Alright. We may be way behind in the division standings. We may be way behind in the Wild Card standings. And we may even be behind .500. But just like the Yanks are the absolute worst team in the world to lose to, they’re also the absolute best team in the world to beat. Because when we beat the Yankees, there is a derivative satisfaction unparalleled by any other victory against any team ever, unless of course a particular game against another team is critically important in deciding our fate or something. Other than that, I think I speak for all of Red Sox Nation when I say that beating the Yanks is one of our favorite things to do. It’s really a ton of fun.
Especially when they help you do it. Which they did. It was awesome. And lucky. We scored a good amount of runs but spent too much time letting the Yankees get them back to have been able to have won without some help from them as well. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about last night’s victory, even though the humiliation of having handed over the win to us was nice.
Last night, it wasn’t always clear that we were going to win. First of all, it wasn’t even clear we were going to play; the game started two hours and four minutes late due to rain. But when it did start, it started with us scoring three runs. Not a bad way to start if you ask me. After Ellsbury struck out, Ciriaco and Pedroia hit back-to-back singles, and Gonzalez doubled in one, while Middlebrooks doubled in two more one out later. Then we turned it over to Lester, who had a one-two-three first. Not a bad start to his start, either. Both teams went down in order until the bottom of the third, when Lester gave up a solo shot with two out. But we answered in a big way in the fifth. With two out, Ciriaco singled, and Pedroia walked. And then Gonzalez completely unleashed on the first pitch he saw in the at-bat, a slider. It was going eighty-one miles per hour, but he saw it as clear as day all the way. And he sent that ball all the way out to right center field. And we doubled our run total with one swing of the bat, just like that.
Unfortunately, Lester let the Yanks answer back; he gave up a walk in the fifth followed by another home run. Then he put two more runners on base and, after securing another out, secured the second out with a groundout that scored another run.
Neither team scored again until the bottom of the eighth; Albers had pitched the seventh, and Padilla came on as the setup man and allowed a single and then a home run with two out. That tied the game at six, and clearly I was not happy. We’d played solid ball and had a chance to beat them only to have a setup man erase our lead. A setup man is not supposed to erase leads. A setup man is supposed to preserve leads for the closer so we can win and get out of there. Miller replaced Padilla after that.
Fortunately, the hitters bailed him out in the ninth. After Sweeney flied out, Ellsbury walked and scored on a triple by Ciriaco, made possible by a bumbling Curtis Granderson who couldn’t field it. If it had to be anyone on their team who messed up the play, I’m glad it was Granderson after Friday’s grand slam. Ciriaco then scored on a sac fly by Pedroia. And Aceves picked up the save.
So Lester gave up four runs on four hits, two of them home runs, while walking two and striking out six. He threw 101 pitches and didn’t get the win. He was solid early and not late; mostly it was just a labor. Albers got a hold, Padilla got a very well-deserved blown save, Miller got the win which is ironic because he pitched the least of all our staff who made appearances last night, and then, as I said, Aceves got the save. Middlebrooks went two for three, and Ciriaco and Gonzalez went three for five. We posted eleven hits to their six, and the final score was 8-6. And that’s a wrap. Isn’t it sweet?