Any time the Yankees beat the Red Sox it’s a great game. But the rivalry has always brought out the best in both teams, which makes it some of the best games to watch all season. Even when the Red Sox (or the Yankees, for that matter) were absolutely terrible teams, their games were always the tightest, most thrilling, most energetic games to watch. Now, of course, that the Red Sox are defending their current championship status, it makes their defeat all that more sweeter. But I digress…
Hiroki Kuroda took the mound for the Yankees on this wonderful, warm Spring Saturday in the Bronx. In 6.1 innings and 97 pitches, Kuroda seemed to struggle a bit, allowing 6 hits, 4 runs, and 3 walks, and striking out 5 batters. Now those 4 runs were divided up between the Red Sox’s 2nd and 7th inning. In the 2nd, a lead-off single scored when Kuroda gave up a solid 2-run home run to the Red Sox batter. And then Kuroda’s struggles seemed to heighten when he came back into the game in the 7th. With 1 out, Kuroda walked two batters, so the Yankees opted for Matt Thornton in relief. Thornton got his own strikeout, then (barely) hit a batter (seriously, I think it grazed a button on his jersey), and then allowed a singled that scored both of Kuroda’s walks. (Thus making Kuroda on the hook for all 4 runs.)
But the Yankees called on Old (or really “Young”) Faithful from the bullpen — Dellin Betances, who was just phenomenal last night in his continued quest to be one of the Yankees best relievers. Betances today, however, barely got to pitch, as on a 0-2 count, he threw a high ball that McCann promptly threw to Roberts at 2nd to get the runner out and end the inning right there. An excellent play by all the players involved, and another great example of this team in action. Then Warren and Kelley each took an inning to close out and game, with Kelley earning his second save of the season.
Now, on the other side of the plate, the Yankees seemed to have rediscovered their well-known moniker — the Bronx Bombers, as every single run the Yankees scored today was due to a Yankee home run. And to a sold-out crowd, this was a lot of fun to watch. Right in the first inning, with 2 outs already on board, Jacoby Ellsbury bunted a single right before Carlos Beltran smacked a long fly ball into Section 203 for a nice early game present for the Bleacher Creatures, a 2-run home run. Then leading off the 4th inning, Brian McCann pounded his first Yankee home run (and earned those pinstripes) in the 2nd deck of the right field seats. The next batter, Alfonso Soriano, continued his offensive show with his 3rd home run of the season. And suddenly the Yankees were up 4-2.
That wasn’t enough. So in the 6th, Beltran hit a nice double up the middle, before McCann decided to garner more Yankee fan favor by hitting his second home run of the game right into the Yankees’ bullpen. 6-2 Yankees. In the bottom of the 8th, Kelly Johnson jumped in on the action, adding his own home run (his 3rd of the season) into Monument Park and pushing the score to 7-4 Yankees.
With the regular addition to replay, I have to pick and choose my comments on it. I mean, I don’t comment on every call or play made on the field, and while it always seems to be an “event”, sometimes it’s not worth mentioning. I’ve skipped a couple before, and today’s game I’m going to skip as well. I think it’s only worth commenting on if it affects the course of the game or if I’m kind of irked about it. Here’s how I came to today’s decision: did it help the Yankees? (yes) Did I agree with the call? (no) Did it affect the outcome of the game? (not at all) Then not worth talking about. (Of course, I realize the irony of telling you I don’t want to talk about it is still talking about it.)
So, the Yankees are back for average 6 wins-6 losses, and already taking at least 2 game of the 4 game series from Boston. And it’s a beautiful Spring day (for at least most of the country), so enjoy your weekend, people! There’s 150 more games left in the season.