Two things stick out in the standings. Wait, no, three things.
- The Yankees have sole possession of first place again.
- The magic number is now 2 to clinch the Division.
- Holy shit, the Red Sox are really 69-91 and 24 games out?!
This is exactly the game Yankees fans were hoping for this afternoon when the Red Sox lineup was posted.
Jokes were made about the Red Sox throwing the game. Even Boston’s beat writers were joining in on ripping on the lineup Bobby Valentine came up with.
It was a must-win situation.
CC Sabathia started things off with an eight-pitch two strikeout, first inning and the Yankees were on their way.
The Yankees, in a shocking turn of events, didn’t score any runs in the first inning which had been their specialty this year against the hapless Red Sox. Instead, they waited until the second inning tonight to drop a nine-spot on Boston.
Clay Buchholz started for the Red Sox but was not in the game as that second inning ended. He became the only Red Sox starter in the live-ball era to allow eight earned runs in fewer than 2 IP against the Yankees.
Cano’s was one of the longest hit at the new Stadium, Martin’s was reviewed – and upheld – and Teixeira’s was his 24th of the season. Oh and Cano, just for good measure, added a double in that second inning. He finished the night 3-5, all three were extra base hits.
Sabathia earned his 15th win of the season and thanks to a strong eight-inning performance, reached the 200 inning plateau. He gave up two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strike outs.
From Jeff Quagliata, research guru for the YES Network, “CC Sabathia one of just 2 pitchers since 1995 to throw 200 innings in 28 or fewer starts – the other was Cliff Lee in 2010.”
Freddy Garcia came in to finish the game in the ninth and induced two ground outs and struck out one batter.
The Yankees victory coupled with the Orioles’ loss in Tampa helped to give the Yanks a one game lead (again) in the American League East with two to play. The magic number is down to two.
In a cute moment, Melky Mesa came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning and hit an RBI single – his first major league hit – which scored Eduardo Nunez. While he was running to first, the YES Network cameras caught Eric Chavez yelling, “Touch the base!!” from the dugout.
That guy Brett Gardner, remember him? He actually came to bat in the ninth, ahead of Mesa. He ground out but advanced Nunez to second. The good news is he didn’t break!
- Yankees have scored 9 or more runs in three of their last four games.
- Alex Rodriguez tied Stan Musial for 5th on the All-time RBI list with 1,950.
- Granderson and Martin hit back-to-back home runs in that explosive second inning. It was the 12th time the Yankees have done that this season.
- Nick Swisher hit the 250th double of his career.