Yankees - 001 130 010 - 6 11 0Ho. Lee. Shit!
Red Sox - 000 200 05x - 7 13 0
Two home runs from Rodriguez (he's the 1st AL player to hit 12 HR in a season's first 15 games (Mike Schmidt did it in 1976) (plus Slappy's got 30 (!) RBI)) put New York up 5-2 after five innings. The Yankees added a run in the 8th (Slappy doubled (he should have been rung up on the pitch before) and scored on Giambi's single).
So ... MFY 6-2, bottom of the 8th: Myers in to face Ortiz. Flo ripped a double that one-hopped the left-center field wall. Vizcaino in (perhaps Torre, with a 4-run lead, should have kept Myers in to face Manny and then the LH Drew). Vizcaino has walked six in only 9.1 innings so far this year and he stayed true to form by walking Manny.
Drew grounded out to second, moving the runners to second and third. Lowell grounded a single past Slappy, who dove to his left, and into left. Tizzle scored, 3-6. Vizcaino was pulled and in came Rivera. It was Fruitbat's first appearance since Sunday, when he surrendered a three-run, game-winning home run to Marco Scutaro in Oakland.
Varitek (whose first HR of the year in the 4th gave Boston two runs), took a ball, a strike, then fouled off three picthes, before lining a belt-high cutter out over the plate into right for a single. Manny scored, 4-6.
Crisp, who tumbled backwards over the bullpen wall trying to catch for Slappy's second home run back in the fifth, lined the ball down the right field line and into the corner. Lowell and Varitek both scored and Coco ended up on third with a triple! 6-6!
With the infield in, Cora singled to left center. Three batters and three hits and four runs in against Rivera. Cora's bloop hit actually hit the infield dirt behind Jeter before bouncing into left center. Crisp scored and Boston took a 7-6 lead! Unbelievable.
With Papelbon unavailble, Tito called on Okajima to face Jeter-Abreu-Slappy and close it out. I liked the choice, as the Oka-bot has been masterful this year. Jeter (bbc) grounded out second to first (tapping a splitter off the end of his bat). Abreu (bssbb) walked, though ball 3 could (should?) have been called strike 3. Okajima jams Slappy (cbbbc) with a fastball and he lofted a soft liner to Cora at second. Two outs. DH Kevin Thompson (who ran for Giambi in the 8th) (csffb) struck out swinging on a splitter in the dirt.
When asked in spring training about the media frenzy surrounding Matsuzaka, Okajima said: "I don't mind being a hero in the dark." Friday night, he was a hero in the blinding spotlight of The Rivalry.
And the day after the Yankees rally from being down 6-2 in the 9th inning and win 8-6, they blow a 6-2 lead in the 8th inning and lose 7-6.
The box says:
Rivera: .2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, blown save and loss, 8.44 ERA
Andy Pettitte (1.50, 1.222) / Curt Schilling (2.84, 1.053), 7 PM
Damon, CF Lugo, SS
Jeter, SS Youkilis, 1B
Abreu, RF Ortiz, DH
Rodriguez, 3B Ramirez, LF
Giambi, DH Drew, RF
Posada, C Lowell, 3B
Cano, 2B Varitek, C
Cabrera, LF Crisp, CF
Mientkiewicz, 1B Pedroia, 2B
This weekend, it's two rookies for New York: Jeff Karstens/Josh Beckett and Chase Wright/Daisuke Matsuzaka. ... Chien-Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano are all on the disabled list.
The Red Sox were 8-11 against the Yankees last year, 2-7 at Fenway.
Boston's starting rotation has a 2.61 ERA (1.94 in the last nine games). The Sox lead the AL with a 2.58 ERA and Tim Wakefield tops the AL with a 1.35 ERA. ... Jonathan Papelbon threw 20 pitches on Wednesday night and 26 yesterday afternoon. He will likely not be available for tonight's game.
The Yankees lead the league with 6.5 runs scored per game. They scored six times in the bottom of the ninth yesterday to sweep Cleveland. The game-winning hit was Alex Rodriguez's 10th home run of the season (he is the first AL player to hit 10 home runs in his first 14 games).
Gerry Callahan predicts that Boston's third baseman in 2008 will be Alex Rodriguez. But he also thinks Slappy McBluelips's lips are pink, so how prescient could he be?