Rapid Reaction: Yankees 14, Red Sox 2
October, 3, 2012
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: The Yankees are the American League East champs and the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs after a 14-2 blasting of the BoSox on Wednesday night. They will open the postseason Sunday on the road, facing the winner of the wild-card game between Baltimore and Texas on Friday. Games 1 and 2 of the AL Division Series will be on the road, while the final three will be at Yankee Stadium.
Oh, and that chant they like to say about the Red Sox in the Bronx -- this year, it is true. The Red Sox finished with 93 losses.
OUTRAGEOUS: That describes Robinson Cano at the plate. It is almost impossible to hit better than he is right now. Going into Wednesday, Cano was an astounding 20-for-35. So what did he do his first three at-bats? He singled to lead off the second. Ho-hum. In the third, Cano sent a two-run homer into the night with another majestic swing. In the sixth, Cano added a two-run single. His six RBIs tied a career high.
If Cano continues this streak the rest of October, he might finally have a postseason he owns.
GRAND MAN: In the second, Curtis Granderson gave the Yankees the lead with a home run that was as high as it was far. It was a three-run shot to make it 3-1 Yankees. It was Granderson's 42nd homer of the year, which was one better than his previous career best of 41. For good measure, Granderson added No. 43 in garbage time in the seventh.
AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIThe Yankee Stadium scoreboard said it all.
TOO MANY HOME RUNS: The 245 homers for the Yankees this season break the franchise single-season record set in 2009.
A-ROD UPDATE: Alex Rodriguez has gone 68 at-bats without a home run. He didn't get one Wednesday, but he did have a double. It was his first double since Sept. 6. Rodriguez finished the regular season at .272 with 18 homers and 57 RBIs.
JETER METER: Derek Jeter went 1-for-4 to finish with an MLB-best 216 hits. He now has 3,304 hits in his career. When he starts next season, Jeter, 38, will be aiming at Eddie Collins (3,313 hits) and Paul Molitor (3,319). Collins and Molitor will spend this winter at Nos. 8 and 9 on the all-time hits list before Jeter passes them early in 2013.
GARDNER HITS: Brett Gardner pinch hit for Jeter in the seventh of the laugher. He picked up a single, his first hit since April 17. I think Gardner will be on the postseason roster as a pinch runner/defender/emergency outfielder.
SOLID WORK: Hiroki Kuroda has had trouble all year in the first inning, then he settles down and does well. Kuroda's 5.00-plus ERA in the first is by far his worst for any inning. In the first Wednesday, he gave up a Cody Ross RBI single. After that, he was pretty good, holding the Red Sox to just two runs in seven innings. Maybe Kuroda even had some fun out there. He finished the year 16-11 with a 3.32 ERA. He was basically everything the Yankees could have hoped for when they signed him.
NO DICE: The expectations were low for what was likely Daisuke Matsuzaka's final start as a Red Sox -- and he met them. Matsuzaka lasted just 2 1/3 innings with five runs, ending what can be described as a very disappointing Boston career. To think, the Yankees were upset they lost out on Matsuzaka five years ago.
COMING ATTRACTIONS: Ian O'Connor on Robinson Cano. Wallace Matthews on the Yankees' chances to win it all. I'll be on 98.7 FM in the 11 o'clock hour. Plus, we will have all the info from the clubhouse in the blog. Wally and I will shoot a video, too. Thanks for reading.
WHAT IS NEXT: The Yankees are expected to be off Thursday and hold a workout Friday before traveling to the wild-card winner Saturday and beginning the playoffs Sunday.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: How would you rate this Yankees regular season?