Mark Teixeira hit a three-run home run in the first inning against Felix Doubront and it looked like the Yankees were going to simply pick up where they’d left off earlier this afternoon. But the Yankees played a flat, careless game, committing four errors, running the bases poorly and letting a band of Red Sox scrubeenies (plus a couple of stars) put it on them.
Skinny, dark-skinned fella named Pedro Ciriaco, wearing an offensive lineman’s number (77), played a beautiful shortstop, got three hits, including the go-ahead knock against Phil Hughes, and later stole a base and trotted home on a throwing error by Russell Martin. From where I sat it was hard not to be pleased for the guy.
After the dinger to Teixeira, Doubront pitched well while Hughes slowly unraveled. He wasn’t terrible but the bases loaded double by Ciriaco in the sixth chased Hughes, who allowed five runs. A solo home run by Andruw Jones narrowed the lead to 5-4 but then Corey Wade, called up from the minors for the weekend, tried putting out the fire with gasoline and by the time Joe Girardi mercifully pulled him from the game, the Sox were well ahead, a 9-4. Every batter hit the ball hard against Wade, even Nick Punto.
And so a game that was there for the taking turned into a laughter for the home nine. Course, since the Sox came into the game a .500 team and their team has suffered through critical injuries this season, and since their luck has been doo doo for more than a minute now, things had to get sweaty.
The Yanks loaded the bases with one man out in the eighth and Vincente Padilla, that cartoon Bad Guy came in to face Andruw Jones. Threw him one pitch: a fat, juicy meatball. And Jones, three homers on the day, missed it, because baseball is cruel n shit. Popped it up in foul ground for an easy out. Then Padilla got pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez to pop one up a few feet away from where Jones’ ball went.
Some times the bad guy wins.
Final Score: Red Sox 9, Yanks 5.
It was a lousy way to end a long day. The Yanks will take the split, however. And they’ll look to Ivan Nova to give them a good performance tomorrow night. Losing the final game before the break would be a drag. Still, it wouldn’t be a catastrophe and the Yanks have played a damn good first half of ball, never mind the injuries, the high ERAs or the low batting averages. Who cares how it looks? The standings is what counts and they’re doing all right.
[Photo Credit: deification and Jim Rogash/Getty Images]