Yankees @ Red Sox 8/22
What a difference a day makes, I guess.
Sick and tired of being sick and tired, eh? The Boston Red Sox responded to their 5-game slide against the Bronx Bombers in dominant fashion, routing them 14-1 today at Fenway. It was their turn to put on a display of offensive fire-power, pouring on 15 hits against Yankee pitching. Starter A.J. Penny Burnett pitched rather poorly, giving up an unforgivable 9 ERs over 5 IP. Hardly the same AJ that pitched an absolute gem when he faced off against Beckett August 7th. His ERA is now above 4. Erratic play has come to define his first year in Pinstripes. As often as he makes you marvel at his talent, he can leave you wondering to yourself, “what just happened?”
What separated the Yankees and Red Sox today was timely hitting. Amazingly, Boston had 13 2-out RBIs, and only left 5 on base the entire game. Their 1-4 hitters, who must be sick of me railing on their play against the Yankees since the all-star break, hit an even .500 and produced 8 RBI. 6 came from the bat Kevin Youkilis, who blasted 2 HRs in the game.
The Yankees couldn’t buy a hit when it counted, leaving a remarkable 25 MOB. 1 run and 0-9 with RISP run is pretty pathetic. Juchini Tazawa got extremely lucky today, though. In 6 IP he gave up 8 hits, but we never crossed the plate against him. The lineup had ample opportunity to score runs on him but it never materialized. It happens.
Cabrera, who has been struggling recently, couldn’t string together consecutive strong games at the plate. After a 4-6 performance last night, he would go hitless. Nick Swisher was the lone bright spot offensively, and I mean that literally. His 21st homer of the year, which came in the 7th, produced the only Yankee run of the game. He’s now reached base safely in 30 straight games.
I’d very much like to never, ever, ever see Eric Hinske play left field again. Ever. The other interesting substitution came when Jose Molina pinch hit for A-Rod. Molina ended up playing at 3rd for the remainder of the game. No idea.
I’m slightly concerned with the play of our bullpen over the past two games. Brian Bruney and Alfredo Aceves, our two middle-relief righties, have looked shaky. Again, though, only slightly concerned. A.J. had an off game, it happens. It happens slightly more often than perhaps we would like, but he has displayed flashes of greatness, and that’s what we should expect to see.
The good news is this: One win = 1 game in the standings. We have a 6.5 lead and are still looking great. Frankly, the Red Sox needed this much more than we do. Tomorrow our ace takes the mound in the rubber-match, hoping to restore order.
W: Tazawa 6IP 8H 2BB 0ER 2K
L: Burnett 5IP 9H 2BB 9ER 6K
Who: Sabathia (14-7, 3.58) @ Beckett (14-4, 3.38)
Where: Rat Infested Fenway Park
When: August 23 @ 8:05 pm ET
Full box here.
cross-posted over @ MVN’s The Bronx Block