Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 3, Yankees 2 (10)
July, 29, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Boston Red Sox take two of three at Yankee Stadium, winning 3-2 in 10 innings on Sunday night. It is hard to imagine the Sox can catch the New York Yankees and win the division, but Boston could look back at Sunday's game as a big one if they eventually make the playoffs. The Yankees' lead in the AL East is still 7.5 games over Baltimore and Tampa Bay. The Orioles are in town for a three-game series starting on Monday.
D-ROB STRUGGLES: David Robertson came in and struggled during another important spot. After an eventful 10th, Pedro Ciriaco's bloop RBI single to right gave the Red Sox the lead for good.
EJECTED: In the 10th, Bobby Valentine and Josh Beckett were ejected after home plate ump Brian O'Nora missed the fact that Will Middlebrooks was hit on the wrist. In fairness to O'Nora, Robertson's pitch also hit him, making the play looking like a 7-10 split in bowling. Anyhow, Middlebrooks got a hit, so it didn't matter. It was entertaining to watch, as Valentine got animated and eventually threw his gum.
RUSSELL HAS MUSCLE: In the seventh against Sox lefty Felix Doubrant, Russell Martin cut Boston's 2-0 lead in half by going the opposite way for his 12th homer of the year. Martin has been pretty good against left-handed pitchers this season. He has been dreadful against righties.
With two outs and a man on second in the eighth, Valentine took out lefty Andrew Miller and brought in his righty closer, Alfredo Aceves. Martin's two-out RBI single tied the game at two.
FELIX FILTHY: Doubrant again pitched well against the Yankees. He has allowed just five runs in 18 2/3 innings versus the Yanks. On Sunday, he went 6 1/3 and only allowed the Martin homer. That was it.
PITCH-FOR-PITCH: Hiroki Kuroda pitched tremendously again. He gave up two runs in the second on No. 8 hitter Ryan Sweeney's double. But Kuroda put up zeroes the rest of the game. He went a total of eight innings, allowing just those two runs. His ERA is down to 3.28 on the year. CC Sabathia's is 3.57. A case could be made that Kuroda has been the Yankees' best starter this season.
FITTING IN: Just like his new teammates, Ichiro Suzuki has failed with runners in scoring position all season. He entered Sunday hitting just .169 in 97 at-bats with RISP. In the second and the fourth, Ichiro came up with men on first and second and two outs. In the second, he meekly grounded out. In the fourth, he weakly popped out. In the eighth, with the game tied, two outs and a man on second, Ichiro lined out to left.
Although Ichiro is not having a good year at the plate, you would think with his bat control he would be better in those situations. In his career, he has been very good in them -- prior to Sunday, he had a .324 career RISP batting average.
ON DECK: Ian O'Connor will have a column about Bobby Valentine. Valentine had some interesting things to say about the Yankees. Matt Ehalt will have the postgame blog filled. Look for a post-series video from ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes and me. On Monday morning, First Pitch is on the Yankees' former Olympian.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: What do you think of Robertson?