On Saturday night, the Sox and Yanks added another thrilling match to their rivalry’s dossier.
The game was hotly contested for the first seven innings. The game was scoreless through 5 ½, before the Yankees broke through in the sixth on a Robinson Cano homer to left : NYY 1, BOS 0.
The Yankees added two more on a bloop single with two-outs in the eighth. Wagner placed a fastball on the inside corner, but Damon got just enough on it to bloop it over Pedroia’s head.
Damon’s single came about as the result of a botched pickle, where Chris Woodward dropped the ball while attempting to tag Brett Gardner at third. With one out at the time, the Derek Jeter strikeout that followed would have been the third of the inning, ending the rally with the Sox down just 1-0.
Instead, closer Mariano Rivera entered the game in the 9th with a 3-run cushion, instead of a razor-thin 1-0 lead. Still, the Sox were unable to plate either of their two 9th-inning baserunners and Woodward’s play was not an easy one either: he had to make a quick swipe to have any chance at putting out Gardner.
In the end, C.C. Sabathia’s pristine outing and the Yankees’ relief were too much for the Sox bats. If Boston has any hope of playoff success, they will have to find a way to hit the Yankees’ ace. One hit in seven innings is never enough, even with a quality start from Daisuke.
Today’s award for “Though I had success today, I swear I will make you hate me before this is over” goes to Daisuke Matsuzaka for allowing his alter-ego “Walksuzaka” to take the mound today. Though he threw 7 innings of one-run ball, Dice-K walked five, while striking out just three.
For next time, the Sox should work on getting the bat on the ball. With 12 strikeouts in 32 plate appearances, it is no wonder that the team was shutout.
6 ½ games up on Texas, eight games to go. The Sox should be able to close out the wildcard in the next few days – then they can turn their full attention to Anaheim.
With Lester apparently OK from last night’s scare, they should be at full strength for the playoffs. And, don’t fret, Sabathia won’t be this good every time out.
Next Game: Sunday, 1:05 pm at NYY: Paul Byrd v. Andy Pettitte