Mets - 100 000 002 - 3 6 0Josh Beckett took another huge step towards reasserting himself as the ace of the Red Sox staff. Although it was his own error -- on a pickoff attempt -- that helped the Mets score in the first, it's still considered unearned. (8-5-1-1-5, 117).
Red Sox - 200 000 000 - 2 6 1
Boston returned fire in the home half, as Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia both singled (18-game hit streak for Lyndon!), then pulled off a double steal. After David Ortiz struck out, Kevin Youkilis lined a two-run single to left.
Both starters settled down after that and we had a nifty duel. Pelfrey ended up going seven innings (7-6-2-1-6, 111) and Beckett set down 12 in a row at one point, from the first to the fifth. He also got out of a sticky 1st/3rd, one out jam in the seventh, getting a strike out and liner to center.
Jonathan Papelbon walked Gary Sheffield on five pitches to start the ninth, but roared back to overpower and strike out David Wright and Jeremy Reed, both swinging. But then Omir Santos then drove the first pitch he saw -- 97 fastball right over the plate, maybe a little high -- off the small ledge on the Wall for a two-run home run, though umpire Joe West had to go look at some video before the actual call was made.
Down a run, Youkilis walked to start the home ninth and was forced by Jason Bay. That was a tough play for the Sox, as Wright made a nice backhand to get the ball, then Luis Castillo saved an errant throw at second while still recording the out. J.D. Drew lined out to right and Mike Lowell grounded to shortstop. Lowell's ball was deep in the hole and anyone else on the roster would have beaten it out. But alas.
The Yankees walked off with a 5-4 win over the Phillies and the Blue Jays lost to Atlanta 4-3.
The top of the AL East:
***Blue Jays 27 19 --
Red Sox 25 18 0.5
Yankees 25 18 0.5
Mike Pelfrey (4.61, 95 ERA+) / Josh Beckett (5.85, 84 ERA+)
Pelfrey balked three times in his last start, against the Giants last Saturday. Afterwards, he spoke with a sports psychologist who has helped him in the past:
The mind is pretty powerful, and it controls all your muscles and all those things. So if it happens, then I'll be able to -- in my own little way -- I'll be able to tell my mind what I want to do, and hopefully, all the muscles and everything follow that.Mets manager Jerry Manuel:
That's the way you try to solve things. If he said, "I don't have an issue" and continued to do that, then we've got a problem.In seven starts, Pelfrey has pitched 41 innings, allowing 46 hits and 17 walks, while striking out only 11.
Matchups: David Wright is 1-for-15 against Beckett. No Red Sox batter has ever faced Pelfrey. ... Also: Phillies/Yankees at 4; Blue Jays/Atlanta at 7.