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Red Sox 8, Yankees 6- Curtis Granderson's Misplay Ends Yanks' Comeback Hopes

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If Grandy had handled Ciriaco's fly ball to center in the ninth, maybe this recap would be different.
If Grandy had handled Ciriaco's fly ball to center in the ninth, maybe this recap would be different.

The Yankees overcame a five-run fifth inning deficit to finally tie it up in the eighth, but a misplay by Curtis Granderson in centerfield with Jacoby Ellsbury on first base and one out in the ninth led to an RBI triple for Pedro Ciriaco against Rafael Soriano. The Red Sox tacked on another run on a sacrifice fly, and the final score was 8-6 in favor of Boston. The win was only Boston's second this year in eight games against the Yankees, so there's that.

Perhaps the Yankees should consider themselves lucky for being allowed to tie this game considering how shaky CC Sabathia pitched in his six innings of work. Boston jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning when Ciriaco and Dustin Pedroia lined singles to right, then were followed by doubles to the wall from Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks. Gonzalez in particular had a great night, notching three hits in five at bats, driving in four of Boston's eight runs. Three of those runs were scored when A-Gone blasted a home run to right-center field against Sabathia in the fifth inning. That homer made the score 6-1, Boston, and they had to be feeling fairly comfortable since starter Jon Lester does not give up many five-run leads.

Fortunately, the Yankees were facing the 2012 version of Lester, a schmuck with a meager ERA+ of 80 entering action today. The same young pitcher who dominated the American League from 2008-11 with a 135 ERA+, 3.43 FIP, and 20.9 fWAR is now the type of guy who gives up homers to Jayson Nix (a two-run shot into the short porch in right field) and Chris Stewart. Yes, Lester somehow found a way to turn a weak-hitting backup catcher into Mike Piazza. Well... without the weird blonde highlights. It was Stewart's first homer as a Yankee and the fourth of his career. His home run victim list now includes Pirates ace James McDonald (?), former Rockies ace Aaron Cook (??), 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (?!?!), and the previously acclaimed Lester (oh). Chris Stewart doesn't always hit home runs, but when he does, he chooses his targets well.

Nix's two-run homer in the fifth inning made the score 6-3, and the Yankees scored again on an RBI groundout from Derek Jeter. David Phelps pitched two great innings in relief of Sabathia, lowering his ERA to 2.59 and hopefully increasing his Binder bullpen ranking. Reliever Vicente Padilla entered the game in the eighth inning and gave up a pinch-hit single to Raul Ibanez. Jeter and Granderson followed with strikeouts, but at least neither hit into a double play since that allowed Mark Teixeira to engage "attack mode" against his nemesis. The Boston lead vanished into the night as Tex's drive settled deep into the right field bleachers.

Soriano entered the game in the ninth, got a quick out, then walked Ellsbury. Ciriaco followed with a drive to center field. Granderson (who almost tied the game himself in the eighth) was already playing shallow, and he took a step in the wrong direction. He redirected himself but stumbled backward and could not come up with the ball. It should have been an out, but it fell for a triple to give the Red Sox the lead. The Yankees went down in order in the ninth against former comrade Alfredo Aceves. The loss was a bummer, but Boston was probably due a win against the Yankees sooner or later. Just take the rubber match tomorrow and don't give them any ideas that they're back in the race. They are still 10.5 games behind in the AL East and behind all but four teams in the Wild Card.

Source: FanGraphs

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