Yanks Stomp Boston 20-11

The offense positively exploded for 23 hits and 20 runs, jumping all over Brad Penny, then rookie Michael Bowden, turning the game into a laugher before Pettite and Bruney struggled to give a few of us rooting for the Pinstripers a decent scare.  However, the relentless offense simply obliterated Red Sox pitching tonight with a 20-11 rout.

The Yanks got two in the top of the first, a good harbinger for the evening, when Jorge’s RBI single plated Jeter who doubled and Teixeira who worked an eight-pitch walk, 2-0 Yanks.  However, the top of the first wasn’t without some concern, for JD fouled two pitches off his right leg, the second of which caromed hard off his knee.  While he finished the top half, Hinske entered to “play left” in much the same way that, stepping into the New York Philharmonic, I would “Play First Violin”–brutally. Hinske’s play in left matched Joe West’s umpiring in the first few innings, for he had a Livan Hernandez strike zone–anything close, particularly for Penny.  Meanwhile, Pettite escaped the bottom of the first having allowed just a run, despite going 3-2 to the first three batters, and not received the lion’s share of West’s munificence.  He lost Ellsbury after getting ahead 0-2, Ellsbury stole second to tie Boston’s single-season record for steals, Pedroia’s F9 moved him to third, and Martinez’s sac fly cut the Yanks’ lead in half.  Pettite retired Youkilis on a sharp slider, but fought himself the whole frame, throwing 26 pitches and literally yelling at himself off the mound like Mark “Bird” Fidrych’s nefarious alter ego.

New York scored four in the second off Penny, whose location and not his stuff renders him awful.  Oddly, it might have been West’s mile-wide strike zone that started the Yanks’ rally in the second, for Melky took two balls–the first low and the other wide–for strikes before feebly tapping one way outside slowly to third for an infield hit, perhaps to avert a grotesque strike three call and an ejection from Girardi and Pena, who were irate in the first.  From there, the rout was on, and not enough balls from Penny reached Martinez’s glove to render West a further hindrance.  Jeter singled as Melky stole on 3-2, first and third.  Hinske laced a ground-rule double to right, 3-1 Yanks.  Teixeira ripped a double to right, 5-1 Yanks.  After Penny’s wild pitch gave Teixeira third, A-Rod ripped a fastball up into the left field corner, 6-1 Yanks, but he was thrown out at second.

Pettite worked around a walk to Big PopUp for a relatively easy second.  He looked good in the third, fanning Gonzales and Ellsbury before Pedroia blooped a double to the corner in left that Hinske, the dancing bear on roller skates, missed as he jumped and blindly flailed at the ball, which caromed hard off the wall and back toward the infield.  Yet that selfish, statistically conscious Jeter, always putting himself before the team (see “The Flip” in Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS, which saved the game and turned around not just the series but the Yanks’ playoff aspirations that year, and his tremendous running catch and face-plant July 1, 2004 for the final out in the top of the 12th against Boston, for further examples of Jeter’s narcissism), raced a good fifty feet into left field, retrieved the ball, and threw out Pedroia at third base.  Jeter is nothing short of tremendous, and put that play near the top of Jeter’s great, heady plays over the years.  Up yours, Rice.

After each team went 1-2-3 in the fourth, the Yanks blew it open in the fifth.  Teixeira singled and A-Rod singled but barely missed a homer off the very top of the monster, chasing the erratic Penny.  Bowden entered and hung a 1-0 change mid-thigh and right over the plate to Matsui, who crushed it into the back of the Boston bullpen, 9-1 Yanks.  Jorge walked and went to second on a wild pitch before Cano’s double scored him, 10-1 Yanks.  Swish grounded out, Melky singled in Cano 11-1, Jeter forced him (again, thinking about himself and his chance to score, not Melky’s), Hinske walked, Teixeira singled in Jeter 12-1.  Yet Pettite labored in the bottom half.  Lowell singled, Baldelli doubled, and Ellsbury’s two-out soft single to left cut it to 12-3.  Pedroia doubled past A-Rod, 12-4 Yanks.  He got Martinez swinging at a nasty slider to end the fifth.

In the sixth, Jorge led off with a double, went to third on Swish’s one-out single, and scored on Melky’s RBI double, 13-4 Yanks.  Jeter, clearly concerned with just his stats, singled in Swish and Melky, 15-4 Yanks.  Pettite’s night should have been over after five, but he worked into the sixth and struggled.  Cano got charged with a throwing error on Kotchman’s hard grounder on which he made a good play, but his throw pulled Teixeira off the bag; bad scoring there.  Green singled him to third and Big PopUp “singled” to score Kotchman on a ball that Melky or Hinske could easily have had, but neither forcefully called and caught, 15-5 Yanks.  Bruney entered and inflicted the “Death By a Thousand Balls” torture on Yankees fans, allowing a single to Lowell to load the bases, walking in Green, 15-6, but getting Gonzales to ground into a 4-6-3 DP, 15-7 Yanks.

No doubt sensing the tension from The Bruney, A-Rod led off the seventh with a big triple to center, and scored on Matsui’s grounder, 16-7 Yanks.  This truly mattered, for Bruney simply couldn’t throw strikes or retire anyone after getting Pedroia on an F9.  He walked Varitek, hit Kotchman, then walked Green to load the bases for Marte, who was just activated today.  I have to admit, I had some concerns not just about Marte, but in general at this point in the game for, despite being ahead 9, the game and the poor pitching had the feeling that this might eventually be a close one.  I really didn’t put it past Boston to score several more.  They did, but thankfully so the did the Yanks.  Marte got Big PopUp to PopUp to shallow left, then fanned Lowell on a good, 93 mph fastball to end the Bruney-imposed rally.

After each team somehow went 1-2-3 in the eighth, with Meat Tray getting three ground balls, the Yanks in the ninth added more insurance, all of which was welcome.  Hinske led off with a double, Teixeira flew out, Hairston in for A-Rod walked, and Matsui pasted his second three-run homer of the game around Pesky’s Pole, 19-7 Yanks.  After Jorge grounded out, Cano whizzed one by Green in left that was ruled an error, and Swish doubled him home, 20-7.  Meat Tray was atrocious in the ninth, coughing up a solo shot to Varitek, 20-8, an RBI doubled by PopUp, 20-9, and a two-run shot over the monster, 20-11.  Mercifully, the game finally ended after Meat Tray hit Baldelli bit got Gonzales on a force.

Jeter was tremendous, going 3-6 with a double, 3 runs and 2 RBI (56), batting a sharp .333.  Hinske was a piker in left but terrific at the plate in relief of JD, going 2-4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs, and an RBI, batting .257.  Teixeira was again a stud, going 3-5 with a double, 3 runs, and 3 RBI (92), batting .286.  A-Rod was the best he’s looked in a long time, going 4-4 with a triple, battering the ball, scoring twice, and driving in his 65th run, batting .263 and looking aggressive at the plate.  Matsui was The Man, ripping his 20th and 21st homers and driving in seven (66 this year), batting .266.  As I posted at The Sommer Frieze, I know the Yanks will probably want to free up the DH to rest various players, and will probably want to add outfield versatility.  But jeez, I’d love to see a healthy Matsui stick around another year to watch him hit.  When he’s on and his knees are decent, he just kills the ball and did tonight.  Jorge was 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI (57), batting .275.  Cano actually had a hit with RISP, his 34th double for his 61st RBI with 2 runs, batting .311.  Swish was 2-6 with a double and his 65th RBI, batting .246.  Melky was 4-6 with a double, 2 runs, and 2 RBI (48), batting .273.  The Yanks sure packed the box score tonight. [Edit: I forgot to add this last night, but the Yanks were an astounding 15-25 with RISP, stranding but seven.  That’s nothing short of amazing.]

Pettite earned his 10th win despite allowing seven runs five earned on seven hits and two walks on 105 pitches/65 strikes, fanning four.  He battled himself most of the way, especially at the beginning and end of his laborious start.  But with all that offense, it was enough.  Bruney was atrocious, walking three and hitting a batter in 1 1/3 unforgettably forgettable innings.  Meat Tray was horrendous in the ninth, allowing four runs on four hits.  The lone bright spot among the arms tonight was Marte’s sharp return.  If he can somehow throw with good velocity and perhaps be another lefty match-up guy for middle relief, and can somehow return to being a guy whose slider devastates righties, the Yanks will have added a big weapon to the bullpen.  However, that’s thinking big right now, for it was his first game back, and Marte wasn’t consistent in SWB during his rehab.  Still, on a night when finding encouraging things to say about the pitching is most difficult, Marte stood out.

The Yanks are now a season-high 32 games above .500, and have a commanding 7 1/2 game lead over Boston in the East, seven in the loss column.  With Toronto beating the Angels, the Yanks are now three ahead of the Angels for home field, two in the loss column.  They are just rolling, having won six of eight on this road trip, finally having won in Fenway this year.  Enjoy it, Yankees fans. I like tomorrow’s match-up quite a bit, with A.J. facing Tazawa.  I like it even more that Boston was forced to use good relievers such as Delcarmen, Saito, and Ramirez in a blowout loss, while the Yanks sat Mariano, Hughes, Coke, and Aceves.  Advantage Yanks.

Thanks to Joe the Statistician Magician for hosting tonight’s in-gamer.

Published in: on August 22, 2009 at 12:55 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. great re-cap- love the hinske -ny philharmonic reference. perfect! i’m busy packing etc…be in touch later

  2. The offensive explosion was nice to see but I am a little disappointed with Andy (seven runs in five innings). However they got the win and ended the 0 fer at Fenway. Now is the time to put the monkeys on ice and end this square dance called the AL East. I want to see Burnett have a solid game and seal the series victory at Fenway.

  3. Thanks, Mike. Have a great trip, and hopefully you can have a couple cold ones at the airport watching the Yanks game.

    Andy wasn’t sharp, Wiz. He book-ended some good work with some really lousy work. Agreed–winning this series will go a long way to sealing the deal in the East. Burnett must be good to do that and, off Tazawa, hopefully the Yanks can reprise some of their slugging from last night.

  4. Oh yeah, how about the Yanks going 15-25 with RISP last night? Incredible.

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