Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Red Sox 4
August, 17, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
What it means: That even a sad exercise in nostalgia like Friday night's Yankees-Red Sox game can be entertaining. Five solo home runs by the Yankees and one timely single are enough to send Bobby Valentine's sad-sack crew to its sixth loss in its past 10 games and drop it 13½ games back in the AL East race. There was little of the old magic in the ballpark, as the Red Sox had one good inning in them -- the third -- and not much else in the 6-4 Yankees victory.
Nicky two-times: Nick Swisher belted two solo home runs, one from each side of the plate (for the 12th time in his career), and the second one provided an important insurance run in the seventh inning. Swisher now has 18 home runs and 69 RBIs and just might be making someone in the front office think long and hard about whether to bring him back on a new deal next season.
Nix Nox: Although the Yankees hit four solo home runs, one of the most important hits came from Jayson Nix, who delivered a single to right off reliever Clayton Mortensen in the sixth to drive in the go-ahead run. Bench players such as Nix and Casey McGehee have enabled the Yankees to continue to play well despite losing many key players to injury; since Alex Rodriguez went down on July 25 with a broken hand, the Yankees' three-headed 3B monster of Nix-McGehee -- and, mostly, Eric Chavez -- has combined to hit .389 with seven HRs.
Capt. Crunch: Derek Jeter's solo HR with two out in the fifth was not only his 10th of the season, it was the 250th of his career, tying him with Graig Nettles for ninth on the Yankees' all-time list. Next target? Jeter's old buddy Jorge Posada, with 275. It also tied the game at 4.
Home run derby: The Yankees hit five home runs off the Red Sox Friday night, the third time this season they have hit at least four home runs against Boston (April 20, a 6-2 win and July 7, a 9-5 loss) and only the third time they have done that against the Red Sox in the past 92 years (1920, 1961). Three of the first seven Yankee hitters went yard on Franklin Morales: Swisher, who hit No. 17 to left in first inning; Curtis Granderson, who hit No. 31 to right in the second; and Russell Martin, who followed with his 13th two pitches later. Jeter added his blast in the fifth and Swisher his second of the game in the seventh.
Generous Phil: Phil Hughes wasted no time in giving back the 3-0 lead his teammates had staked him to after two innings, and even though all four Red Sox runs in the top of the third were unearned, the same person was responsible for them: Hughes. He coaxed a sure double-play ball out of Scott Podesednik -- and then fired the ball into center field, leading directly to Dustin Pedroia's three-run homer that wiped out the Yankees' lead. Another key to the inning was the 10-pitch battle he lost to Jacoby Ellsbury, who drew a walk two batters before Pedroia's bomb.
Otherwise, all is well: Hughes pitched one awful inning and six excellent ones, allowing just two hits, both singles, to the 18 hitters he faced in every inning but the third. If Hughes can eliminate those meltdown innings, the Yankees might actually have something here.
Close call: The Red Sox came about 3 feet from tying the game in the eighth inning when Granderson ran down Pedroia's drive off David Robertson just in front of the center-field fence with a runner on second.
Saturday matinee: Game 2 of this three-game series is Saturday afternoon at 4:05 p.m. David Phelps (3-3, 2.53) faces LHP Jon Lester (6-10, 5.20).
- There are no games scheduled for today.