Yanks use longball to topple Sox 8-4

Game 124 Spillover Thread III
Fan Confidence Poll: August 24th, 2009

The Boston Red Sox are a good baseball team. They have a potent offense which, despite a slump after the All-Star Break, ranks up there among the best in the league. They have two of the top starters in the league. Their bullpen, though not as good as it was in April, is still solid. Yet despite how good they are, they’ve run into a team playing even better.

The Yankees flexed their bats once again last night, hammering Sox ace Josh Beckett for eight runs, including five home runs, in eight innings. Derek Jeter started the assault, belting the first pitch of the game into the Red Sox bullpen. Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez each added a blast, and Hideki Matsui had two for the second time in the series. Those five hits accounted for seven of the eight Yankee runs.

The Josh Beckett on the rubber last night was not the Josh Beckett who has pitched most of this season. His funk started last time out in Toronto, when he allowed seven runs in 5.1 innings. He labored a bit in that one, throwing 99 pitches. Last night it seemed a bit different. He ran into more issues with the long ball, but was still able to keep his pitch count at a decent level, and also kept throwing strikes. Though he gave up nine base hits, Beckett walked no one.

CC Sabathia steered clear of the free pass as well. Like Beckett, CC wasn’t at the height of his game, but he was much closer. Trouble brewed in the second, after the Yanks had staked CC to a two-run lead. Again it happened with two outs, after CC struck out the first two batters in the inning. Lowell, Baldelli, and Varitek went double-single-double, tying the score and prompting a collective groan from the Yankees faithful.

That’s as bad as things would get. After a double play helped avert trouble in the third, Robinson Cano made his second error of the night, this one costing the Yanks a run. They had built a 5-2 lead by that point, so the run didn’t hurt as much, but there’s simply no reason to hand the Red Sox additional opportunities. As said in the opening paragraph, they are a good team. They will hurt you if you let them.

Four runs over 6.2 innings might not look great in the box score, but it was still a quality effort by CC. He didn’t walk anyone, and kept his strike to ball ratio in good standing. The Sox did knock out eight base hits against him, but just three of them were doubles. There were no homers. Sabathia also beared down with runners on, as he held the Red Sox to just 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

(Oddly, the Yankees just put three men in scoring position all night, one of whom, Derek Jeter, scored on a Mark Teixeira single. Hey, when you hit five dingers, who needs runners in scoring position?)

The win caps a 7-3 road trip and gives the Yanks a 7.5 game lead in the East. That’s the same lead they had after the previous series. Again, Boston’s a good team that’s run into a team that’s playing just as well if not better. They’ve shaken the 0-8 stigma for good, and even put a dent in the “they can’t win at Fenway” argument with two wins this weekend.

You can say that the Yanks have sealed the division, and on October 4 you might prove to have been right. But there are still a number of good teams in the AL that the Yanks will have to face along the way, and they won’t tread lightly. They’ll have another test right away, as the Rangers, a game behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card, come to town starting Tuesday. Unfortunately, it looks like the Yanks will have to do the Sox a favor.

Game 124 Spillover Thread III
Fan Confidence Poll: August 24th, 2009
  • JSquared

    ESPN… showing highlights from “Wild Card Weekend”, showed more Yankee clips than Red Sox clips…

    /I Can’t Believe What I Just Saw’d

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    “Hey, when you hit five dingers, who needs runners in scoring position?”

    Bronx bombing at its finest

    • Ksturnz

      last night was sad in that regard, but i won’t complaing

    • JGS

      but they can’t hit home runs outside of Coors East!!!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      With this lineup, there’s a man in scoring position even when the bases are empty.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

      “Dinger? I barely even knew her?”

  • Salty Buggah

    You know what’s good? Life in Yankees Universe, that’s what.

    • Jersey

      Also, in the Empire.

  • JGS

    the only walk in this entire game from either side was from Mariano Rivera.

    has that ever happened before?

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

  • Owl Jolson

    WHEN IT IS OVER, THEY SHALL LOOK UPON THE CARNAGE IN THE FIELD, AND A NATION SHALL LAMENT:
    “DEATH WAS HERE”.
    GO YANKS!!

    • Tom Zig

      Where is that original quote from?

      • JMK

        The Caps Lock Conquest. Great movie.

  • Salty Buggah

    Bad weekend for ex-Marlins pitchers at Fenway (Most runs ever given up by AJ and most HRs ever given up by Beckett)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      And Penny. Oh dear Mo do not forget Penny.

      • Salty Buggah

        Oh yea, of course! How can I forget him! VERY VERY VERY bad weekend for ex-Marlins pitchers at Fenway.

        • PinstripesForeverDouglas

          Don’t forget Giradi’s former Florida pal Sergio Mitre! He stunk it up too.

          Also, thanks for proving my worries wrong Salty. I guess I did sorta overreact to yesterday’s terrible loss. This team has definitely evolved into a true contender and my belief in them is heading up towards the highest levels of the Yankee-o-sphere!!

          • Salty Buggah

            No problemo. Like I said, just have faith in the team and follow along with the ride.

      • Jack West Jr.

        Carl Pavano: 7IP, 2R, W

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I feel obligated to say this again:

          The Twins have had 9 pitchers start games for them this year. The only one of the 9 who has an ERA+ higher than 100 is Carl Pavano.

  • Salty Buggah

    It was nice to see Alex and Hideki have a very nice series. Hopefully this keeps/gets them, especially A-rod, on a roll.

    Alex’s last 3 HRs have been against the Sox.

    • Salty Buggah

      Matsui now has 6 career multi-HR games…3 on this road trip!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Holy shit, really?

        • Salty Buggah

          Yep. In Seattle and then twice in Boston.

          • Nick

            H/t to Sweeny Murti

            • Salty Buggah

              Yep, I got it from him. He always has some interesting facts.

              • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                The fluid removed from Hideki’s knee has been turned into a premium sake that is selling for 10,000,000 yen a bottle in Japan.

      • Bugsy

        he’s bound to hit 30 HR this year. He pretty much picked up A-Rod’s slack.

        • PinstripesForeverDouglas

          Someone better tell Tex to look out for Godzilla. Imagine, if Hideki leads the team in dingers, Bugsy?

          Hell, there comes a point where the Yanks might be forced to re-sign him. Seriously, how can you replace his performance in the clutch?

          • Bugsy

            ?

            not quite sure how tex comes into the equation but arod’s august numbers look like typical matsui’s numbers and matsui’s august numbers look like arod’s.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Hell, there comes a point where the Yanks might be forced to re-sign him. Seriously, how can you replace his performance in the clutch?

            You do it by not letting emotion outweigh reason.

  • CanoFTW

    Has anyone else noticed that Mo looks really pissed lately?

    • Zombie Bugsy

      if anger helps his cutter, so be it.

    • Jeffrey

      Mo’s pissed he didn’t get to pitch the last two days.

  • Jack West Jr.

    When you hit homers like the Yankees have been, everyone’s in scoring position.

    The Yanks have a fairly tough homestand coming up with Chicago and Texas coming in, but the Yankees have played so well at home it’s tough to foresee them stopping anytime soon. The division race, while comfortable is certainly not over yet. As per the norm, the Yankees have a brutal last stretch of the season looming, including another West Coast swing that includes LA.

    • Jeffrey

      The Red Sox go from trying to beat the Yankees to rooting for them against Texas. How ironic.

      • Whitey14

        Or…they could be rooting for Texas to sweep three from New York while they sweep four from Chicago…in reality, the Sox do have a much better shot at the Wild Card then they do at the Division, but I’m guessing they’re just going out and trying to win every game because as up and down as they’ve been since the break, they do still control their own playoff destiny and you cannot ask for more than that.

  • Salty Buggah

    “Oddly, the Yankees just put three men in scoring position all night, one of whom, Derek Jeter, scored on a Mark Teixeira single. Hey, when you hit five dingers, who needs runners in scoring position?”

    You forgot A-rod’s RBI groundout right after Tex’s single that scored Damon from 3rd.

    • Salty Buggah

      not that it matters much

      • PinstripesForeverDouglas

        Salty, Come here… Whenever Alex gets an RBI in clutch situations it’s a big deal!!!! Period!

        /Stephen A. Smith

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          SLAVA MEDVEDENKO!

  • Bugsy

    8.5 games is pretty big, no? Look for the Yankees to bring down the hammer on the gophers of American League tomorrow and the day after and the day after that and so on and so forth.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Yanks are off tomorrow

      • CanoFTW

        They’re also up 7.5 games, not 8.5

        • Jeffrey

          But the Red Sox do play tomorrow so that lead either goes up to 8 or down to 7.

        • Bugsy

          I meant the wildcard. I should have clarified.

  • Jeffrey

    The way Matsui has been swinging the bat lately it makes you wonder what he’d be doing if both knees were healthy. Seems like getting that knee drained really helped him.

  • AJ

    We need:

    1. Gardner to come back and put some fire up Melky’s “pompiz”
    2. Robinson Cano to stop styling and just make the plays
    3. Joba to pull it together on his innings limit
    4. The bullpen to stay strong
    5. A-Rod to heat up
    6,7 and 8. To sweep the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim in three weeks.

    • handtius

      1. Melky needs Gardner to come and give him a breather. Joe G was good at putting them in situations where they would succeed.
      2. Cano wasn’t “styling”. first play: over ran the ball, second play: over ran the play and lost his footing.
      3-8. agreed (but I’d take 2 or 3 against the angels)

      • PinstripesForeverDouglas

        I would love us to take 3 of the last 4 against the Angels to even up the season series at 5-5. Plus, we need to exorcise some demons in Angel Stadium and a series win is one of the final things this team needs to accomplish in the Regular season. The others are-

        1) secure home field throughout the playoffs;
        2) Find Nick Swisher a good shrink & then a nice reality show
        3) Make Jorge smile
        4) Make sure the last game manager is someone special. I’m thinking… Cody Ransom ;)

  • Dela G

    i guaranteed they’d win today, and they finally came through with my prediction after my 3 DFA day yesterday… :)

    • Salty Buggah

      Ahem…you mean 4. Remember that got DFA’d for being DFA’d so many times. DFA’d AGAIN!!!! ;)

      • Dela G

        haha i forgot i got DFA’d for being DFA’d

        good eye there boss ;)

    • PinstripesForeverDouglas

      This is all I ever wanted from this team this month. That we could beat the Saux in these two pivotal August series and they have probably decided the division as well. Bravo, Yanks!!

      Still, most importantly the boys in navy blue pinstripes have proven they have transformed into a far better team- a true contender in October!

      Also, I know no one will ever believe me, but I always thought we were gong 6-1 in this month againt the Saux. I just figured once we broke down that 0-8 barrier, we were going to show how great we truely have been since A-rod’s return in early May in Baltimore. Of course, I did predict we would sweep them here and win 3 of 4 at the Stadium. Guess I was looking in the magic crystal ball from the wrong angle.

      Finally, I also did predict we would each of these final three series and I think we will take 2 of 3 in Septemeber to finish up with my overall prediction of 8-2 in the final 10.

      And now I predict it’s time for me to calm up

      • Dela G

        true dat

  • acb

    smoltz went 5 shutout innings striking out 9
    tomkoa went 6 giving up 1 run and striking out 8

  • JMK

    Anyone else hear about Buck Showalter’s “Relocation Plan”? It’s a riot. His idea calls for contracting two teams and abolishing leagues (it’s archaic) because, among other reasons, the same teams play each other too often, and it’s boring and unfair to teams like the Orioles. There would be four divisions of seven teams. A few kickers:

    One of the divisions suggested is a combined 55-games under .500.

    Cubs and Cards are not in the same division.

    Yankees, Phillies, Mets, Sox all in one division.

    He actually thinks a team that receives luxury tax money would agree to be contracted. Perhaps a salary floor and cap could be an option but the Player’s Association would never agree to it.

    Teams play every team six times per year. So having a division doesn’t matter at that point. Brilliant. It would also be terrible for revenue.

    It’s not fair for the Orioles to play three of the best teams so often. Yes, let’s feel bad for the Orioles because they have a tiny payroll with great ownership. They’re helpless; the deck is stacked.

    There’s more, but those are just a few parts to it. Here’s the article. http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/notebook?page=bbtn

    • http://Youcan'tincreaseyourrange TLVP

      No reason to keep the divisions at all if you go with a completely balanced schedule. Instead have one league and no divisions.

      Top 8 teams over the season make the playoff with a normal bracket system, If that were to mean that we’d have the Yankees, Red Sox, Rays, Blue Jays, Angels, Dodgers, Cubs and Cards in teh play off would taht really be a bad thing?

      That’s the way you’d design it if you wanted the system to be fair.

      An easier way to solve the “it’s unfair to the Orioles” would be to have a second WC and let the two WC’s play a 3 game series to determine who meets the team with the best record. This would mean that even no 3 from a division could make it to the post season. It would also weaken the WC winner since that team would have to use its best pitchers to get to the ALDS/NLDS. That woul not be a bad think in my opinion.

      • acb

        i dont see anything wrong with the way its setup now

    • TheLastClown

      Someone forgot to fill me in re: the whole ‘Yankees v. Boston’ is boring.

  • Jersey

    They’ve shaken the 0-8 stigma for good, and even put a dent in the “they can’t win at Fenway” argument with two wins this weekend.

    They didn’t dent the argument so much as obliterate it.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Did Posada have the night off so he could attend couples counseling with AJ?

    • http://imgur.com/NMNVd.jpg Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

      Let’s hope not. Once you’re in counseling, it’s already over.

      • Raf

        ietc

  • Makavelli

    Are we still sure we don’t re-sign “Hit-deki”?

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Yes.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Yes.

      I love those big homers, but his knees are still ticking time bombs.

      • Mac

        Lets say the Yanks win the WS and both Hideki and Damon do their part. I can see a somewhat outside chance of bringing them both back – if they will take a pay cut and one year deal (for Sui) and have a good of caddy – MAYBE getting a real everday CFer.

  • Doctor J

    Didn’t the Yanks actually increase their lead from the last Sox series?? I thought they had a 6 1/2 game lead after the sweep

    • JGS

      it was the same coming into this series as it was after the sweep, and they picked up another game

  • Mac

    Ellsbury was abysmal – and that’s exactly what I expect from him when he faces real pitching. I don’t like guys who disguise the fact they are not major league hitters with “speed”.

    Gardner is a lesser player than Ells – that’s why I really dislike him.

    Thats not saying Gardy doesn’t have a role as a spot stater and late inning pinch runner – which is when I believe speed is truly important.

    Melk definitely needs a break and some competition (probably) – Yanks have gotten alot out of platooning them – and with a dearth of cfers available not named Mike Cameron, it was a good move by Cashman keeping both guys and by Girardi in using them.

    • Chris

      The biggest difference between Gardner and Ellsbury are expectations. The Sox are expecting Ellsbury to be their leadoff hitter. The Yankees are expecting Gardner (or Melky) to play good defense and bat 9th. You can hide a poor hitter in the 9th spot in the order if his defense is good, but you can’t do that if he needs to bat leadoff because there are already a bunch of holes at the bottom of the order.

      • Mac

        I agree with your analysis, although Ells has a lot of fans – and I think he really does have better skills than GGBG (better arm, more speed, better base stealer and I think glove as well)and he’s still really a #9 hitter like I believe you are saying.

        The thing that still irks me is Pete Abe and Tyler Kepner – two guys who I actually thought were brighter than most of the guys covering MLB – both thought Gardy would be a big loss to the Yanks – a team with Jeter, Damon, Tex, A-rod at the top of the lineup and a better overall hitter in Melky who plays CF about as well.

        Gardy is\was the Yanks 5th ofer – if Hairston could play average CF (which I don’t think he can) he’s a far superior hitter than GGBG – the Yanks did pay a “ton” for him though – Chase Weems ;-).

        Pet peeve of mine since Pete Abe compared Gardy’s struggles to Dustin Pedroia (rather than making a better comparison – Jason Tyner – who in his first 4 minor league seasons had a better ba but didn’t walk as much and hit for a bit less “power” than GGBG).

        Rant over, thanks for the free therapy.

        • Tom Zig

          Ellsbury is a better hitter, but he is awful defensively. -14.1 UZR/150

          • Mac

            I understand your point relying on UZR, but I really don’t think that defensive metric is reliable – yet. When I see Ells play CF (not just against the Yanks), he’s at least the defensive player as GGBG with a better arm.

            JMO

            • radaryank

              I’d trade Garner and Melky for Ellsbury in a heartbeat. His BA when he’s behind in the count is over .330. The dude can hit. I don’t think he is mature enough to be a leadoff hitter though.

              As far as fielding…this year I have witnessed the worst outfielding throughout the major leagues. Elsbury may not be great, but he’s better than most.

  • joe

    I’m a serious Yankee fan (since when Mantle played first base).

    This is a very good team that WILL NOT win it all.

    They will be exposed by the following:

    1. Robinson Cano – Someone (Girardi? Jeter?) needs to put a foot up his ass. His lack of hustle will cost the Yankees in a playoff game. He tries so hard to look cool, but it just looks lazy. His inability to hit with men on is glaring. I’d rather have a .275 hitter who runs and hustles.

    2. Jorge Posada – When Cashman signed him to a four year deal, I nearly fell off the chair. NO PITCHER wants him as their catcher. You can go way back to Randy Johnson. He’s a terrible game caller, a sub-par defensive catcher, he has a crappy attitude…and his bat has slowed down considerably. He may the the worst base-runner in the game…and that includes pitchers. He will cost the Yankees one to two games in the playoffs.

    3. The Outfielders – I LOVE Johnny Damon. But let’s face it. When balls are hit out there, it’s an adventure. Swisher gets to everything…he just doesn’t know what to do with the ball once he does. And Melky needs to decide whether he actually wants to be the centerfielder…or just Cano’s caddy. I know Gardner can’t hit, but he won’t hurt the Yankees in the field. I’d rather have him in center…with instructions to catch ANYTHING he can…including stealing balls right out of Johnny’s and Nick’s glove. The Yankees are in DIRE need of an outfield coach.

    Like I said, this is a very good team. But they will lose in the playoffs if they play the Angels. If by some miracle they make it to the World Series, they will lose to the Phillies or the Cardinals. The Angels, Cards and Phillies know how to play ALL the facets of the game.

  • radaryank

    Wow. I kind of agree with you on Cano. He looked terrible jogging to second and getting thrown out on Saturday. And when he called off Tex (arguably the best fielder on the team) only to drop the popup…

    Let’s hope they can get past these problems and win it all. Other teams have problems too.