Yankees 13 Red Sox 6: Big But Ugly Win

In how many games could a team issue a dozen walks, yet win handily?  This one, last night.  Joba was wretched and scarcely deserved the victory, and the bullpen walked five batters in just four innings.  But the offense pummeled Smoltz, who seems to have DFA written all over him, as well as ex-Yankee Billy Traber in his effort to spare the rest of the recently overworked Sox bullpen, on their way to the first Yankee victory of 2009, waxing Boston 13-6.  New York scorched Boston for 18 hits and six walks themselves, hitting considerably better with RISP–6-13, 8 LOB–than Boston–3-21, 15 LOB.  The Yanks also took advantage of Smoltz and Traber for a massive, eight-run fourth to excoriate the Red Sox.

Joba was wild from the get-go, struggling to throw strikes and continually falling behind batters.  Pedroia doubled and Martinez followed with a walk in the first, but Joba escaped by inducing Youkilis and Ortiz to fly out.  The second began as the first did, with Drew doubling anf Lowell walking, but Joba again escaped, this time by striking out Lowrie and Ellsbury looking.

The Yanks should have had a run in the bottom of the second, but a mental error from Posada and a lack of assistance at home by Melky cost them.  Posada singled, Cano walked, and Swish singled to right center. Ellsbury threw to Pedroia, still stationed near the bag at second, and perhaps Posada thought it was being cut off and he would score handily.  Nor did Melky appear to indicate that he should slide, for Pedroia rightly threw home and Posada, still upright, was tagged out by Martinez.  Had he slid, he would have beaten Pedroia’s strong but high throw.  As it was, the game remained tied.

Not for long, for Pedroia gave the Sox a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with a solo shot to right center.  Joba then threw consecutive 3-2 walks to Martinez and Youkilis.  But he got Ortiz to ground into a 4-6-3, then Drew on an F8, to again escape.  But by this point Joba’s pitch count was already 64, clearly indicating his time for the game was rapidly waning.  Jeter was robbed of extra bases on Ellsbury’s excellent running catch to the wall in dead center, a key play for JD immediately homered to right center to tie the game.  Teixeira doubled but was stranded.

Boston retook the lead in the top of the fourth when Lowell singled into the hole, and Jeter’s jump throw couldn’t get him, in fact almost sailing into the crowd were it not for Teixeira’s fine leap.  Kotchman blasted a laser for a homer to right, 3-1 Sox.  But the Yanks, who had hit Smoltz hard but with little to show for it, opened it up on him and, subsequently, Traber.  Posada doubled, Cano singled him home 3-2, Swish walked, and Melky crushed a 1-2 fastball for his 11th homer of the season into the second deck in right, 5-3 Yanks just like that.  Jeter flew out to center, JD singled to left, Teixeira doubled to right on a ball that Drew barely missed, preventing JD from scoring to see if it was caught, and A-Rod was intentionally walked for the ex-Yankee Traber to enter and face Matsui, who beat out a potential DP ball for a force to score JD,6-3 Yankees.  As Mike Sommer rightly said, it was huge for Posada crushed a huge homer to dead center, 9-3 Yankees.  Otherwise, a 6-3 game, with Joba throwing wildly and lots of scoring, might well have been a typically insane Yankees-Sox game.  9-3 was much different, and felt nearly over as long as the Yanks could hold it for another inning or two.

Joba struggled to do that, ending his night after the fifth after walking Martinez and Youkilis in succession again on eight straight outside the strike zone, getting Ortiz on an F8, walking Drew to load the bases, then allowing an RBI single to Lowell, 9-4.  But he fanned Kotchman and Green on nasty sliders to minimize the damage and, despite walking seven, was actually eligible for the victory.  The Yanks sapped the remaining drama from the game with a two-out rally.  JD singled with one out, A-Rod singled with two outs, and Matsui followed with a double to left, 11-4.  Robertson and Coke worked through a scoreless top of the sixth, and the Yanks tacked on another in the bottom half when Swish walked, Melky singled, and Jeter singled in Hairston pinch-running, 12-4, before Jeter got nabbed trying for second.

Coke and Melancon worked the seventh but not before walking a batter apiece.  Teixeira led off the seventh with his 28th homer of the year to cap the Yanks’ scoring.  Melancon threw above Pedroia then plunked him, prompting an angry response from Pedroia who presumed some intent.  I am really not sure if there was, for Melancon hasn’t pitched much, and the Yanks were wild all night.  Then again, Joba has a history of hating on Youkilis.  Regardless, I’d be shocked if Beckett doesn’t drill Jeter or A-Rod tonight.  Two-out RBI singles by Ellsbury and Pedroia off Claggett made it 13-6, mercifully ending an entertaining but long and truly wild night at Yankee Stadium as well as in the Heartland Digital Living Room which, as Tim the Wizard rightly pointed out, was the first time the Yanks were forced to go to the split post to speed up posting.  As it turns out Pete Abraham had to do the same at LoHud to handle the 48 million comments he got during the game.  Mike wisely suggested the idea, and the HDLR was good fun, especially once the Yanks cuffed around Smoltz and Traber.

Posada (.278), JD (.287), and Teixeira (.288) each had three hits and a homer, with Teixeira doubling twice and Posada once.  JD now has 20 homers and 64 RBI, Teixeira 28 and 81, and Posada 14 and 50 after his 3 RBI night.  Swish was 2-2 with 2 walks, batting a healthier .248.  Melky was 2-5 with 3 RBI after his 11th homer, giving him 43 RBI this year, batting .286.  Cano was 2-4 with his 57th RBI, batting .309.  Matsui was 1-5 with a double and 3 RBI, 52 this year, batting .261.  Jeter was also 1-5 with an RBI, 45 RBI for him this year, batting .316.  A-Rod was 1-4 with a walk, batting .261.

Joba was wretched in his 8th win, allowing six hits, seven walks, and four runs earned while fanning five on 108 pitches/62 strikes; atrocious start.  Robertson, Coke, and Melancon were good enough, not allowing a hit or run in three innings while fanning four.  Claggett allowed two hits and runs in the ninth.  A big difference in the game was that the Yanks were very good with RISP–6-13, while Boston was atrocious–3-21, stranding 15.  Don’t expect Boston to squander so many chances again in one game.  Although he buckled down in his pinches, Joba also got lucky he didn’t give away a huge lead.

The Yanks now sit 3 1/2 up on Boston and six up on idle Tampa, with their fourth straight win.  Burnett needs to match Beckett, and the Yanks need to make Beckett pay for any mistakes he might make.  Winning that first game of the series was essential to end that losing streak, and they did that.  Now it’s crucial to keep up the pressure on Boston.  Shift gears, as Frank the Sage urges, and take three of four this series.

Published in: on August 7, 2009 at 9:33 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I listened to the mighty mite on the Fan this morning- he didn’t think melancon threw at him on purpose. he didnt seem upset about it at all. but who knows what beckett will do. it depends on whether warnings will be issued before the game.

    glad for jorge that the lost run didn’t matter at all as he clearly was the player of the game despite the passed ball and the gaffe. joba was the worst i’ve ever seen him- i’m glad that kotchman gave him a lovely gift by swinging at ball four.

    all the walks were infuriating. as someone said–i forget wh– they yankee hitters seemed like every guy they were facing was barry bonds. i hope this trend does not continue. the monkey is off our back–let the steam rolling begin

  2. Maybe Pedroia cooled off after the heat of the moment, Mike. I’m not sure it was intentional, but I know the guy has raked against the Yanks. I hope they didn’t throw at him for that; just make him uncomfortable in the box, and do a better job of getting him out.

    Joba was pathetic, the worst I have seen him, too. Boston has a good lineup, but they need to be aggressive against those and all hitters. Jorge was great, getting the double and homer in the same inning. His bat makes such a big difference in the lineup. I expect him tonight and Sunday, and Molina Saturday, though I’d prefer Posada the whole series.

    Huge win, and about time. Now keep winning.

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