Eighteen runs, eleven pitchers, five lead changes, four hours. In other words, it was a typical Yankees-Red Sox game. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’ve already seen — or at least know the outcome of — Friday’s game and will instead provide some thoughts rather than a traditional recap. Away we go…
- Jumping on Josh Beckett early felt really good. During this week’s podcast I said I was hoping they would come out and put up a crooked number early, and the offense held up its end of the bargain. Too bad Hiroki Kuroda decided to have what was essentially his worst start of the season. He was getting hit awfully hard, even the outs. I was screaming at Joe Girardi to take him out in like, the second inning, but he managed to squeeze 17 outs from him and I’m sure that will be appreciated by the bullpen tomorrow.
- Speaking of the bullpen, I thought Girardi did a fantastic job with the relievers. Boone Logan was in the game when he should have been, David Robertson was in the game when he should have been, and Rafael Soriano was in the game when he should have been. Each guy was brought into what was then the biggest spot of the game and they were the best man for the job.
- That said, Logan needs the All-Star break more than anyone. He’s flat out gassed. This was his league-leading 42nd appearance in just 82 games. I’m sure we’ll see him in each of the next two days, however.
- Critical Moment: Derek Jeter‘s play to get the lead runner at third in the seventh. The Yankees were up two, the Sox had two on with one out, and Jeter didn’t have a chance to turn two given the location of the ball. Very heady play to get the lead guy because if he hadn’t, it would have been based loaded with one out rather than two on with two outs. Just an enormous swing.
- They got zero runs out of it, but I loved the double steal in the fifth. Alex Rodriguez effective stole third three times in the span of eight innings dating back to last game. I did not like playing the infield in or intentionally walking David Ortiz in the fourth, but naturally both worked so I’ll shut up.
- Remember when Mark Teixeira couldn’t hit against the Red Sox last season? He hit .133/.264/.200 in 72 plate appearances across the 18 games last year, but this year he’s 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles and two homers in three games against Beantown. Small sample, obviously, but much better. His go-ahead triple was a homer in basically every other park but who cares. Got the job done.
- Big ups to Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez for some clutch two-out, two-strike hits to tack on insurance runs in the seventh. Those are back-breakers for the other team and I love ‘em.
- Two outs on the bases are two too many. A-Rod was thrown out at home on the contact play — he had to hesitate a second to make sure the soft liner wasn’t caught — and Chavez was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. Hate those outs on the bases, so frustrating. Especially in Fenway, no need to force anything in a park where routine fly balls to left are doubles.
- The Yankees scored ten runs on 14 hits — four for extra-bases — and four walks plus a hit batsman. None of those hits was a homer. Ten runs in Fenway and none were dingers. It’s only the second time the Yankees won without a homer all season, joining the 14-inning game against the Nationals.
All in all, it was a very satisfying if not nail-biting win. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd stats, and ESPN the updated the standings. The Yankees are eight games up on the Rays and nine up on the Red Sox and we’re not even at the All-Star break. That’s fantastic. I hope you’re ready for Saturday’s doubleheader, that’s going to be a doozy. First game starts at noon-30.