Yankees - 010 030 011 - 6 9 3With the game tied 4-4, Terry Francona went with Daniel Bard to face New York's 2-3-4-5 hitters in the seventh inning, a Jamesian decision (aka the nearly universally misunderstood "bullpen-by-committee") that had his best available bullpen arm on the hill at the most important part of the game.
Red Sox - 102 010 000 - 4 9 1
Bard started by walking Nick Johnson, but then came back to get Teixeira on a pop to left (Ellsbury made a back-hand diving catch) before buckling Slappy with a nasty slider for strike three and fooling Cano on a change before jamming him with a fastball for an easy 4-3.
In the eighth, Posada hit a ground rule double to right off Okajima, but he could not advance to third as Gardner singled softly past shortstop and Granderson flew to the track in left. Scutaro should have closed the inning on Jeter's grounder, but his throw was low for an error that loaded the bases. Jeemer then walked Johnson on five pitches to force in the go-ahead run, dropping Boston's chances of winning from 47% to 26% (according to Fangraphs, above). Suddenly, Scott Atchison was in the game -- and it felt like the pen was simply punching the clock.
Youkilis singled to start the bottom of the eighth and moved up on an errant pickoff attempt, but the Sox could not move him past second base. Ortiz flew to center and Joba came on to fan Beltre (who had singled twice and lined out earlier, but here lunged at a pitch way outside) and Drew. Scutaro doubled off Rivera with one out in the ninth, but Ellsbury was caught looking and Pedroia flew to right.
Victor doubled, homered, walked, and drove in three runs. Ellsbury singled (with a stolen base) and doubled in his first two trips.
A.J. Burnett / Jon Lester
Burnett had a rough time in his three Fenway starts last season: 22 runs in 12.2 innings. He did quite well in his one Bronx start, but overall Boston worked him over for 16 walks, 23 hits (7 doubles and 6 dongs) and 23 runs in 20.1 innings. His WHIP was 1.918 (omg!!!).
Jacoby Ellsbury's glove was stolen during spring training last year. He borrowed one of Mark Kotsay's gloves for awhile, then bought a new one. Before Sunday's game, two MLB officials arrived at Fenway with a present. Someone tried to sell LBJ's glove on e-bay and MLB was able to get it back. Portland Press Herald: "When Ellsbury held his glove, he looked at it like it was a runaway dog come back."
So ... are the sports radio airwaves burning up yet? OPS+: J.D. Drew (36), David Ortiz (-25). And both with 0 RBI!
Minor league rosters: Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, Greenville.
Right out of the gate: one of the plays of the year.