I walked from my old apartment up to my new place this afternoon in the middle of the Yankee-Red Sox game. It was a great day to be out, and I was going stir crazy with all the boxes and packing anyhow. Our new place is a good 10 minute hike from the nearest subway station (238th street), and it is a 20 minute walk from my old pad. It’s not only a walk; it’s a hike. Way up a big hill.
When I returned, I watched Clemens pitch the seventh with the Yanks leading 8-2. Boston’s defense was terrible and it helped the Yankees out to the big lead. There were errors all over the place. Johnny Damon sat today after his Pete Reiser act yesterday. Manny Ramirez, out with the same flu-like sickness which sidelined Pedro, didn’t play again. (In fact, he didn’t show up to the Park it was so bad.)
Two runs came in for Boston and Clemens left with the bases juiced. The Boston crowd gave him an ovation, and after Clemens left the field he came back out and tipped his hat and the cheering got louder.
It was the classy kind of act that you’d expect from the Boston fans. Say what you want about them but they know their baseball. I wouldn’t expect anything less from them.
“It was exciting and that’s what it should have been,” Jason Giambi said. “The reason why they boo him is because they miss him. And Boston fans are just like New York fans. They love great players.”
Gabe White pitched the eighth and Nellie came on to pitch the ninth with a four-run lead. Two men reached on scorchers to Boone at third. He couldn’t handle either of them and two men were on with no out. Nellie came back to get the next two men out (which included a nice pick this time by Boone), but he couldn’t shut the door, walking the bases loaded. That was it for Nellie; Torre called for Rivera to get the final out. First batter: Nomar. Boffo time.
Even when the Yankees seem to have a comfortable lead, the Sox are always in the game, ready to pounce. Rivera had a dramatic outing on Saturday, but he handled Garciaparra effectively today for the final out of the game, striking him out on five pitches. Whoopee. Yankees win, 8-4. Clemens won his 13th on the year and his 100th career game at Fenway Park.
The moment the game ended, I addressed my apartment and said aloud, “It’s been real, you’ve been great. But on that note I can leave a happy fan and a happy man. C ya…”
The victory puts the Yanks 5 1/2 up on the Sox (6 in the loss column). The Sox lose ground in the wildcard race as both Seattle and Oakland won again this afternoon. The A’s have won nine straight and lead the M’s in the west by two games. Somewhere, a distracted Michael Lewis, who is currently following Ah-nold around the country, must be pleased. The M’s lead the Sox by a game and a half in the wildcard.
The Yanks head to Toronto to face Roy Halladay tomorrow afternoon. Welcome to Canada: Bon chance. Boomer Wells will try to pitch his way back out of the doghouse for the Bombers. The Sox head to Philly for a make up game with the Phillies. Next, they are off the Chicago to face the White Sox. That should be festive.
Jeter had to leave the game with a “slight” muscle tear on his left side. Giambi went 0-4, though he did hit the ball on the screws his last time up. Giambi is one of the worst slumps of his career; he hasn’t had a hit in over 20 at bats. Posada had a couple of more hits today, while Wilson started in place of Soriano again. Matsui isn’t hitting and Bernie is hot and cold. Boone is looking better and Nick Johnson is proving why Yankee scouts have been crazy for him for all these years.