Coming the series, fans were conceding tonight’s game to the Boston Red Sox. Although to be fair, with the way A.J. Burnett has been pitching lately – i.e. nearly three months – coupled with the fact that he would be up against Jon Lester, it is a tad understandable why people would assume things wouldn’t work out for the Yankees. But I had a feeling all day that it was not going to turn how everyone thought it would.
AND I WAS RIGHT! NEENER NEENER NEENER.
Burnett made two mistakes. The biggest one was to Dustin Pedroia who hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth to put the Sox up 2-1. Other than that he was fine. Certainly a lot better than he’s been lately and his curve ball was sharp. He mentioned in the postgame that he was working on changes in his delivery and that he was getting more and more comfortable as the game went on. He only lasted five and a third innings but only gave up those two runs on five hits and had four strikeouts.
A sign of good things to come? Or a blip? We’ll find out.
The Yankees offense made Lester work early and were able to get him out of the game after five innings but only had one run to show for it. Their luck changed in the seventh when Daniel Bard came in to relieve Alfredo Aceves. Burnett’s battery mate Russell Martin hit a huge two run double to put the Yankees up 3-2. Chris Dickerson – who was pinch running for Andruw Jones – and Jesus Montero scored and Martin advanced to third on a bad throw. Martin also had a single in the sixth and finished 2-5. Eric Chavez followed with a single which scored Martin and gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead.
The Yankee bullpen combined for three and two-thirds innings of shutout ball. And the only hit given up by the bullpen came in the bottom of the ninth.
By the way is anyone else’s heart still stuck in their throat? Can we ever have a comfortable ninth inning against Boston? My goodness. Mariano Rivera made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. He gave up two walks – to Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Ellsbury – while getting Josh Reddick to fly out and striking out Jarrod Saltalamcchia. (Okay what is with all of the “J” names?) Marco Scutaro, who for some reason, always hits Mo hit a single to load the bases – and take a couple of years off everyone’s life. With the game on the line and Adrian Gonzalez at the plate, Rivera was able to settle down and strike Gonzalez out looking. Ballgame over, Yankees win.
So the Yankees escaped Fenway Park winning two out of three against the Red Sox and are now only half a game back in the AL East.
Rookie Jesus Montero finished 0-4 but he did score on Martin’s double after getting hit by a pitch in the seventh.
Mo’s Countdown to Trevor Hoffman: