Tonight, the Yankees traveled down to Ft. Myers (about 2 hours south of Tampa on the Gulf Coast) to visit the Boston Red Sox. It doesn’t matter which team is better or if both teams are truly terrible, Yankees fans are always looking for one thing in a game against the Red Sox — a win. And after the agonizing loss on Wednesday, a win on the Red Sox home turf was certainly in order, a little justice even. And tonight, under partly cloudy skies, justice was served.
Despite some early struggles, Adam Warren turned out a pretty decent start tonight, earning the win. Warren gave up 4 hits and 2 runs (an RBI groundout in the 1st and an RBI single in the 3rd) over his 3 innings. Something the Yankees earned back right after, in the 4th inning. 3 singles and 2 strikeouts had Yankees all over the bases, so when prospect Jonathan Galvez tripled, those bases cleared and the Yankees were suddenly in the lead 3-2. A lead they never lost.
Reliever Chasen Shreve continued to dominate in his 2 innings, followed by Ramirez’s 6th. Pinder’s 7th added a run for the Red Sox with a groundout RBI, before Goody and Lindgren’s solo innings dazzled with 3 strikeouts a piece. It should be noted that the Yankee pitchers struck out Red Sox batters 10 times over the course of the game (to be fair, the Yankees batters racked up 7 strikeouts of their own).
But even with that extra run earned in the 7th, the Yankees still controlled the game offensively. In the top of the 7th, Yankees batters Galvez and Judge were on base with a single and double, respectively, and would soon score on Mason Williams’ ground-rule double. Final score 5-3 Yankees. As I said, justice served.
Boston paraded out a lot of their big names, including some big names they recently acquired, in front of their Spring home crowd to face the traveling squad of mostly farm system Yankees. And the Yankees won. Enough said.
I saw a shirt on Wednesday that read: “I cheer for 2 teams — the Yankees and whoever beats Boston.” Fan loyalty to our rivalry is truly something to be experienced. It adds a whole other dimension to being a fan or simply watching a ball game. And I guess as I prepare for some attempted rivalry between tomorrow’s split squad opponents (Detroit visits Tampa, while some players visit Toronto’s home in Dunedin), I find myself rather clinging to my favorite rivalry.
Boston-New York fans just know how to do it right, and I think half the time I’m wondering why some of the other fans just hate on the Yankees. Hate is certainly different than rivalry. I mean, it’s not like the Yankees signed Miguel Cabrera or Jose Bautista and created an 86-year losing drought for that team that they dubbed “The Curse [of the Miggy or the JoeyBats]”. Now, that’s how rivalries are really formed. Not just because the Yankees are better than you or (even worse) were better than you at one time and you still cling to that old hate.
“They only boo you if you’re good.” Sometimes, I think the Yankees must be really, really, really good.