Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’

Now , that’s more like it! If a loss to the Yanks is my least favorite loss, then obviously a win over the Yanks is my most favorite win.  And this one was sweet! It was modest enough to show that we don’t necessarily have to be flashy and slug it out to make it happen, but it was decisive enough to show that we could if we really wanted to.  Ultimately, I particularly enjoyed that it showed that we are just better.

It would have been difficult for Lackey to do a better job.  He was just one out shy of pitching seven innings, and he only gave up one run.  He allowed six hits and three walks and only had one strikeout to his credit, but he got the job done anyway.  He threw 103 pitches, so he was pretty efficient, but mostly it was just a matter of his command and control, which were in high gear.  Scoring opportunity or no scoring opportunity, the Yanks couldn’t do much with his stuff.

He went one-two-three in the first and was almost in trouble in the second, during which he gave up two singles and two walks.  But thanks to a timely and well-executed double play and a flyout, he escaped unscathed.  He went one-two-three in the third and gave up two more singles in the fourth.  In the fifth, he gave up a single, a double, and three straight groundouts, the second of which ended up scoring his only run.  But, as I’ve said, if you have to allow a run, it’s always better if you manage to get an out in the process.  He went one-two-three in the sixth, and he was taken out of the seventh after he allowed a walk, a double play, and a hit batsman.

Breslow took over and ended the inning, and he and Tazawa combined to pitch the eighth.

Meanwhile, we had at least one baserunner during each of the first three innings, but we didn’t score until the fourth, which Papi led off with a double followed by a single by Carp and a strikeout by Nava.  Then Drew reached on a force attempt thanks to a throwing error, and Papi scored.  Carp and Drew executed a double steal, Salty struck out, and Middlebrooks and Ellsbury hit back-to-back singles, scoring one run each.  We went down in order in the fifth but turned it on again in the sixth, which Nava led off with a double.  After Drew grounded out, Nava scored on a single by Salty, who scored on a double by Ellsbury with a little help from a throwing error.  Pedroia led off the seventh by popping out, by Papi smacked a solo shot way deep, all the way out to center field, on a full-count changeup.

We had the bases loaded with two out in the eighth, but we didn’t score.  Uehara pitched a solid ninth.  And that’s how we beat the Yanks, 6-1.  As I said, it was sweet.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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A loss to the Yankees is, without a doubt, my least favorite type of loss.  A slugfest loss to the Yankees is my least favorite type of loss to the Yankees.  I just really, really, really hate losing to the Yankees.  And we didn’t have to, either.  But when your starting pitcher makes that many mistakes, it’s kind of unavoidable in the end.

It was a complete and total disaster.  Doubront gave up his first run in the first thanks to a single-single combination.  In the bottom of the inning, we went down in order.  In the second, he issued a walk and, one out later, a two-run home run.  In the bottom of the inning, we went down in order.  In the third, he gave up a single, and another runner reached on a force attempt thanks to a fielding error by Drew, and then Doubront gave up a three-run home run.  And the only thing that kept us from going down in order in the bottom of the inning was a single by Middlebrooks that led nowhere.

With two out in the fourth, Doubront gave up another run after a triple-single combination.  And in the bottom of the inning, we finally got on the board.  Pedroia singled, and then there was a deflection and a fielding error put him at second, and he scored on a single by Gomes after Papi struck out.

De La Rosa relieved Doubront for the fifth, and he also pitched the sixth; neither team scored during those two innings.  After he hit a batter and induced a lineout in the seventh, he was replaced by Morales, who finished the inning.  In the bottom of the seventh, Pedroia ended up at second thanks to a throwing error and scored on a single by Papi.  Then Gomes grounded out, Drew doubled, Napoli walked, and Drew scored on a single by Salty.  That was probably our most promising point in the game up to that time at which we had the most opportunity to really make a dent in the deficit.  And Carp came up to pinch-hit for Middlebrooks, and he got hit by a pitch.  Except that home plate umpire Bill Welke called him back after he was already on his way to first base, even though Carp was obviously correct.  Then, with a full count, after five pitches, Carp took a slider for what he thought was a ball, since it was a ball.  But again, Welke made a call that was questionable at absolute best when he decided that Carp had struck out.  Carp doesn’t usually lose it, but this time he lost it.  I mean, his batting helmet came off, and he was really getting animated.  And I’m pretty sure that everyone except Welke knew exactly why.  It was because Welke was wrong.

Neither team scored in the eighth, and Britton came on for the ninth.  Before the ninth, we were down by four, and with a solid rally, we could perhaps have scored enough runs to come back.  Instead, Britton made it even worse.  Britton nailed down the inning’s first out with a strikeout but then gave up two consecutive singles.  After another strikeout, he gave up three consecutive singles that scored one run each.

In the bottom of the ninth, Gomes flied out, Drew singled, Napoli doubled, Salty flied out, and Holt, who came in to replace Carp earlier, walked to load the bases.  It was an absolutely golden opportunity.  But, appropriately enough, Ellsbury grounded out to end the inning and the game, and the final score was an insufferably humiliating 10-3.  In front of Fenway’s largest crowd of the season.  To say it was awful would basically be the understatement of understatements.

Boston Globe Staff/Barry Chin

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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.

Getty Images

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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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