Well, before I get to the Yankees-Red Sox recap, I’ve got to let my thoughts be heard on a few other things that happened yesterday around the MLB.
Most baseball fans know Chase Utley. The second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s got that good defensive record, a strange power source from a second baseman, and a great mind for the game. Yeah, him. But he wasn’t playing in Sunday’s matchup between the Phils and Mets. Eric Bruntlett filled in for him and made his presence known in an unusual way. In a game that had so many unusual scenarios, Bruntlett made a play that only one other person has done before. But that was just the end of everything that happened yesterday.
The Phils scored six runs in the top of the first off of Oliver Perez. But Perez didn’t make it out of the first inning. He was facing Pedro Martinez, who was making his return to NY after being cut by the Mets this past off-season. Pedro had a 3-0 count and manager Jerry Manuel came out to pull Perez. An unusual happening. A pitcher getting pulled in the middle of an at bat. Strange.
Well, the Mets eventually got out of the inning. Then they had a little fun of their own. To lead off the bottom half of the inning, Angel Pagan hit a shot to the left center gap that sent Shane Victorino running to the wall. The ball got wedged under the wall and Victorino thought he could get away with calling it as a double. But the umps didn’t think it that way. The umps didn’t make the call and the left fielder picked it up and threw it in. This whole time, Pagan had been running the bases and wound up with an inside the park homer. The ball was wedged underneath the wall but it wasn’t so badly wedged that it would take some work to get it out and that it should have been a double. The umps made the right call. Strange.
Later in the game, Jeff Francoeur, the Mets’ right fielder, made a great sliding catch to rob Eric Bruntlett of all people of a base hit. At first the umps called Bruntlett safe as he went on to third as Francoeur was unaware of the call. Then the umps met and reversed the call after both Francoeur and Jerry Manuel argued the call. It was another crazy moment that was obviously a catch when the replay showed it. Strange.
Now, the biggest highlight of the game was Bruntlett’s play in the bottom of the ninth which ended the game. With runners on first and second, Jeff Francoeur (there seems to be a recurring theme of players being involved in multiple strange plays) stepped up to the plate. He hit a liner with a full count up the middle. With the runners in motion, Bruntlett had been moving to cover second base. The ball was hit right to him on a line. He snagged it, tagged second base, and tagged David Murphy who was on first at the start of the play. An unnasissted triple play to end the game, the first in the NL history, second in MLB history. Strange.
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OK so back to the Yankees-Red Sox game. Last night, the aces of the two clubs faced off in the rubber match of the series. It was set to be a great pitcher’s duel, as was Beckett’s and Burnett’s not to long ago. And it was a really good game. The Yankees opened up the game with two runs early. The first was on a Derek Jeter solo shot and the second on Hideki Matsui’s first shot of the night which was also a solo shot. The Yankees scored two more runs on the Red Sox in the third inning, neither on homers. Then, Robinson Cano homered in the fourth, and A-Rod homered in the fifth to drive in two more. Matsui hit the final Yankee homer in the eighth which was another solo shot. A home run barrage, as Yankees.com puts it, lit up the sky in Boston as the Yanks rolled to an 8-4 victory. Sweet Sweet Victory.
The Red Sox did score four runs but CC kept them at bay most of the night. The Yankees did jump on top early and that was a big advantage for them as the game went on. The Red Sox tied the score in the second but the Yankees went back ahead and never looked back. The Sox didn’t leave the yard once in the game, surprisingly. The lack of the long ball in a game dominated by the long ball is probably what did the Red Sox in.
CC finished the game with eight strikeouts as all his stuff was dominant. Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera were successful out of the ‘pen as they finished the game off. Beckett finished with five K’s on the night, not bad. He also gave up all five homers though. Not good.
So let’s take a look back at the series that was. Game One:
The Yankees score 20 runs against Brad Penny and the REd Sox. Another terrible outing for Penny who would later be pulled from the starting rotation to make room for Wakefield who is coming back soon. Another home run happy game sent many bombs flying through the Boston sky. The Red Sox had their fair share of runs too. They just weren’t able to make up for what the pitching let up. Too bad. They scored 11 runs.
The Red Sox stole the Yankees’ thunder for game two as they burst out with another 14 runs compared to the
Yankees’ Nick Swisher’s single run. Swish hit a solo shot to left to score the only run for the Yanks on the day. A very disappointing loss for the Yanks and a touche to the REd Sox was all that was in me for Saturday.
Then came game three which I just talked about. A very exciting series that was truly a back and forth one. Great to watch and I’m sure, as always, it was great to play in for both teams. No fights broke out which was good for the teams. I don’t think either could afford losing anyone right now, especially the Red Sox who are in the Wild Card race and don’t have that big of a lead anymore. It was a clean series that was fun to watch as a fan. Especially since the Yankees won.
Well everyone, I don’t really have anything much to write about today. No, it’s not because of writer’s block, it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s just because I am gonna give you all an awesome wrap up of the Yankees-Red Sox series that took place this weekend… the final of the season series.
Now, the big “Touche” at the top of this post was definitely in need of being said. The Yanks beat down on Brad Penny and the Sox in game one finishing with a score of 20-11. It was very fun to watch. It was as if every time someone came up to bat, the Yankees would get something positive out of it. It was that kind of day.
Now, yesterday’s game… not so much. The Red Sox basically stole the Yankees’ thunder and scored 12 runs against the Yankees’ 1 which came on a solo shot from Nick Swisher. It was funny too because right as Swisher was come to bat I told my dad that I would be really mad if the Yanks got shut out. Then, as if they had microphones inside my house… another story for another day… Swisher hit a bomb to left that invaded the Monster seats. That satisfied me enough to deal with the blow of defeat.
So, the touche was definitely appropriate and you can’t say I’m a sore loser for not giving the Red Sox props for doing what they did. Next up is the premier matchup of the series and what a way to close out the season series than to have the aces of both teams square off to see who takes home the final victory of the season.
CC Sabathia will go for the Yankees and Josh Beckett for the BoSox. It will definitely be a matchup for the ages and if it’s anything like the matchup between Beckett and AJ Burnett, which wasn’t that long ago, we will surely be seeing replays of it for many years to come.
Yankee-Red Sox games are the best out there. That’s a no doubter. But last night’s 15 inning odyssey proved to be one of the greatest of all time not only between the two teams, but also of all time among all the teams in the MLB. AJ Burnett and Josh Beckett both pitched for the champion Florida Marlins in 2003, along with Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell. Every time the Yanks and Sox face off it seems that the two former Marlins find their way to face each other. It seems that way anyway. They have been the marquee matchup of the series’ between the two teams pretty much every time this season, being Burnett’s first year with the Bombers. They both proved last night why they are the matchup to see. Neither threw a perfect game, neither had a phenominal number of strikeouts and neither started a fight by throwing at the other team. No, it was a 15 inning outing in which each guy went deep into the game, getting out of his fair share of jams, and keeping the intensity of the game at the high level that is expected of a Yankees-Red Sox game. It was truly a great game.
Now, ESPN Classics may already have many famous games from Yankees-Red Sox past airing over the channel. Well, this game will surely be airing over ESPN Classics in the future because this truly was a classic. I had a great time watching it and it was such a heart stopping game. That bomb that Josh Reddick almost hit late in the game had me on my toes, as well as my dad. If it was fair, the game could’ve been over, but the ball went foul and the game went on. That’s the kind of game it was.
The game went into extras, and of course, the game stayed scoreless or else the game would be over. Now, most games that go into extras will be over by the eleventh or twelfth innings, on average. But some games do go deeper and deeper than that. Neither the Yankees or Red Sox bullpens could put the other away and the offenses didn’t do their job in putting runs up on the board. That’s another reason this is an instant classics. It was a total pitcher’s duel. Not just the starting pitchers. But the bullpens got in on it too as they took over when the game went into extras. It was not until A-Rod hit a two run bomb off of Junichi Tazawa to put the game away. It was just that kind of game.
Now, Burnett did only give up one hit over his 7.2 innings of work. But he did walk six guys which I am not very pleased with. As many of you know, I despise it when guys give up many walks unintentionally. It is a free pass and there is no need for it. But anyway, the six walks and one hit pretty much matched up with Beckett’s four hits and two walks. So they were still pretty evenly matched as they left the game in the eighth inning. The bullpens did their job and kept the game going for a long time. I’m surprised neither of the managers pulled a position player and put him on the mound to pitch since each team went through so many pitchers. But it was a great game and a thrill to watch.
Classic Yankees-Red Sox action. It’s either going to be a blowout for each team, scoring runs every five seconds, a total pitcher’s duel that goes into extras (as it was last night), or an average game where each team scores a few runs and then a fight breaks out. It’s just how Yankees-Red Sox action goes. It’s like a story.
Sorry Josh. You had the stuff man, but my boy Curtis Granderson didn’t feel like going hitless for the night.
Josh Beckett was smoking hot last night. He had it all going on. He had a fastball that was clocking in at… well, I don’t know how fast it was but it was dominant. His curveball was filthy and his offense was giving him run support. All looked to be going well for him. So after about five innings, I start to notice that Mr. Beckett has a no-no going so far. He hasn’t given up a single hit to any of the Tiger batters. It’s about time Beckett has had an extremely dominant start.
Now, I’m not saying he hasn’t been good for the Sox this season, because he has, but his stuff that he used to have- his almost unhittable fastball, a nasty breaking ball, and just overall smarts for the game- hasn’t necessarily been there all year. He’s had some very good starts so far this season and has been a big part of the Red Sox success. But last night, he was pitching probably the best I’ve seen him pitch all season.
So back to last night’s game. He was STELLAR through six innings of work giving up only two walks. He struck out a handful of guys and were just making guys look foolish at the plate. Staring at curveballs that just plopped right into the strikezone. He was just nasty.
So along rolls the game and we get into the seventh inning. Beckett continues to pitch well and, my boy, Curtis Granderson steps up to the plate. Here is the current status of the inning.
Runner on first.
Josh Beckett threw a fastball with some tailing action that comes back in on Granderson and Granderson lined it into right field. The first hit of the game. Now, Granderson’s last at-bat ended in a strikeout as Beckett through a nasty pitch that just tailed back onto the plate, similar to the pitch that Granderson hit for the game’s first hit. Maybe that hit was payback for the strikeout???
Beckett still had a great game despite not throwing the no-no. I mean, c’mon. A no-no is extremley hard to throw. So many pitchers have had great games after their possible no-no, or even perfect game, was ruined. Earlier this week, Joba Chamberlain was pitching agaisnt the Indians. He was absolutely STELLAR as well. His fastball was dominant and his curve was also dominant. He had a perfect game going through four but gave up a homer to Victor Martinez. It happens. And last season, the Red Sox’s own Curt Schilling was one out away from a no-no when he gave up a single to Shannon Stewart. It ruined his game but he still had an excellent performance. It happens. It’s hard to throw a no-no or a perfect game. You still had a good outing though, didn’t you? Think about that.
Beckett ended the game having pitched 7.2 innings, striking out nine, and only allowing two hits and two walks. His performance helped the Red Sox defeat the Tigers 10-5. And isn’t that what every player’s job is? To help their team win. I’m pretty sure it is.
Now, my boy Curtis Granderson ended the game with some big stats. He went 2-4 with a base clearing triple. He was great.
The effort from Josh Beckett was fantastic. I always like to see guys in the MLB who work hard, and every day until they retire. They are the true baseball players. Beckett is one of the best in the business. He’s always working hard. And despite that Red Sox uniform he wheres, I still appreciate his hard work and his great play. It is what makes the MLB great. It’s what makes baseball great.