 4.2 innings, gave up 5 hits, 3 earned runs three walks on 101 pitches. In his last 4 starts against the Yankees he is 0-2, his ERA is 9.93, he has given up 9 home runs and his opposing average is .304. He has given up 22 earned runs in 22.2 innings pitched. It looks like we have a new “Yankee’s are my daddy” candidate.
Once again the Sox battled back from being down 5-0 in the sixth with a Kevin Youkilis home run. Once Sabathia came out of the game, the Sox bats were all over Joba Chamberlain in the top of the 8th. Marco Scutaro reached first on a throwing error, Dustin singled to right and J.D. Drew doubled to deep left scoring Scutaro. Youkilis singled to right scoring both Pedroia and Drew making it 5-4. Ortiz came up with a clutch RBI single to deep right center to tie the game at 5-5.
The top of the 9th, facing Mariano Rivera, Darnell McDonald started things off by doubling to left. Then Marcus Thames went from hero to zero in 24 hours when Scutaro hit a pop up behind first base and Thames botched the catch. This set things up for Jeremy Hermida’s pinch hit double to deep left driving in 2 runs to give the Sox their first lead of the night 7-5. Hermida has been amazing this year and is the one man you can count on with runners on base. Out of his 22 RBIs this season 14 of them have come with 2 outs. It is going to be hard to bench him when Ellsbury and Cameron are back in action. Another tough call for Tito to make. As if he doesn’t have enough.
Papelbon had a chance to redeem himself from his meltdown the night before. Scutaro didn’t help his cause when he let a slow grounder from A-Rod to go under his glove. Next batter Robinson Cano doubled to deep left scoring A-Rod making it 7-6. Papelbon managed to get out of the inning with 2 runners on base by striking out Randy Winn to end the game.
Pulling out the win last night was huge. The Sox continued to struggle on the mound but it is clear their bats are working overtime.
About the Author
Written by "Baseball Brenda" Sepanek
I was born a sports fan. Playing soccer, basketball and softball in high school, then moving on to play Div. II softball at Keene State on partial scholarship. In 2003, our team was inducted into the Keene State Hall of Fame. GO OWLS! I am a die hard Red Sox, Patriots and UNC Tar Heel hoop fan. Most of my friends call me Baseball Brenda because when it comes to ranking my priorities in life, the Red Sox always are first on the list. I average about 40 games a year and I have attended every home playoff game since moving back to MA in 2005. I am super competitive and excel at anything you can win at :) Horseshoes, ping pong, darts, pool, cornhole, and bowling. Always love a good challenge. I play a lot of golf in the summer and a lot of fantasy sports. I am always looking to meet local Sox fans so look me up on Facebook.