Sometimes I have no idea what game some people are playing when I watch a game. Sometimes the flow of the game make it seem like I’ve watch several different games, even though four hours have been solely on a single game. (Four hours always means a Red Sox-Yankees game.)
Look, Andy Pettitte was actually pretty good tonight. His 100 pitches took him through 6 full innings, where he kept the Yankees’ early lead rolling. He allowed just 5 hits, 3 walks, 3 runs, and struck out a whopping 8 Boston batters. Those runs came as an RBI single in the 2nd, an RBI groundout in the 4th, and a solo home run in the 5th. He deserved the win tonight, as the most consistent pitcher that set foot on the mound (by either team), but he wouldn’t get it. Fortunately, due to how the stats are recorded, he didn’t take the loss either.
So, the Yankees struck often and early, earning a very nice lead over the Red Sox. In the 1st inning, Derek Jeter walked and then scored on Alfonso Soriano’s 2-run homer to the (where else?) left field seats; this was Soriano’s 30th home run of the season (between his time with the Cubs and the Yankees). Then in the 2nd, with Vernon Wells on board with a walk, it’s Eduardo Nunez that triples (though his helmet only made it to 2nd), easily scoring Wells; Nunez scores on Chris Stewart’s sacrifice fly. In the 4th, Reynolds and Stewart walked and scored on Brett Gardner’s triple. Then in the 5th, Wells’ single scores Cano, Nunez singles, Mark Reynolds’ single scores Wells, but Nunez gets caught in a slow run-down before surrendering to the tag-out trying for 3rd.
And it’s a beautiful 8-3 Yankees when Pettitte leaves the mound. And then it’s the evil of the 7th inning. The Yankees opt for Phil Hughes in the 7th, his first time out of the bullpen in a while. His pitches result in: a single, a fly out, another single, a walk, and an RBI single (8-4). So they decided to try Boone Logan, who promptly strikes out the Red Sox most feared hitter (this should be a good sign, but it’s not — it’s misdirection). Logan then gives up a grand slam, and suddenly the Red Sox are tied. With just two outs and 7 batters in the 7th inning, the Yankees have blown a 5 run lead. Logan gives up another single and is pulled from the game due to an injury (a tightness in his left biceps).
So they go to Preston Claiborne, who immediately responds with the final out of the 7th. He returns in the 8th to get another out, but then things got messy. A single, a 2-run homer (10-8 Boston), and a single force the Yankees to turn the game over to Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain gets the second out, intentionally walks the big power bat, and unintentionally walks the next two batters (11-8 Boston). (I hate those kind of runs!) Another RBI single plants the Red Sox lead at 12-8. And the Yankees never recovered.
As of today, the Yankees signed Matt Daley to a major league contract, who spent the year in AAA Scranton. He was in the bullpen for the Rockies from 2008-2011 and spent 2012 recovering from rotator cuff surgery. To make room on the 40-man roster, Corban Joseph was moved to the 60-day DL after his shoulder surgery. Daley, who grew up in Queens, returned to his neighborhood tonight to pitch the 9th inning on the day he was promoted. He kept the Red Sox from adding to their total and struck out 2 of the 5 batters he faced. There was talk that his outing alone might have earned him a place in Yankee fans’ hearts by not allowing a single run — the first inning since Pettitte came out of the game.
Also, David Robertson was feeling stiff in his shoulder and an MRI revealed tendonitis. Robertson will be out 5-6 days. This could be the reason for his poor performance recently, and it really is a bummer overall because he’s been one of the most reliable things from the entire pitching staff. We wish him a quick healing, recovery, and return to all his “Houdini-ness”.
Two more games against the Red Sox, and fortunately for my personal sleep schedule (though I’m thinking some of the more vocal umpires will agree), I’m glad they’re both afternoon games. You just never know what can happen. Even when one team is just awful, the Yankees-Red Sox games are always tight and tense and worth the viewing. You just never know what’s going to happen. That’s why even as the Red Sox piled on the extra runs in the 8th, there was still hope that the Yankees bats would somehow find life against the Boston bullpen. It’s happened before; it will happen again; it just didn’t happen tonight.