Yankees claim first place in AL East with win over Red SoxBy
Stop the presses! The Yankees have actually beaten the Red Sox. It most certainly was not easy, but some timely hits and dominant bullpen work preserved the 3-2 victory.
- WPA won’t back this up, but hands down the biggest at-bat of the game was Boone Logan striking out Adrian Gonzalez with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning. Bartolo Colon had to work very hard for four-plus innings, especially in that prolonged fifth, but Logan came out of the pen to strikeout one of the three or four best hitters in the world on three pitches. Just a great job by Boone, star of the game right there.
- The Yankees were down two-zip at the time of Logan’s strikeout, but they turned around and scored the only three runs they’d need in the very next half-inning. Eduardo Nunez gets a gold star for leading off that sixth inning with a walk after Jon Lester got ahead of him 0-2 in the count. Derek Jeter singled back up the middle, then Curtis Granderson got the Yankees on board with an RBI single to the opposite field in a two-strike count. Great piece of hitting. Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, then Robinson Cano tied the game by grounding into a double play after a nine-pitch at-bat. Less than ideal, but it worked. Nick Swisher plated the go-ahead run on a ground rule double down the line. Down two to up one just like that.
- Logan’s whiff of Gonzalez was clearly the biggest out, but the entire bullpen was stupid good. Boone got two more outs in the sixth then gave way to Cory Wade, who changeup’d Jarrod Saltalamacchia to death for the final out. Rafael Soriano threw some serious gas in a perfect seventh inning (the best he’s looked as a Yankee), David Robertson got some at ‘em balls in a perfect eighth, then Mariano Rivera struck out two in the ninth after a Carl Crawford infield single. All told, the relief corps retired 13 of the 15 men they faced, and the only two exceptions were Crawford and his sub-.300 OBP.
- It wouldn’t be a Yankees’ game without some blown opportunities, of course. Jorge Posada looked at strike three to end the second with men on first and second, Andruw Jones wandered to far off first on what was ultimately a double play to end the fifth (he completely misread the fly ball, he had to think that sucker was dropping in), and both Jeter and Nunez got thrown out trying to steal at various points. Swish was the only Yankee with multiple hits (he also walked), though Nunez singled and walked twice. Andruw walked twice, Tex once. The few hits they did get were well-timed, that’s for sure.
- The Yankees have won a season-high eight games a row, taking sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time in exactly a month. Here’s the box score, here’s the FanGraphs stuff, and here’s the updated standings.
Because eight wins in a row aren’t enough, the Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound in the second game of this three-game series on Saturday afternoon. That’s a FOX game, so it won’t start until 4pm ET. John Lackey’s pet horse goes for Boston. If you want to catch the game, RAB Tickets can help you find the cheapest way to get there.