Victor Martinez led off the second inning on Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium and CC Sabathia fell behind him, 3-1. On the Fox broadcast, Tim McCarver said that Martinez was probably looking for a fastball on the inside part of the plate. When Sabathia delivered just that, Martinez hit a home run over the left field fence. Adrian Beltre doubled and then Mike Lowell doubled Beltre home.
But that was the only scoring the Red Sox would do as Sabathia pitched eight innings and the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 5-2. Sabathia fell behind hitters in the early innings but found his way, throwing more off-speed stuff than gas. He had some help from the home plate umpire, Jerry Layne, who called some wide strikes, particularly to David Ortiz.
Perhaps the late afternoon shadows gave Layne as much trouble as it seemed to be giving the hitters. The Yanks tied the score in the bottom of the second when Curtis Granderson tripled home Lance Berkman and then Ramiro Pena, a last minute replacement for Alex Rodriguez who was accidentally struck by a line drive off the bat of Berkman during batting practice, grounded out but collected an RBI (Rodriguez is day-to-day).
Then, John Lackey went to work and looked impressive. The shadows were looking especially tough as Lackey cruised through the first two batters in the bottom of the fifth. But then four straight singles–Swisher, Teixiera, Cano and Posada–gave the Yanks the lead (man, does Cano ever look good swinging the bat these days). Pena’s RBI single in the sixth was the cherry on top. Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and the Yankees’ lead over Boston is back to six. Even better, the Bombers gained a game on the Rays, who were blitzed by the Jays this afternoon, 17-11.
So, for the moment, my nerves have settled. Curtis Granderson had a couple of hits, Pena had a nice game (despite making an error and looking uncomfortable at third), and even though Berkman went hitless, and got booed as a result, I think it’s just a matter of time before Fat Elvis starts hitting.
This was a game the Yanks had to have. AJ Burnett is on the hill tomorrow night and that won’t fill Yankee fans with confidence, but who knows? Maybe Burnett goes out and throws a gem. Hope is the thing with feathers, said Emily D. And that’s word to Todd Drew.
[Photo Credit: Mike Stobe/Getty Images]