A Series Split..The Hard Way...Yankees 5 Red Sox 4
First of all, congratulations to the seven Boston Red Sox players who are going to the All Star Game...great job, guys. But last night, the New York Yankees salvaged a series split with Boston, winning the 10 inning game 5-4. Brett Gardner, who is now the starting leftfielder for New York until Johnny Damon returns, singled up the middle against Jonathon Papelbon to plate the winning run, and he went down and hit a darn good "put-away" splitter to do it. With the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays' seventh straight victory, Boston, who was one up on the Rays after their last home game, are now five games behind them. And that's tough.
Tim Wakefield again did not pitch poorly, going 6 2/3 innings and giving up 3 runs on 4 hits with only one base on balls. But the aforementioned bullpen gave the Yankees another run back in that seventh inning to tie it before the fateful 10th inning. Joba Chamberlin started for the Yankees and pitched six full, allowing three runs while mixing in 4 walks. We should have beaten him, but the lineup lacked it's usual punch without Manny (a day of rest, which he needed) and Big Papi. And it seems the grudge between Joba and Kevin Youkilis is still ongoing, for in the sixth inning, he threw a 95 mph fastball BEHIND Kevin. Maybe he was smarting after Youk stung him for two hits earlier in the game. The two tangled, completely legally, in a play at the plate before his "pitch with intent" sailed behind Youk's hip. He said this after the game, but wisely held his tounge when we all know he had SO much to say...
"Like I said, what I wanted to say I'm not going to say," the first baseman said. "It doesn't matter to me, we lost the game, and it doesn't matter what happened in this game other than we lost. It doesn't matter what happened within the game, we lost, we've got to win games."
Peter here, and Kevin is exactly right. The Red Sox have descended into their mid-summer "play .500 baseball" mode, and that's the reason why they are 5 games back of the red hot devilish Rays, who deserve to be exactly where they are...in first place with the best record in all of baseball. Let us hope that "win one lose one" modus operandi for our good guys will change, and change quickly, but the season moves on. Boston came back home late last night and will be ready to play three against the Twins before a Thursday day off and another three game set versus the Orioles. And then, the All Star break. I hope the Sox can win 5 of those 7. They sure need to. Here are those Twins pitching matchups...
Scott Baker (5-2, 3.65 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (9-1, 3.12) tonight
Nick Blackburn (7-4, 3.78) vs. Jon Lester (7-3, 3.21) Tuesday
Livan Hernandez (9-5, 5.18) vs. Josh Beckett (8-5, 3.70) Wednesday
Let's hope that Daisuke can rediscover the actual strike zone and go more than five plus innings. That's not asking too much, is it? I'm still a little bothered by last night's game, but I'll get over it. If you want to read more about Sunday night, just click on the title. And as always, thanks so much for stopping by and BE WELL. Forever, or as close as you can come to that.