Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 4, Yankees 3
September, 11, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
What it means: That you reap what you sow. Playing a last-place team in a game they needed to win, the Yankees squandered eight free baserunners, scoring just three runs thanks to 1-for-12 hitting w/RISP in a 4-3 loss. Meanwhile, the Orioles keep on winning -- 9-2 over the Rays tonight -- which means we're back to square one in the AL East race with 21 games to go.
Houdini shackled: Inexplicably asked to get six outs, David Robertson could get only four, and takes the loss on a three-hit ninth inning capped by Jacoby Ellsbury's game-winning single. It was only the third walk-off win by the Red Sox all season.
A lonely Hiro: Once again, the Yankees gave Hiroki Kuroda the bare minimum of support -- three runs, their average over his past nine outings -- but Kuroda wasn't at his best either, allowing eight hits in 6 1/3 and coughing up the two slim leads that he was given.
Capt. Clutch: Jon Lester was wilder than a Charlie Sheen bachelor party, but the Yankees couldn't make him pay until the sixth inning, when Derek Jeter's ground-rule double, that plunked down just inside the right-field line and one-hopped into the crowd, scored two runs, including Curtis Granderson, the beneficiary of Lester's seventh walk of the game. Jeter's hit gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead and sent Lester to the clubhouse buffet.
Small ball: The Yankees' two-run sixth inning was helped immensely by Jayson Nix's sacrifice bunt that advanced Granderson and Andruw Jones (single) so Jeter could bang them in.
Micro ball: The first three Red Sox batters of the seventh bunted, and two of them reached base. Ryan Kalish bunted into the air but the ball dropped between Jeter, Robinson Cano and Kuroda and became an infield hit. Pedro Ciriaco's sac bunt was misplayed by Russell Martin, giving Boston runners at first and second with none out. Mike Aviles fouled off his first two bunt attempts, then went to swinging away, and struck out. But Ellsbury topped a grounder between Boone Logan, who didn't move, and Nick Swisher, who went for the ball and didn't cover first, to load the bases without a ball leaving the infield. But the Yankees escaped disaster when Swisher redeemed himself by snagging a grounder and firing home for the forceout and Joba Chamberlain got Dustin Pedroia to pop out to the infield.
Dustin the machinery: Pedroia, Yankees nemesis, made a nuisance of himself again tonight, driving in the Red Sox's second run of the game with a third-inning single, and, after the Yankees had taken the lead in the top of the sixth, knotting it up with a home run over the Monster in the bottom of the sixth.
Walks to nowhere: The Yankees got six walks out of Lester in the first five innings but got only one run out of it when Jeter, who walked to lead off the game, scored on Cano's groundout. Worst example: The first two batters (A-Rod, Cano) walked to lead off the third, but Martin and Steve Pearce struck out and Granderson grounded out to strand both. Yankees were 0-for-9 w/RISP in the first five innings.
Off the schneid: Swisher's first-inning double snapped an 0-for-28 skid. He hadn't had a hit since Sept. 2. Then in the ninth inning, he ended another hitless streak -- 0-for-3 -- with a one-out single.
Oh, NunEEEEE!: Eduardo Nunez, inserted into the game as a pinch runner for Swisher in the ninth, got himself thrown out stealing with A-Rod at the plate and Cano waiting on deck. And by Ryan Lavarnway, of all people, who had thrown out just one of 21 previous base stealers this season.
KKK-Rod: After having four good games in a row, Rodriguez got the hat trick tonight -- three strikeouts -- one of which stranded Jeter at second and two of which ended innings.
Boston Public Library: That's what Fenway Park sounded like tonight. More empty seats and less enthusiasm than I've ever seen for a Yankees-Red Sox game. They barely had enough energy to boo A-Rod.
What's next: David Phelps (3-4, 3.55) faces RHP Aaron Cook (3-9, 5.17) tomorrow in Game 2 of this three-game series, first pitch at 7:10 p.m.