Not for nothing, but tonight’s game is the reason why baseball is anything but predictable and why the Boston-New York games are still nail-biting and ridiculously exciting. The Yankees and Red Sox certainly have a way of making things interesting, including a bit of back-and-forth.
The Yankees turned to Chris Capuano to start tonight’s game, but Capuano certainly saw his share of struggles in the form of what seemed to be the buzzword of tonight’s game — home runs. In his 4.1 innings, Capuano threw 76 pitches, allowed 6 hits, 4 runs, and a walk, striking out just 2 Boston batters. Initially, the game looked solidly in Red Sox control due to the 1st inning 2-out solo home run and the 3rd inning 2-run home run (by the same power-hitter). It was 3-0 Boston going into the bottom of the 3rd, when the Yankees finally woke up. With 2 runners on base and 1 out, Derek Jeter’s deep double scored both runners. Jeter then scored on Carlos Beltran’s single to tie up the game.
It was a tied game 3-3 until the 5th inning. Capuano gave up his 3rd home run, a solo shot to the lead-off batter in the 5th. After getting an out, the ball was passed to Hill for an out before being passed to Rogers. Rogers stayed on until the 7th inning, where the ball went to Outman and then Kelley to end the inning. Kelley would keep the score at 4-3 Boston through the 8th inning.
Adam Warren’s turn in the 9th reintroduced the idea of the nail-biting game back into the picture. He allowed the first 2 runners on base with a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice bunt (and error) before buckling down and getting 3 outs thanks to the excellent defense the Yankees had on display tonight. So it was Warren who was on the mound if the Yankees could break through the Red Sox’s lead in the bottom of the 9th inning.
Then Mark Teixeira smacked a big solo home run into the 2nd deck in right field to lead off the 9th inning to just tie up the game. The crowd was electric; hope was back alive in the Bronx with a single swing. One out later, I think most people were just praying for extra innings, but really holding out for a miracle. Leave it to Chase Headley to be the miracle-bringer. A giant solo home run into the right field bleachers for the walk-off win, 5-4 Yankees, taking the series 2-1 over the Red Sox.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A win is always wonderful, and a walk-off win is exciting; but a win against the Red Sox is thrilling, and a walk-off home run win against the Red Sox is just fantastic. And going into what should be an awfully eventful weekend, still very much in the Wild Card race, another win is just what the Yankees needed this Thursday night.