Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’

There is no scenario in which it is excusable for us to score seven runs and then somehow end up in a tie.  Seven runs is a lot of runs, and I just feel like any pitcher should be more than happy with that kind of support.  I mean, there are pitchers who win games with a final score of one-zip, or 2-1, or 3-2, or something like that.  Seven runs provides more than enough of a comfort zone, if you ask me.

But to be honest, that’s kind of an afterthought when you beat the Evil Empire in eleven innings at home and pick up the series in the process.

Dempster gave up a single, and then Dempster’s own throwing error put runners at the corners in the first.  Then a throwing error by Salty resulted in a runner on third and a run scored.  A walk and a strikeout later, Dempster gave up an RBI single.  Dempster opened the second with a walk that turned into a triple on two groundouts.  Then he hit a batter and gave up another RBI single.

Our big inning was the third.  Ellsbury led it off with a double, moved to third on a sac bunt by Victorino, and scored on a single by Pedroia.  Papi singled, and Napoli took a sinker for a ball, fouled off a slider and a changeup, and got a fastball he really liked.  So he rocketed it toward the Monster for three instant runs.

But, fortunately, we weren’t done.  Drew got hit, and Iglesias and Ellsbury hit back-to-back singles to load the bases with nobody out; Drew and Iglesias both scored on a single by Victorino.  Gomes led off the fifth with a solo shot toward the Monster.

So at that point we were leading by four.  Unfortunately that did not last.  Before securing the first out of the sixth, Dempster gave up a single and issued a walk and then gave up an RBI single.  Breslow came on after that and gave up two more singles that resulted in another run.  In the process of securing the first out of the eighth, he issued a walk and gave up a single.  Tazawa came on after that, and thanks to a single and a throwing error by Iglesias, and another single after that, he gave up two more runs.

And that right there tied the game at seven.

Thornton pitched the eighth, Uehara pitched the ninth, Britton pitched the tenth, and Beato pitched the eleventh.

The Yanks made a pitching change in the bottom of the frame, and that was where the game was decided.  Pedroia and Papi provided two quick outs, but then it was Napoli all over again.  The count was full, and on his seventh pitch, he got a bad cutter.  And he uncorked a massive swing on it and rocketed it all the way out to center field for a home run.

So we ended up winning, 8-7.  Cue mob.  End game.

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So I was kind of hoping to parlay our win into another win.  I wanted to really start the second half off right, meaning that I wanted not only to win the first game but also to convert that into some momentum that would start with a series win and progress into a winning streak.  The home stretch starts here, and I wanted to hit the ground running.  But it’s kind of hard to do that when you lose to your archrival by a deficit more than that which beat them the previous day due to a bad combination of iffy pitching, absent offense, and poor baserunning.

Lackey may have had a final line that was mediocre for his recent standards, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.  He pitched shutout ball through four and one-run ball through five; he gave up a single to lead off the inning, but on the play during which the runner was thrown out at home, another runner reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a single.  The sixth was also an inning of relatively smooth sailing.  But Lackey had a bad seventh.  He gave up a double that turned into a triple on a groundout and a run on a single.  Then he gave up another single and was relieved by Thornton.

Thornton induced a groundout but then gave up two consecutive singles that brought in two more runners, both of whom were inherited.  If Lackey had not allowed a run in the seventh, then all else being equal, we would have won by one.  If Lackey had allowed a run but Thornton had not allowed his inherited runners to score, the game would have been tied at two.  But these scenarios are all contingent on Beato, who came in with one out in the eighth, not hitting a batter and then ending up with a second baserunner thanks to a fielding error by Pedroia.  Drake Britton came on and, after securing an out, gave up a successful sac fly that increased the Yanks’ lead to three.

We answered in the seventh with only two runs, and even they were unimpressive.  Papi singled, Carp doubled, and they scored on a sac fly by Gomes and a wild pitch, respectively.

Normally, if we were in a position to win, I’d say something about how great it is that we can manufacture runs in any situation using any type of play and that runs are runs no matter how they score.  But I guess losing, 5-2, does that.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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Congratulations to the American League! We have officially secured home field advantage! Now it’s up to us to make sure that we’re the ones taking advantage of it.  Ultimately it was a pitcher’s duel, and the AL pitchers were absolutely masterful.  They held the fort the whole way through.    Pedroia and Papi both went 0 for 2, unfortunately.  The final score was three-zip, and it felt pretty good to put the National League in its place.

As far as last night is concerned, we did not waste time.  Ellsbury smashed the Yanks’ second pitch of the game for a solo shot to right.  Napoli led off the second with a walk, and Gomes followed that with a two-run shot toward the Monster.

Meanwhile, Doubront went one-two-three until the fourth, when the Yanks first got on the board.  He issued a walk that was followed by two steals and then a run thanks to a throwing error by Salty.  Doubront gave up another run in the fifth thanks to a double-double combination.  Doubront was relieved by Tazawa one out into the seventh after what I would call a fantastic start.

Those were the only two runs the Yanks scored.  We, meanwhile, added some insurance in the seventh.  Gomes led it off with a double and then scored on a single by Iglesias.

Breslow pitched the eighth, Uehara pitched the ninth, and we won, 4-2! Beating the Yanks is a great way to start the second half.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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The Rangers didn’t stand a chance in this one.  Seriously.  No chance.  I thought our run total against the Yanks was epic, but it turns out that I had another thing coming.  And in this case, I am most definitely happy about that.  We scored so many runs last night that if you cut our run total in half, not only would we still have won, but that total alone would have been considered a ton of runs in most situations.

We did not waste time putting ourselves on top in this one.  Really, we didn’t.  From the very first, both literally and figuratively, we were winning and never looked back.  Nava led off the bottom of the first with a walk, followed by a single by Carp.  Then Pedroia struck out, and Papi hit an RBI double.  Then Napoli walked to load the bases, and Carp scored on a groundout by Salty.  Not exactly the response to a bases-loaded situation that we were looking for, but in the long run, we had absolutely nothing to worry about.

Iglesias led off the second with a double, and Bradley promptly followed that with a homer to right on a 2-1 count.  After that came a single by Nava, a walk by Carp, a flyout by Pedroia, a bases-clearing triple by Papi, and a successful sac fly by Napoli.  Then Salty doubled and scored on a double by Drew.  End our six-run second.

Nava doubled with one out in the third and scored on a single by Carp.  And Drew homered to right center field to lead off the fourth; Carp repeated that performance in the fifth.

Then Salty led off the sixth with a solo shot.  Drew singled, Iglesias reached on a throwing error, and both runners ended up in scoring position.  Drew scored on a groundout by Bradley, and Nava hit a successful sac fly but ended up on third thanks to a fielding error, and he himself scored on a sac fly by Carp.  A single by Salty, a double by Drew, and a bases-clearing single by Iglesias resulted in yet two more runs.

While the offense was getting busy at the plate, Dempster was mighty busy on the mound.  This, I have to say, was a quality start.  The numbers don’t lie.  He gave up a double and consequently a two-run home run in the fourth as well as a solo shot to lead off the sixth.  All told, he pitched a nice, long seven innings.  He gave up just the three runs on five hits while walking only one and striking out six.  Easily one of the best starts we’ve seen from him this year.

Mortensen came on for the eighth; he gave up a single and subsequently a two-run home run of his own.  After that he gave up two singles and a walk and was subsequently replaced by Miller, who ended the inning.  He aced the ninth.

Well, we finally won by a score of 17-5.  There was only one inning during which we did not score: the eighth.  Obviously there was no need to play the bottom of  the ninth.  In the end we racked up nineteen hits.  Thirteen of them were for extra bases: eight doubles, one triple, and four homers.  And that, my friends, is how you play baseball.

In other news, the Bruins completely knocked down the Penguins, 6-1.

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Oh, wow! Winning is even more fun than I thought! I don’t know if it’s the fabulous pitching performance, or the fact that it was a shutout, or the fact that we beat the Yankees, but man, it was awesome.

We went down in order in the first.  Thanks to two singles, we had two men on base in the second.  We went down in order again in the third.  Finally we got on the board in the fourth, and we proceeded to score one run per inning in the next three straight innings.  Pedroia and Papi led this one off with back-to-back singles, and Pedroia scored on a force out by Napoli.  In the fifth, it was Iglesias’s turn, and turn he did, on the first and only pitch he got in that at-bat.  It was a sinker that completely missed, and he launched it beyond the left field fence for his first long ball of the year and second of his career.  Papi offered a repeat performance in the sixth, leading off with another home run, also on a sinker that completely missed.  Except that it was the second pitch of the at-bat, and the ball lofted over the fence in right field instead.

Meanwhile, Buchholz was the one putting the zip in the final score of three-zip.  He pitched five shutout innings of two-hit ball, walking only one and striking out four.

On account of rain, the game was cut short by one-third.  Not that the extra three innings would have made a difference; I am confident that our lead would have held.  But because the delay, which was the third of the night and the second of the sixth inning alone, meant that the game had to be called, it also meant that Buchholz earned the fourth complete-game shutout of his career.  (Miller was slated to relieve him, but because play never resumed, he never took the mound.)

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I don’t like losing to the Yankees.  I’ve said that, if we absolutely have to lose, do we really have to lose to the Yankees of all teams?

It’s a little different when you’re talking about wins.  I love to beat the Yankees.  If we absolutely have to win, I’d love to just win, win, win all the team.  I’d love to win every single time we face the Evil Empire.  It feels good.  And it feels right, and it feels natural.  Especially when it’s not even close.  Then it gets really fun.

We had a baserunner in each of the two innings, but things started to get really serious in the third.  Bradley led it off with a double; Nava singled, putting runners at the corners.  Bradley scored on a double by Carp, Pedroia struck out, and Papi walked intentionally to load the bases.

And then it was Napoli’s turn.  He swung through a fastball and watched another one go by.  He fouled one off and took another one for a ball.  He took a slider for a ball and got his fifth four-seam of the at-bat.  Huge mistake.  The count was 2-2, and the Yanks were only one strike away from out number two.  But that one strike is pretty far off with a hitter like Napoli, I guess.  Especially if you miss.  Napoli is not one of those hitters who will miss it when you miss.  Last night was no exception.  The ball went over the fence in right center field.  Mike Napoli, like it was no big deal, hit a grand slam.

We had one baserunner in the fourth and two each in the fifth, sixth, and seventh.  But we didn’t score.  And our lead was very much intact by the time the eighth inning began.  By the time the eighth inning was over, it wasn’t even a game anymore.  It was The Boston Red Sox Show.

Iglesias and Bradley led off the eighth with back-to-back singles.  Then it was Nava’s turn.  In total, that at-bat comprised four pitches: two curveballs that he fouled off, a two-seam that he swung through, and a four-seam that he sent over the fence in right center field.  One swing, three runs, and almost double our lead.

Drew got in on the action with one out in the ninth, belting a solo shot also on his fourth pitch, also on a fastball, this one going to just straight-up right field.  Unfortunately, no one was on base at the time.  But Salty doubled after that and scored on a single by Iglesias, and Bradley doubled after that and scored on a sac fly by Nava.

The Yanks scored their first run one inning later.  Doubront gave up two singles and induced a  force out that put runners at the corners; the second out of the inning proved to be a successful sac fly.  Other than that, Doubront just put it on cruise control, and it was smooth sailing through six innings.  He was a master.

Tazawa, Breslow, and Uehara each pitched an inning to end the game.  In total, six members of the starting lineup had multi-hit games: Drew and Salty both went two for five, Carp went two for three, Bradley and Napoli both went three for five, and Nava went four for six in the leadoff spot.  We walked only three times but posted a whopping eighteen hits, seven of which were for extra bases: four doubles and three homers.  We left nine on base and went only five for fifteen with runners in scoring position.

And now, it is my great pleasure to proudly state the final score: 11-1.  That, folks, is just about as lopsided a slugfest as you can get.

In other news, the Bruins have officially begun our series with the Penguins.  And we are now officially in the lead! We shut them out, three-zip.  On to Game Two!

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I loathe losing to the Yankees.  I loathe losing in general, but if we absolutely must lose, then can’t we just lose to some other team? Does it really have to be the Yankees? Does beating the Yankees have to be so complicated? We’ve played way better in the past than we played yesterday; I just don’t see why we had to lose to the Yankees.

Lester received one above the bare minimum of run support, the bare minimum obviously being zero.  That’s right; we scored only one run during the entire game.  It was awful.  We had to sit through six innings of shutout agony until we finally got on the board in the seventh, one of only two innings during which we had more than one runner on base.  Pedroia doubled to lead it off, moved to third on a groundout by Papi, and scored on a double by Napoli.

Pedroia and Papi hit back-to-back singles in the ninth, and I guess that would have been our best chance to score, although in previous innings we had runners on second thanks to doubles, specifically Pedroia in the first and Ross in the second.  But at no point did we get a really solid rally going.

The same, very unfortunately, can not be said of the Evil Empire.  Even if Lester had pitched better than he did, without more run support it wouldn’t have mattered.  But I would have appreciated the additional dignity that comes with a loss at least being a well-matched pitcher’s duel.  It was just so obvious that Lester was grinding through this one; he never really seemed at ease.

Lester gave up a walk in the first but turned it into a one-two-three inning thanks to a double play.  He opened the second by issuing a walk and giving up a double.  He then gave up two RBI singles, separated by an out but accounting for two runs between them.  He had a one-two-three third and fourth, the latter consisting solely of groundouts.  He hit his first batter of the fifth, induced a force out, issued a walk, recorded a strikeout, and then who but Kevin Youkilis comes up to bat.  Honestly, I am still trying to get used to it.  Anyway, he batted in a run before the rally was cut short by a fabulously precise throw home by Nava.

His only blemish of the sixth was a walk.  He recorded the first out of the seventh but then gave up two consecutive singles, at which point he was replaced by Miller.  Miller promptly gave up a third single, which scored only one of the inherited runners.  Miller ended the inning with two K’s.  Mortensen had a one-two-three eighth.

And that’s how we ended up losing to the Yanks, 4-1.  All in all, it was a sad performance.

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