Well, I’ve had a gnawing feeling about this weekend for a few days now. The Red Sox lose Kevin Youkilis for the season, the team is reeling, trailing the Yanks by six games coming into the series, and yet, all these signs did nothing to soothe me. In fact, they only encouraged my irritation. Which is how it goes for the true baseball neurotic, doesn’t matter that I root for the Yankees, doesn’t matter that they’ve got the best record in the baseball. Nuts is Knuts and I plead guilty.
Right on cue, Javier Vazquez came up small, serving up a 3-2 cookie to David Ortiz in the first inning that Ortiz promptly deposited over the center field fence. In the second, Vazquez and Francisco Cervelli let a harmless pop-up drop (Cervelli dropped it but Vazquez didn’t help matters any–they looked like a Benny Hill routine minus the laughs). Then Vazquez walked the ninth place hitter and the struggling Jacoby Ellsbury and when the smoke cleared the Sox had scored three more runs.
And Yankee Stadium was virtually silent–a mausoleum.
Mark Teixiera stayed back and waited on a curve ball in the bottom of the first and hit a two-run home run. After that, Clay Buchholz settled into a groove. Thanks to a throwing error by Marco Scutaro, the Yanks put runners on first and second with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth. Curtis Granderson, whose entire season appears to be fouling good pitches off and then bouncing out to second or popping out to center, smacked a line drive, hit in on the screws, right at Mike Lowell at first. Double play.
Alex Rodriguez fisted an RBI single to left the following inning, pulling the Yanks to within one run, but Vazquez, again, seemingly on cue, gave up a two-run home run to Ryan Kalish, who will later drink his first beer and pop his cherry with a 12th Avenue Jackie.
Vazquez pitched good enough to lose; Buchholz, good enough to win. Yankee fans sat on their hands. With AJ “Putting Out the Fire with Gasoline” Burnett and Dustin Mosley set to pitch two of the next three games, CC Sabathia cannot afford to lose tomorrow. This could be a long, frustrating weekend at the bright, shinny mallpark in the Bronx.
Final Score: Red Sox 6, Yanks 3. The Sox now trail the Yanks by five games.
The good news? I get to feel righteous about being right, at least for one night. Wait, that’s not good news. The Rays lost, right, that was the good news.
Back tomorrow for more fun–especially since the game will be televised on FOX. Get ready for another four-and-a-half-hour affair to remember.