Is Boston In Trouble?
This isn’t even fun anymore. Ok, that was a really bad lie. This is probably the most fun you’ve had in a while.That’s certainly the case for me. The storyline of this year’s rivalry continues to be the apparent 180° turn in which the momentum has shifted. After going winless against Boston in their first eight games, New York responded with a convincing sweep at Yankee stadium two weeks ago.
Last night, the dominance continued.
Offensively, the Yankees were far from shy. They put up a stunning 20-spot by absolutely pounding Boston pitchers. Matsui hit a couple of 3R HRs, finishing with 7 RBI on the night. Melky went 4-6, A-Rod went 4-4, Jeter went 3-6. On and on and on and on. Virtually everyone joined in on the fun. Red Sox starter Brad Penny was absolutely horrendous, giving up 10 hits and 8 ER over 4 IP. His relief was no better. Michael Bowden found himself in the same predicament as Billy Traber after he came in for John Smoltz; the Fall Guy. With the game already lost, Terry Francona wisely decided to save the arms in the bullpen and left Bowden on the mound even when he was getting obliterated, in an effort to gobble up as many innings as possible. The poor guy gave up 7 ER in 2 IP.
Last night featured a high-priced Yankee offense that frankly looked like a nice return for the investment. The whooping was was ugly. The Yankees weren’t pretty themselves, particularly from a pitching standpoint. Andy Pettitte struggled, barely making it through 5. He gave up 7 hits with 5 ER. However, after pitching as well as he has with nothing to show for it, he gets a pass. And a W. Finally! Oh, and Bruney is horrible. Back-to-back innings with the bases load? Nicely done.
Clearly, though, Boston took an epic beating that can only naturally give Red Sox nation pause. Giving up 20 runs at home is demoralizing. It’s a down right embarrassment. It makes you wonder how bad Boston really is.
Taking the last 5 games we’ve played against them into account, there are clearly some glaring problems currently plaguing this Boston Red Sox team. In the games they’ve won, the Yankees have outscored Boston 45-19, and honestly, most of their runs last night came against Yankee relievers who probably had other things on their mind, like whether or not Adrian Peterson was going to see a drop off in fantasy production. So if you ignore last night, there are some deeply concerning trends with their offense. I highlighted a few in a recap I did after the sweep at Yankee Stadium. Last night, their 1-4’s went 3-13 (4-14 if you include Varitek, who replaced V-Mart). Balance that against 1-4’s for the Yankees, who went 12-20 (.600)! The stark difference in production speaks for itself.
A major problem with the Red Sox is their abysmal pitching. Overall, the Yankees have the superior pitching staff. I’m convinced. After Josh Beckett and Ryan Lester, I don’t have much confidence in the rest of the rotation, if I’m a Sox fan. Yesterday, Brad Penny was awful, per the usual. Although promising, Clay (snicker @ Clay) Buchholz is young and hasn’t even been decent until very recently. Tazawa is 2-week pro. Their bullpen is very shaky as well, and that includes Papelbon. He has been anything but unhittable this year.
Boy could they use a serviceable arm like Justin Masterson right now.
The Red Sox are 14-18 since the all-star break, and 8-10 since the Victor Martinez trade. I never like to call anything this early but I do not see Boston coming back from a 7.5 game hole. They just seem incapable. Especially the way the Bronx Bombers are playing. All they do is win games, and I think the world is in trouble if A-Rod goes on a tear. So, if we continue to win series-after-series like we’ve been doing, the AL East will be all but wrapped up. And if the Rangers and Rays hold up on their end of the bargain, so too will the Wild Card.
It’s Murder She Wrote for Boston if that happens.
Who: Burnett (10-6, 3.69) @ Tazawa (1-2, 5.40)
Where: Fenway Park
When: August 22 @ 4:10 pm ET