That team is decimated. They’ve lost some very significant people,” said [Curt] Schilling, who improved to 7-2. “We have to take advantage of that.
“Who’s playing for (Gary) Sheffield? Who’s playing for (Hideki) Matsui? That’s a drastically different team. That’s not a knock on any of the guys they’re running out there, but we’re talking about All-Star caliber players – Hall of Fame caliber players – that they’re playing without.
“We’ve got to take advantage of them now.”
(N.Y. Daily News)
That is exactly what Schilling and the Red Sox did last night as Boston drilled the Yanks, 9-5. Schilling’s 199th career win puts his team two-and-a-half games ahead of New York in the American League East (Toronto is three back). Other than a third inning rally which produced a run, Schilling dominated the Yankees, aided by double play balls in the fifth and the seventh. Schilling’s splitter was in fine form–he got ahead of hitters and then put them away.
Chien-Ming Wang wasn’t as sharp and he paid for it. With one out and two men on in the bottom of the third, Wang fell behind David Ortiz 3-0. It looked as if he was pitching around the Yankee Killer, but then Wang laid in a cookie to the Monster who promptly smacked it into left under the glove of a diving Terrence Long for a two-run double (not for nothing but Long looks like Claudell Washington and Oscar Gamble’s long-lost love child). Manny Ramirez followed and quickly fell behind 0-2 before Wang made another mistake–a meatball served up on a platter. Ramirez probably couldn’t believe his luck, and didn’t waste any time walloping the pitch into the center field bleachers.
“He looked like he tried to do something with Manny, something up, which is not his neighborhood,” Torre said. “It’s Manny’s neighborhood, but not his neighborhood, and he killed that ball.”
Wang settle down for the next few innings but was chased from the game in the seventh, and allowed seven runs in all. By the time the Yankees rallied for four runs in the ninth, the Sox already had a comfortable lead, as they cruised to a victory in the first of three at Fenway Park. Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez popped homers off Keith Foulke late, and whatta ya hear whatta ya say, Bernie Williams (the unbooable man) had another couple of hits. The Yankees are eager for Gary Sheffield to return to the line up tonight–he’ll have some kind of welcome back having to deal with Tim Wakefield’s floater.