Red Sox - 400 000 021 - 7 8 1The first five Red Sox batters hit safely against Chamberlain -- Ellsbury single (and stolen base), Pedroia single, Ortiz RBI single, Bay 3-run home run, Lowell single -- before Joba (5.2-6-4-2-12, 108) settled down.
Yankees - 003 000 000 - 3 10 1
Beckett (6-10-3-1-5, 108), Okajima (6 batters, 6 outs) and Saito (a perfect ninth) made sure those four runs were enough on a rainy night in the Bronx.
Chamberlain benefited from a very wide strike zone and became only the fifth pitcher since 1900 to strike out at least 12 batters in 5.2 or fewer innings. Nine of his 12 strikeouts were on called strike threes.
In the fifth, at the same time he was dispalying such finesse, Joba drilled Bay in the back. It was obvious retaliation for Bay's first-inning dong, but the umpires did nothing. Beckett chose not to seek revenge tonight.
The Red Sox have won their first five games of the 2009 season against the Yankees. The only other seasons in which that has happened? 1912 and 1985.
In 1912, the Red Sox went 19-2 against the Yankees, winning their first 14 games against New York, including four victories in three days in mid-June by scores of 15-8, 11-3, 13-2 and 10-3. In 1985, Boston won the first five meetings, then dropped the remaining eight.
The Red Sox and Yankees will meet again at Fenway Park on June 9-10-11. The next series at Yankee Stadium is scheduled for August 6-7-8-9.
Josh Beckett (7.22, 70 ERA+) / Joba Chamberlain (3.13, 103 ERA+)
Beckett's last two starts have been crummy: 9.2 innings, 20 hits, 15 runs, 7 walks, 11 strikeouts, 13.97 ERA. Only Chien-Ming Wang would be pleased (giddy, even) at that level of performance [sic].
His season BABIP is .338, so there he's had some bad luck here and there. Mostly, though, he needs to start pitching again. Maybe tonight's match-up will inspire him.