Two Fridays ago, I was in this same spot trying to find the words to do justice to the surreal Boston-Yankee duel we had all just witnessed. I started my recap circa 2am since it took the Yankees nearly 6 hours to put up 1 run. But tonight they were a little less patient and managed to put down 23 hits/20 runs in less than 4 hours.
To underscore exactly how overwhelming the Yankees offense was tonight, YES just named their players of the game. In the words of my sister, "Is this real life? It looks like a multiplication table."
|Derek Jeter||3-6||2B, 2 RBI, 3 runs|
|Eric Hinske||2-4||2 2B, RBI, 2 runs|
|Mark Teixeira||3-5||2B, 3 RBI, 3 runs|
|Alex Rodriguez||4-4||3 B, 3 RBI, 2 runs|
|Hideki Matsui||2-6||2 HR, 7 RBI|
|Jorge Posada||2-5||2B. 2 RBI., 2 runs|
|Robinson Cano||1-6||2B, RBI, 2 runs|
|Nick Swisher||2-6||2B, RBI, run|
|Melky Cabrera||4-6||2B, 2RBI, 2 runs|
Two things about that:
1.) Awkard, Robbie.
2.) They couldn't have put Junior up there just for good measure? I mean, I know he was just the PH, but way to make him feel like Lucas, YES.
My sister continued her disbelief: "The most ridiculous part is that those are the numbers the players of the game are putting up of most other team. And the Yankees are fielding a whole roster of them."
If the 15-inning classic was a grade-A showcase of pitching brilliance, then tonight was its photo negative.
The Yanks were expected to rough up Brad Penny, but this was just absurd. And they didn't stop at Penny, either. The only pitcher who manage to escape the Rob Zombie-like nightmare of New York bats unscathed was Saito. The rest of the Red Sox bullpen wasn't as fortunate, as the Yankees essentially stuck a pump in their team ERA and inflated it enough to buoy a mid-sized country. (Michael Bowden saw his relief numbers go from a respectable 2.54 to a 15.75--Francona let him marinate in his mound misery for so long that it bordered on sadistic.)
Andy Pettitte's solid outing was actually the worst he's had in his last month or so of starts, which either says something about how good he's been, how staggering the offense was in support tonight, or how deceptive W-L can be. Girardi pulled him after he was tagged for 5, in your basic let-the-weaker-bullpen-guys-get-some-throws-in move.
Was I seriously worried when the Sox started "coming back"? No. But I was getting discernibly agitated with Brian Bruney, who was supposed to just be throwing a bullpen session, really gave Sterling some fodder for his ubiquitous "The Importance of Throwing First Pitch Strikes" thesis. Sergio Mitre wasn't much better, so maybe low-pressure situations just aren't in their wheelhouse.
The Sox put up 11 on 12 hits, which is more than the Nats have put up in August I think. So their hitting wasn't exactly frozen. And the fact they put up that many but lost is perhaps even more meaningful than if they had only scraped together 2 or 3:
The Red Sox aren't slumping. They're at home. They roped shots to every corner of Fenway, and even managed to knock two out in the 9th. (Good job, Mitre.) That kind of performance is going to amount to a win 9 out of 10 times. But the Yanks basically scoffed at those numbers...You call that an offense? We eat line scores like that up for BREAKFAST.
So there was the good and the bad, the methodically decent starter and the blubbering mess of one. The not-too-shabby offense, and the astounding one. And then there was everything in between:
- Umpire Joe West was either drunk or had made an executive decision before the game to call his strike zone using the same mentality Picasso used when painting.
- A flying bat into the stands went from being an awesome consolation prize/game souveneir to the Property of Fenway Security. I must have watched that highlight 29 times, and I'm still getting an enormous kick out of the fact the slighted/bruised fan's expression is a dead-on impression of Chunk in the Goonies when the Fratellis ripped his ice cream pint away.
- ARod going 4-4 in Fenway is just as gratifying as seeing him hit the first pitch of his season into the Camden bleachers.
- Jeter must be in the thick of one of, if not THE, greatest offensive run of his career.
- "Only" 2 long-balls in a 20 run game would imply that the boys were "manufacturing runs." But their flurries of hits rarely relented, and were punctuated by 9 extra base hits. Not exactly small ball. They manufactured like Kinkos.
- Jorge Posada reached first on a wild pitch after striking out...and I think the Red Sox will eventually point to that moment as when they could no longer wrap their heads around what was happening to their season.
- I'm relunctant to say word one about criticism after a game like this, but I'm going to do the compliment sandwich, Robbie: You made the YES players of the game list! Your fielding has been curiously bad lately, and corporate would appreciate it if you discontinued your practice of soaking your hands in french fry grease before taking the field. You were a lot more patient at the plate.
- As fatigued as the Yanks looked towards the tail end of their West Coast trip, that's how rejuvenated they looked tonight. I was admittedly concerned about their perceptible slowing, but apparently 1 day of rest is all this team needs to become a fully invigorated juggernaut again. Kinda like Zelda at the fairy pond.
They stunned the Sox tonight, which was exactly what they needed to do. Tomorrow they'll try to continue hammering at that nail when they pit A.J. Burnett up against Junichi "Yes, that was me who let up the 15th inning walkoff" Tazawa.
You think this is suffering, Sox? Huh?
You got no idea what suffering is.