Yanks Pound Beckett 8-4, Win All 3 Road Series

In one of the best road trips in some time, the Yanks took all three series, capped by an 8-4 win over Beckett and Boston last night.  Jeter and Matsui jumped on the first pitch of the first and second innings, respectively, crushing fastballs to deep right center.  In all, the Yanks pounded five homers off Beckett and withstood two Cano errors to support C.C. who, outside the errors, got his pitch count worked up but was yet again solid.

As I just mentioned, Jeter whacked the first pitch out, 1-0 Yanks.  Ellsbury got on base on Cano’s first error when Cano, going to his left, overran the ball and had to reach for it between his feet.  Yet Sabathia promptly picked off Ellsbury, with an important assist from Teixeira.  Instead of standing back and waiting for the pick-off throw from C.C.–as Giambi would have–Teixeira moved toward the throw to get it earlier and, just as importantly, give himself a better angle to throw around Ellsbury to second.  Great play to erase Cano’s mistake.  After C.C. got Pedroia looking on an 0-2 fastball that was a bit outside, Jeter retired Martinez from the hole on his patented jump throw, releasing the ball early but without needing to gun it to nab the slow Martinez.  As I posted at The Sommer Frieze recently, how ironic it is that Jeter, so often maligned for his defense, has made routine certain defensive plays, such as the jump throw from the hole and the over-the-shoulder catch, that others rarely if ever do.  The Captain simply does not get his due.

Matsui led off with Jeter’s approach, jumping on another Beckett fastball up to make it 2-0 Yanks.  Part of a hard-luck day, Swish lined out to short, and two long F7s from Cano and Melky ended the top of the second.  But Boston tied it in the second with a two-out rally, with doubles sandwiching Baldelli’s RBI single.  Yet the Yanks responded right away in the top of the third, getting three straight one-out singles from the red-hot Jeter, JD, and Teixeira to make it 3-2, and an RBI groundout from A-Rod to make it 4-2.

After two one-out singles in the bottom of the third, C.C. got a double play to end the threat that my wife and I both called, with my texting Mike the DP call just as my wife also said one was in order; great kismet.  Cano briefly atoned for his error in the first with a rocket to deep right center, 5-2 Yanks.  But he screwed that up in the bottom half, dropping a Varitek’s pop-up in a swirling wind after calling off a retreating Teixeira to let Bay score, 5-3 Yanks.

Yet the Yanks got two more in the fifth, again responding right away, when A-Rod followed up JD’s one-out single with a laser over the monster, which everyone in our house literally called, 7-3 Yanks.  New York scored in each of the first five innings off Beckett, and C.C. had an efficient 1-2-3 fifth.  Boston cut the lead to three in the sixth, however, when the Yanks gave away another run.  Youkilis doubled, and Lowell blooped one that fell in the no man’s land of indecision, with three Yanks near the ball but no one taking charge, giving Lowell a hit instead of making the second out.  It was significant, for Baldelli hit a sac fly to make it 7-4 Yanks.

After getting Gonzales to ground out and fanning Ellsbury, C.C. exited having allowed four runs three earned on eight hits, walking none and fanning eight on 118 pitches/80 strikes.  He had some tough breaks that made his line look a little worse than it was, and Boston worked up his pitch count even when striking out.  It was a good start, and he was certainly better than Beckett in earning his league-leading 15th win.  Hughes retired Pedroia on a hard liner to Swish to end the seventh and, after Matsui’s important insurance homer in the top of the eighth made it 8-4, Hughes worked around Martinez’s lead-off single by getting Youkilis on a deep F8, fanning Bay on a tough fastball, and getting some defensive help from Swish’s excellent sliding catch on Lowell’s pop-up to shallow right to end the eighth.  Mariano didn’t enter with a save situation but, not having worked since Wednesday, needed the work and, more importantly, the Yanks needed the win.  They got it when he struck out Varitek looking, got Kotchman on a 3U, and fanned Ellsbury to end the game.

Matsui’s two homers put him at 23 now with 68 RBI, batting .265.  Jeter was 2-5 with his 16th homer and 57th RBI, batting .332.  JD made a welcome return by going 2-4 with 2 runs, batting .286.  Teixeira was 1-4 with his 93rd RBI, batting .288.  A-Rod’s homer gives him 22 with 68 RBI, batting an improved .264.  Cano’s solo shot was his 19th with 62 RBI, batting .314.  Molina had a single, and Swish hit two loud outs.

Hughes was sharp in relief, while Mariano’s ERA is now down to 1.87.  Excellent relief work.  Plus, they didn’t get overworked even with the day off today, and were well rested.  That others got a day off after pitching poorly Friday and Saturday was an added bonus.

The Yanks are in a great spot, sitting 7 1/2 up in the East, and are 3 ahead of the Angels (2 in the loss column) for home field.  That the Yanks won all three series while going 7-3 on their longest road trip this year, 10 games, was extra special.  Tremendous job overall, and it’s great to see this team rolling as they are. Soak it in, Yanks fans.

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Published in: on August 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. If the Yankees go 19-19 from here on out they will finish with 97 wins. The only remaining business this season is to get homefield advantage for October and keep everybody healthy.


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