The Yankees are probably very happy to be out of the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. After dropping the first two games to the Rays, they finally were able to escape with a win yesterday and end a nine-game skid in Tropicana Field which dated back to last season. What’s also good is that they’re not scheduled to play in that place again until September.
So what’s next for the Yankees? Oh nothing much, just a four-game series in Fenway Park. I’d really like to smack the person who scheduled this particular week for my team. Also, why haven’t the Red Sox visited New York yet? It’s July 5 and there’s been one series between the teams and it occurred in April.
This weekend’s series is a four-game set because of the rainout that on the last day of the April series. Remember that series? In case you don’t because it was so long ago, I’ll remind you.
The first game was the day of Fenway Park’s 100th Anniversary celebration. Boston trotted out about 250 former players before the game, both teams wore 1912 throwback uniforms and it was a glorious day…for the Yankees.
The Yankees won 6-2 thanks to a bunch of solo home runs including two by Eric Chavez. I’ll admit I found that game amusing only because such a big deal was made about the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park – and rightly so – but the Yankees kind of ruined the day by beating the Sox.
The following day’s game was one of those contests that should be etched in your memories because of how unbelievable it was. And I know it was way back on April 21, which might as well be last season at this point but let’s talk a walk down memory lane, shall we?
If you recall correctly, the Yankees found themselves down 9-0 going into the sixth inning because of a horrific start by Freddy Garcia. He lasted less than two innings and gave up five earned runs. Clay Rapada and David Phelps combined to give up four more – the last blow being a two-run home run by Cody Ross in the bottom of the fifth which seemed to put the final nail in the coffin for the Yankees.
Was it payback for ruining the previous day’s event? People probably thought so but they were wrong because this particular game was far from over.
In the top of the sixth, Mark Teixeira hit a solo home run. Just as Yankee fans were saying “At least it’s not a shutout!” and just when FOX switched its coverage to White Sox starter Philip Humber’s perfect game against Seattle, things became interesting in Boston.
Bobby Valentine replaced starter Felix Dubront with Vincente Padilla. This move paid off for the Yankees who were stymied by Dubront. What followed was pretty amazing to see, oh wait, we didn’t see it because we were watching Humber get his perfect game in Seattle.
Things started off well for Padilla, he opened the frame with a strikeout of Andruw Jones. Then, as they say, the wheels came off.
Russell Martin and Eduardo Nunez – remember him? – both singled and Derek Jeter walked to load the bases. Nick Swisher stepped in and hit a grand slam to cut the Red Sox lead to 9-5. Robinson Cano followed that up with a double, Valentine plucked Padilla from the game and summoned ‘Hey hey hey it’s Matt Albers’ to stop the proverbial bleeding.
Alex Rodriguez reached on a E6 and Mark Teixeira apparently felt his solo home run wasn’t enough and blasted a three-run home run over the mawnstah. It was now 9-8.
Fenway Park was stunned to silence and Yankee fans were just shaking their heads at what was happening. At least I was. Oh and I was also laughing really hard.
Albers was removed and replaced by Franklin Morales who surrendered a single to Curtis Granderson but recovered nicely by striking out Jones and inducing a groundout by Russell Martin. Now, if you are paying attention, you’ll notice that Andruw Jones made two outs in the same inning.
After Rafael Soriano gave up a double to Jarrod Saltaralphmacchia, he induced a groundout, a foul popout and he struck out Mike Aviles looking. No harm, no foul.
Everyone – myself included – thought the top of seventh inning was amazing but who could have guessed that the eighth would be even better?
In the seventh, the Yankees scored their runs courtesy of two big home runs. In the eighth, the scoring onslaught was executed with walks, singles and doubles. Three batters into the eighth, the Yankees had a 10-9 and Alfredo Aceves who came in to replace Morales after the first batter of the inning, was on the hook for the loss after blowing a save.
The Red Sox would have four pitchers appear in that eighth inning: Morales, Aceves, Justin Thomas and Junichi Tazawa.
Swisher and Teixeira both added to their RBI totals for the day – they both finished with six apiece – by hitting run scoring doubles. Russell Martin added his own double and two RBI and Derek Jeter singled in a run.
By the time the top of the eighth inning ended, the Yankees had a 15-9 lead – yes, the Yankees scored 15 unanswered runs in three innings to take the lead – and the Red Sox and their fans were, well, they were still stunned.
Can you blame them?
What was even worse for the Red Sox was that from the sixth inning on the Yankees bullpen shut them down. It was pretty much the exact opposite of what was happening with their own bullpen.
Why am I writing about this in such detail? Because as I mentioned before, the Yankees and Red Sox last played on April 21. And as Mark Teixeira tweeted earlier:
Yes, Mark we all think it’s weird.
I do understand why the schedule would be backloaded but it is a little ridiculous that the Yankees and Red Sox who face off 18 times a year have 16 of those games being played after July 4th. On a personal note, this is not good for my well being. How dare you MLB! Why don’t you think about how this affects me?!
I’m just kidding. Well, about MLB caring about me, not about my well being. This could be a really bad weekend for me. Honestly, it could be bad for all of us.