It’s always a circus when the Red Sox and Yankees get together. Apparently this applies to the minor leagues as well. For what ever reason though, last night’s game in the Bronx stands out as an exception. Maybe it was the lack of a national television network, with their eight minute commercial breaks, showing the game, something in which we won’t be so fortunate tonight.
More likely it was the fact that the game was well pitched through six innings. The scoring prior to the seventh was of the get it over quickly variety, whereas the game then resumed it’s previous out-out-out-switch schedule. Both Buchholz and Bartolo Colon had good stuff, combining for 13 innings, 10 hits, 5 runs, 11 Ks, and 4 BBs. While Colon was good, he was bested by Buchholz who, I think it’s fair to say, dominated the Yankees before and after an eight pitch sequence in the fifth which went ball, ball, single, homer, called strike, ball, ball, single. After that Buchholz retired nine of the next ten Yankees.
One the bullpens got involved though, things started to change. First the Yankees, where the easily dis-likeable Joba Chamberlain came in and thanks to a deftly executed hit-and-run by Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia set the Sox up for their first run on an Adrian Gonzalez warning track fly that would have been at least a double if not a homer at Fenway. No matter because, 1) it scored Ellsbury from third and allowed Pedroia to tag from first and take second and, 2) Youk hit one over the right field wall anyway. Joba’s buzzing of Youkilis has been well chronicled so it was a nice moment when Youk put one over the wall against his nemesis to give the Sox a three run cushion.
Enter the Red Sox pen and, kindly, close your eyes. First Daniel Bard, who exhibited very little of the command or control that makes his upper 90′s fastball so devastating. Bard fell behind Curtis Granderson 2-1 before grooving some kind of off-speed pitch, either a change-up or a cutter. It doesn’t really matter as Granderson hit it off the wall in left center field. The next few batters were tense as Bard struggled to command his pitches. He wild-pitched Granderson home, walked Alex Rodriguez, and hit Robinson Cano. Somehow he managed to wiggle out of this jam with some help from Nick Swisher who swung at a pitch at eye level.
Papelbon held on in the ninth, allowing one run after yet another in a seemingly never ending series of defensive indifference plays allowed Derek Jeter to advance to second base. Yeah, who cares. It’s only one run. [smacks self in face with fish] Still dirty water and all that.
Beckett and Sabathia tonight at 7:10pm.