Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’

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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Yesterday we took in the Boston debut of Ryan Dempster.  The difference between him and, say, Lester or Buchholz was unfortunately conspicuous.  He just doesn’t have the same degree of skill, versatility, and adaptability that they possess.  And as a result of that and of a subpar hitting performance (I would say mostly of a subpar hitting performance since we should have been able to score enough runs to cover those that Dempster gave up), we suffered our first loss of the season.  Unfortunately, we knew it had to happen sometime.  I wish it didn’t happen against the Yanks, least of all in New York, but at least we won the series!

Dempster tossed five innings and gave up three runs on five hits while walking four and striking out eight.  We should have been able to figure out that things wouldn’t go exceptionally well for him when he walked his first batter of the year.  But two groundouts later, he got out of the inning one-two-three.  Dempster opened the second by giving up a single.  Following two quick strikeouts on a total of seven pitches, he gave up a double followed by a single that brought in his first run.  He then led off the third with a big mistake of an eighty-seven mile-per-hour fastball, which was hit out for a solo shot.  Fortunately, that was it.  He threw a grand total of 101 pitches and will obviously have to seriously work on his efficiency if he intends to stay on the mound for more than a little over half a game.

His limited arsenal is also a pain point that will probably be more concerning as the season goes on.  He threw only four pitches yesterday: both fastballs, a slider, and a splitter.  His fastest fastball was ninety-one miles per hour, and while his average slider speed was eighty-four and his average splitter speed was eighty.  A variation in pitches but also a wider range between his lowest and highest speeds would really help him confuse the hitters, increase his strikeout count, and decrease his walk count, which should also help with efficiency.

His lowest pitch count per inning was thirteen in the fifth; his highest was twenty-nine in the fourth, and he threw around twenty in each of the rest.  His release point was actually really consistent, but I still say that he’s going to have to work on his arsenal, at least refining the pitches he does through, and by extension his efficiency.

Tazawa pitched the sixth, and Mortensen pitched the seventh and eighth, giving up a solo shot of his own to his first batter as well.

As busy as our hitters were during the previous two games, we were silent for way too much of this one.  Try the first six innings.  Yeah.  We didn’t cross the plate until the seventh.  It was awful.  We didn’t even have that many opportunities.  We had two on in the first thanks to two singles by Victorino and Napoli, but Victorino was thrown out at home when he tried to score on a wild pitch.  We went down in order in the second despite a single by Middlebrooks thanks to a double play.  Basically the same thing happened in the third.  Pedroia walked in the fourth on five pitches but it was a brief inning due to quick outs for the other three batters who came up.  We went down in order in the fifth.  Iglesias led off the sixth with a single but we went down in order after that.

Finally, with two out in the seventh, Middlebrooks singled and scored on a double by Bradley.  If only we could have made it into a rally; at the time, that run shrunk the deficit to two, and even though we were in the last third of the game, two runs is by no means an insurmountable lead.  But Ross flew out to end it.  At first, I thought it might actually be out.  But it was just short and hauled in right at the wall.  Then, of course, Mortensen gave up the insurance run, we went down in order in the eighth, and all we could muster in the ninth was a run on a groundout.  Pedroia had walked on seven pitches to start the frame, and then Napoli flew out, and Gomes doubled, eliminating the double play option with two on.  Pedroia came home when Middlebrooks grounded out, and the deficit was back down to two.  And then Bradley came to the plate.  He could have tied it with a home run.  Instead, he was called out on strike three, and we lost, 4-2.

In other news, the B’s narrowly bested the Devils, one-zip.

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