First place was fun while it lasted.
- For the third time in four starts this year, CC Sabathia got completely pounded by the Red Sox. They hung seven runs on him through the first 3.2 innings, the big blow being a three-run homer by Jacoby Ellsbury. The first three hits Sabathia gave up were off the Green Monster for doubles, and four of the nine hits he gave up were to left-handed batters (two to Carl Crawford and his .208 wOBA vs. LHP). CC dominates lefties (.183/.242/.243 with 61 K and 9 BB in 179 PA off him before this game), he shouldn’t be giving up that many hits to them in one game. The end result was ten baserunners and those seven runs in six innings, so give him some credit for sticking around a little bit and preserving the bullpen.
- The Yankees actually had more baserunners than the Red Sox (18 to 13), but they just didn’t finish off many rallies. The worst case came in the fifth, right after they fell behind 7-2. Frankie Cervelli singled on John Lackey’s first pitch of the inning, Brett Gardner got hit by the second pitch, and Derek Jeter singled on the third pitch. The Yankees had a run in with runners on first and second just three pitches into the inning, but the 3-4-5 hitters (Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Robinson Cano) went down like wimps to end the threat. The first two guys didn’t even put the ball in play. Terrible.
- Cervelli, sadly, was the Yankees’ best offensive player in this game, picking up three hits in four trips to the plate. Cano didn’t get a hit but he did get hit by a pitch, while Jorge Posada continued to look absolutely fried with an 0-for-4. Grandy, Tex, and Nick Swisher all had a hit and a walk (Tex’s was a garbage time solo shot off Dan Bard, who he completely owns), whilr Gardner and Jeter had one hit each. Eric Chavez did his best Don Mattingly impression with two hits, including one to the opposite field off the base of the wall. Eighteen baserunners, but two double plays and ill-time strikeouts hamstrung the offense.
- Luis Ayala and Hector Noesi were pretty terrible in garbage time; Ayala walked two in a scoreless frame before Noesi put four guys on base and allowed three runs in his only inning. At least the core relievers are fresh for the rubber game on Sunday.
- The loss ends the Yankee’s eight game winning streak and brings them back into a tie with the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. Both teams are (at least) seven games up in the wildcard though. Here’s the box score, here’s the FanGraphs stuff, and here’s the updated standings.
Believe it or not, the finale of the series will mark the last time the Yankees will be on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball this season. Good, I hate night games on the weekend. Freddy Garcia gets the ball against Josh Beckett at 8pm ET. RAB Tickets can get you into the park if you’re making a last minute decision to attend.