Rapid Reaction: Yankees 7, Red Sox 3
July, 9, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The New York Yankees are in first place in the AL East by seven games at the All-Star break, after their 7-3 win Sunday night. They have the best record in baseball (52-33). And they just beat their fiercest rival, the Boston Red Sox, three of-four times at Fenway Park. Boston is 9½ games back.
WAS THAT THE CAPTAIN? In the first inning, Derek Jeter pulled a Luis Castillo on an inning-ending popup. It cost the Yankees a run and, if not for Ivan Nova, it could have been much more. In the second, Jeter could not cleanly field a slow grounder by Pedro Ciriaco. It was ruled a hit, but easily could have been an error. After a RBI double by David Ortiz, Nick Punto beat out Jeter's throw to first. Jeter charged the grounder, but could not make the throw in time. No error, but still. Again, Nova limited the damage.
OH, THAT WAS THE CAPTAIN: Jeter did end the first half in style at the plate with three hits, giving him 111 on the season, which ties him with Miguel Cabrera for the best total in the American League. He is hitting .308 at the break.
TRIPLE-THREAT: After failing twice with runners in scoring position, Alex Rodriguez hit a bomb of an RBI triple in the fifth. It was A-Rod's first triple since April 2010. It would have been a homer in most parks, but it ended up dropping in front of the 420-foot sign in the nook in right-center. Red Sox center fielder Ryan Sweeney ended up jamming his head against the wall. He stayed down for a while, but remained in the game.
WHO HITS MORE HOMERS THIS YEAR? A-Rod or Andruw Jones? Jones went yard again, hitting a seventh-inning two-run rocket. With his four homers over the past three games, Jones now has 11 on the year, or two less than Rodriguez. A-Rod, who entered the game with 300 at-bats, has more than twice as many ABs as Jones. By the way, Jones just missed hitting another one in the ninth as a near-homer was ruled foul.
WINNING: Nova went six innings and gave up two runs (one earned). He finished the first half 10-3 with a 3.92 ERA. Very strong.
JOE D, WATCH OUT: OK, maybe not, but Robinson Cano's ninth-inning double extended his hitting streak to 15, tying Jeter for the longest for a Yankee this season.
ON DECK:The first half was an utter success for the Yankees, I will write about it in a column.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: What did you think of the first half?