Final, Red Sox 8-3: Wheeler works a relatively harmless ninth, and almost seven hours after our supposed start time, the Red Sox win.
And with that win, the Sox complete their second sweep of the Yankees in New York this season, and improve to 8-1 on the year against the Bombers.
Boston actually becomes the fist team since the 1990 Oakland Athletics to sweep the Yankees twice at Yankee Stadium in one season.
That A’s team actually downed the Red Sox to win the American League pennant, advancing to the World Series before succombing to the Cincinnati Fighting Marge Schotts. So there’s that.
The win runs the Boston winning streak to six and gives them a 36-26 record. After that dreadful start business, the Red Sox have the best record in the AL and the third-best mark in all of baseball, just a few percentage points behind Philadelphia and St. Louis.
Bot 9th, Red Sox 8-2: With the six-run lead, Dan Wheeler will pitch the ninth for the Red Sox.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 8-2: As the esteemed Mr. Lee turned things over to myself, the Red Sox were busy getting to Marquez.
Marco Scutaro joined the hit parade, ensuring that every Red Sox starter would have at least a “1” in the hit column in (today’s) paper.
Adrian Gonzalez followed by promptly roping a double to right-center, an act that looked all too easy. Well, actually, when you consider it was a ball right down the heart of the plate at the belt, it probably was pretty easy.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-2: Matt Albers works his way through the meat of the New York order, getting us to the ninth and sending me off into the sunset.
I have to catch a 2:40 a.m. train (yes, they have those). Mike Cole will carry you through the rest of it. He’s been warming up since 9:00, so you’re in good hands.
I’ll be back with you for the start of the Toronto series tomorrow.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-2: Jeff Marquez comes on and gets the Red Sox in order in the eighth. It’s now Matt Albers’ game. We may see him throw two innings.
Josh Beckett goes seven, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks. He struck out six. No damage on the board after Curtis Granderson’s two-run shot that came with no outs in the first. Solid, solid effort.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-2: Derek Jeter picked up career hit No. 2,990, but that’s about all there was for the fans to cheer about in the seventh.
Josh Beckett primed to improve to 5-2. The pen may handle these final six outs. We’ll see.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 7-2: Well then.
The Red Sox send 11 men to the plate in the seventh, rip eight hits and tie a season high with seven runs. And with that, fans who waited through a three-hour, 27-minute rain delay and then watched over two hours of solid baseball by the Yankees, are pouring out of this place.
A truly damaging series for New York. A wonderful one for the Red Sox, despite the few physical issues on their end.
12:46 a.m.: The seventh inning has been like a slow bleed for the Yankees. Six hits have produced four runs, the last coming on Adrian Gonzalez’s base hit up the middle to score Jason Varitek.
That is the end of the night for CC Sabathia, whose line will not do him justice. David Robertson is on with two outs, runners on the corners and Kevin Youkilis up.
12:44 a.m.: Jacoby Ellsbury grounded a ball through the hole into right field to score Mike Cameron and the Sox have taken the lead.
12:39 a.m.: The Red Sox have used a single (Ortiz), a triple (Lowrie) and a double (Cameron) to tie it. A single by Jason Varitek has put runners on the corners with just one out. Jacoby Ellsbury up.
End 6th, Yankees 2-0: Josh Beckett looked about as good as he has all night in striking out Alex Rodriguez on three pitches. Fastball. Curveball. Cutter. See ya.
But Beckett then gave up a bloop double to Robinson Cano and walked Nick Swisher before falling behind Jorge Posada 2-0.
Posada hit a little bleeder up the first-base line that curved foul and then swurved back into fair territory and into the waiting glove of Adrian Gonzalez. See ya.
Mid 6th, Yankees 2-0: That’s eight straight retired by CC Sabathia since he hit David Ortiz with a pitch.
Josh Beckett is at 77 pitches as he takes the mound. The bullpen, while limited to just five available guys, is rested.
End 5th, Yankees 2-0: It took hours of waiting, but this one has come as advertised. Josh Beckett and CC Sabathia have combined to give up just four hits, and only one — a Jorge Posada single — has come since the second inning.
Of course, there have been four hit batters. Curtis Granderson was the third of the night against Beckett, taking one off his left foot. Granderson then got thrown out by Jason Varitek trying to steal second for the final out of the inning.
Mid 5th, Yankees 2-0: CC Sabathia is at 76 pitches through five scoreless. As mentioned before, this is the kind of night when he will be given the chance to empty the tank.
The Yankees don’t have any days off for a bit, but they also have a bullpen in tatters. Sabathia helped his cause by throwing a pretty quick scoreless fifth.
Josh Beckett, meanwhile, heads to the hill having thrown 63 pitches.
End 4th, Yankees 2-0: A single by Jorge Posada is erased when Brett Gardner hits into a 3-3-6 double play.
That’s another assist for Adrian Gonzalez, who entered the night leading the AL in those among first baseman.
Mid 4th, Yankees 2-0: Yankees fans got what they wanted. CC Sabathia hits David Ortiz with a pitch in the right thigh, perhaps ending this whole charade.
Sabathia did it the right way. No need to go upstairs and touch anything off. The Yankees need to get a win, he “needed” to hit a guy, but didn’t want those two needs to get in the way of one another.
Both sides were warned by Hunter Wendelstedt.
The next big roar in the inning came when Sabathia worked out of the two-on, one-out jam by getting Jed Lowrie to fly to right and Carl Crawford to pop to the catcher.
Great shot of Ortiz smiling as he strolled down to first after the HBP. It also took him roughly 26 minutes to reach the bag. Never before and maybe never again will you see a player with more outward swagger than Ortiz, and he never seems too over-the-top…except on that HR the other night, at least to Joe Girardi.
End 3rd, Yankees 2-0: That was about as eventful an inning as any I’ve ever seen without a run being scored.
With one out, Derek Jeter flew to Mike Cameron, who hauled it in for the second out. Or did he? First base umpire Brian Knight ruled that he dropped it, although replays clearly showed it came in the transfer.
Jeter tried to take advantage of the gift by stealing second and Curtis Granderson walked. One out later, Josh Beckett hit Alex Rodriguez square in the hip, touching off another sharp chorus of boos.
We will see if anything happens. Again. That’s five hit Yankees, none for the Sox, in the series. Jeter, A-Rod, Cano and Teixeira among those with HBPs.
Mid 3rd, Yankees 2-0: Seeing some really nice defense on both sides early in this one.
Robinson Cano made a great play to get Jason Varitek on a slow roller past the mound. If it was anyone other than Varitek, it’s a hit, but still a good job by Cano.
After a walk to Jacoby Ellsbury, Derek Jeter started a 6-4-3 double play on a ball that hit the lip of the grass and scooted on him. Interestingly enough, it was Marco Scoot-aro who hit it.
CC Sabathia has allowed three men to reach so far. It’s been Ellsbury twice and Carl Crawford once, exactly the guys you want to keep off the bases.
End 2nd, Yankees 2-0: We saw Brett Gardner and Tim Wakefield in an awkward encounter at first base last night.
This time, Josh Beckett has to try to beat Gardner to the bag. He succeeds, maybe by an inch or so. Gardner wasn’t entirely pleased with the call, but he should be happy he didn’t get kicked in the head like he did by Wakefield.
Carl Crawford made a very nice running catch in foul ground earlier in the 1-2-3 inning.
Mid 2nd, Yankees 2-0: A single by Carl Crawford gives the Red Sox a mini-threat, but a weak tapper to Alex Rodriguez ends it.
David Ortiz saw nothing too far inside against CC Sabathia, who finished him off with a nasty slider.
I was reminded that the ump may have the ability to throw a pitcher out without warning if the intent is obvious, or deemed so. Perhaps Sabathia gets someone later in this one. No need to risk ejection in the second. Maybe it won’t even happen. Just speculating.
End 1st, Yankees 2-0: The Yankees were in dire need of a good start in this one. They get it with a two-run homer by Curtis Granderson, which came after Josh Beckett hit Derek Jeter with a pitch. That won’t sit all that well on the New York side of things.
What makes the Granderson homer more notable is that it reversed some recent trends that heavily favored Boston. Beckett had yet to allow a run in 14 innings against the Yankees this year. That was nullified before he could record an out.
Also, Granderson, arguably the offensive MVP for New York, was in a miserable slump. He was 0-for-9 with five strikeouts in this series and 2-for-24 with 12 Ks in his last six games.
Beckett got the next three in order after the homer, although Alex Rodriguez sent Jacoby Ellsbury to the wall in left-center.
Much has been made of the fact that David Ortiz has never been hit with a pitch by the Yankees. Jeter has taken 23 to the body vs. the Sox, including the postseason. He has been around longer and is over the plate a lot, but it’s worth noting.
It’s also worth noting that Ortiz leads off the second. Is it coming?
Mid 1st, 0-0: Last night, Jacoby Ellsbury singled, stole second and went to third on Francisco Cervelli’s throwing error. It set the stage for a three-run first for the Red Sox.
With CC Sabathia on the mound, such miscues are easier to overcome for the Yanks.
Ellsbury singled once again, improving to 17-for-46 (.370) in the first inning this year. But Sabathia got Marco Scutaro on a weak pop and fanned Adrian Gonzalez on three pitches before Ellsbury made his 180-foot dash.
With Ellsbury dancing off third, Sabathia struck out Kevin Youkilis.
Cervelli is a nice little sparkplug kinda guy, but man is he a mess behind the plate. Had 13 errors, tied for second in the majors, in just 90 games last year. Already five in 13 games this season, three in the last two nights.
10:29 p.m.: And adding to the 9:37 p.m. post, we have word that Clay Buchholz was not able to fly out ahead to Toronto. That will put a guy with a creaky back and a poor night of rest on the mound in Rogers Centre in 21 hours or so.
10:23 p.m.: Forgot to pass along this gem from Girardi earlier on, which ties into the prior post.
When asked about needing a victory tonight, Girardi said: “I think it’s important to win. I do. It’s frustrating to lose five games in a row to our biggest rivals. That’s frustrating.
“We need to win. I think there’s a lot of pride and you don’t like having your pride put down.”
10:15 p.m.: When this thing finally gets going, at least we will be treated to a pretty special pitching matchup.
And while many of you reading this are more interested in Josh Beckett, this is a monster start for CC Sabathia.
The term “ace” is often thrown around rather liberally, but it is a perfect word to describe Sabathia. He seems to give the Yankees clutch efforts in situations when their bullpen is spent or the team is struggling, as is the case tonight.
Joe Girardi will lean very heavily on Sabathia in this one. The big lefty has yet to throw as many as 120 pitches this year (did it just twice in 2010, amazingly), but he will get every chance to get every out.
9:59 p.m.: OK, they have officially removed the tarp now. No more lingering on that end. Have to say, the crew here shows none of the hustle that the one in Fenway does.
Seriously. That isn’t just a Boston is better statement. We’ve seen games begin 30 minutes after the tarp comes off at Fenway multiple times, and the grounds crew is racing this way and that to get it ready. A lot of slow walking going on here right now. Come on!!!!
9:52 p.m.: Since about 6:00 p.m., when the teams left the field and yielded to the grounds crew, we watched an entire soccer game on the TVs in the press box and half of a basketball game.
Finally, at 9:52, a baseball player has been seen. Cheers for CC Sabathia as he strolls to the Yankees bullpen. Josh Beckett can also be seen throwing aside a tarp that has yet to be rolled up…not sure what that means.
9:37 p.m.: The crew is in the process of taking off the tarp. It will take a bit to get the field ready and then we can finally play. 10:30-ish is the estimataion, and yes, I just began a sentence with a number.
This has the potential to really hurt the Red Sox. Remember when they won five straight on their last road trip before a rainout and a doubleheader in Detroit and then a late arrival back home. They were then swept by Chicago in Fenway Park and admitted that they were gassed.
Also, both Saturday and Sunday games are in the afternoon, so the baseball will be bunched together. Four games in about 60 hours in two cities.
9:25 p.m.: Sipping on what is usually my sixth-inning coffee (a hallowed tradition), the crew is mobilizing to take off the tarp. Perhaps we will get this one started before the West Coast games get going.
8:35 p.m.: If you want to have some fun at the expense of yours truly, click here and take note of the first guy on this list of managers in “ideal situations.”
Your belly laugh should last until this rain delay is done. Or not. It’s absolutely pouring here.
8:11 p.m.: The official word on Dustin Pedroia is this: bone bruise in his right kneecap, will be in Toronto on Friday.
That is great news for the Red Sox and Pedroia. While it may linger and hinder him from time to time, he now knows that he can play his style without causing any further harm. Expect him in the lineup against the Blue Jays.
7:53 p.m.: And here comes that second line of storms. The skies just opened and all the fans that had returned to their seats scampered back to safety.
This may be around for an hour or two.
7:40 p.m.: There was an announcement. It basically consisted of “We expect to play a game at some point.”
A look at the doppler shows some red and yellow stuff (i.e. bad stuff) coming through in a bit.
7:35 p.m.: Rain is not falling here. At all. They must be expecting more, after which we’ll get this thing going. I think.
7:20 p.m.: Sorry for the lack of official word, but we are in a rain delay. You probably knew that by now. It appears as if the wet stuff will roll through for another hour or so, but it could be even longer than that.
Updates when we have them.
6:25 p.m.: This isn’t meant to serve as a downer, trust me. But it’s interesting to note how the Red Sox’ early success against the Yankees this year is following a very notable trend in recent years.
It was 2002 when the series between these teams evened out in remarkable fashion (Boston owns an 88-87 edge in that time), the time of the year has played a big part in what happens.
Including ’02, the Red Sox are now 52-36 vs. the Yankees before the All-Star break and 32-49 after it. It’s a pretty remarkable contrast. That doesn’t mean New York is going to sweep the meetings in August and September, but there is precedent for it.
It is hard to say what contributes to this. One might think injuries played a part, but the 2010 Sox were one of the few editions that reversed the trend. They were 3-5 before the break, 6-4 after it. Perhaps the Yankees have a few more players who break out late (Mark Teixeira comes to mind) and the Sox have the opposite (Kevin Youkilis comes to mind). In any event, it’s a large enough sample to make one think.
5:45 p.m.: It feels a bit like a MASH unit down here. All we are giving are medical reports, from both sides of the diamond.
In addition to the Pedroia, Saltalamacchia and Lowrie updates given a bit earlier, Franklin Morales was seen leaving the clubhouse to go meet his Pawtucket teammates in Norfolk.
Morales, a bit of a forgotten man right now, will throw a rehab outing Friday and again Sunday. If all goes well, he will be activated during the Tampa Bay series next week.
Also seen leaving the clubhouse was Clay Buchholz. He was bumped from Wednesday to Friday because of a sore back and has used the extra two days to his advantage.
“He’s ready to go,” Terry Francona said.
Francona added that Buchholz has been getting “a ton of treatment” on the back. He didn’t say that in an alarming way, but simply to suggest that the staff has been on top of it and nobody expects Buchholz to have any further issues. We will certainly be watching with interest Friday at Rogers Centre.
On the New York side, catcher Russell Martin remains sidelined with back pain of his own. Joe Girardi does have Jorge Posada back tonight, so he will be the backup to Francisco Cervelli. Martin was out last night and Posada was attending to family matter, so Cervelli was all the Yankees had.
When Cervelli took a foul ball in the ha-has, it was a scary sight for Girardi. That is, until everyone realized it was just a ha-ha injury and Cervelli needed to catch his breath.
With Cervelli batting ninth, here is New York’s lineup against Josh Beckett:
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Brett Gardner, LF
Francisco Cervelli, C
Jeter is a .292 (21-for-72) hitter against Beckett. Cano is at .323 (20-for-62). Teixeira is just 7-for-38 (.184).
5:16 p.m.: In case you missed it, the Yankees took another hit to their bullpen with word that Joba Chamberlain will likely need Tommy John surgery.
It is a major blow for a team that came into the season with its relief corps considered a strength. Chamberlain joins Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte on the DL. It’s just further proof that building a bullpen is a fickle trade. Impossible to figure out sometimes, and very reliant on luck.
Look for more on Chamberlain’s condition and what it means to the Yankees in a separate story on the site.
4:53 p.m.: As skies begin ot threaten a bit (dark grey beyond left field, strengthening wind) we have some updates to pass on, chief among them the Dustin Pedroia news.
Pedroia was scheduled to see Dr. Thomas Gill at 4:30 p.m. It will be a “very minimally invasive” procedure designed to see what’s going on on Pedroia’s ailing right knee. Manager Terry Francona said Pedroia has had issues with the knee since last year, but insists that the exam remains a precautionary measure.
“I fully expect he’ll be hitting second tomorrow,” Francona said.
The manager added that although Pedroia has had some pain there from time to time for a good year, it was only this series when it began to grab at him a bit and become more prevalent in Pedroia’s daily routine. When Pedroia spoke up about it, the team wanted to get some peace of mind. Hence the trip to Boston on a train with Bobby Jenks (sounds like the plot of a children’s book).
Francona stressed his confidence in Pedroia’s speedy return.
“I don’t think he’s going to miss any time,” he said. “I’d be surprised if its something different. This is just something to make sure he’s OK.”
In other news of the weary and walking wounded, Jarrod Saltalamacchia spent the night in a local hospital and is doing much better in his recovery from stomach issues. He was given IVs and able to keep some food down. The plan was for Saltalamacchia to arrive at the stadium, take some batting practice and potentially serve as the emergency catcher tonight.
There is a chance, if Salty recovers well, that he could be Jason Varitek’s backup and the team might send Luis Exposito back down in order to get another pitcher here for the game. There are just six relievers in the pen, and Alfredo Aceves is not available.
Finally, Jed Lowrie is doing just fine. His injury is being termed a basic bruise now, so it should heal over time. If the Pedroia situation had not surfaced, Lowrie might get some more time off, but with a lefty on the mound it is a good time for him to give that shoulder a test.
3:14 p.m.: Man, I was way off (think Lloyd Christmas when he sees the word Samsonite on the briefcase and figures that is his crush’s last name).
Actually, I did consider that Marco Scutaro would bat second and play second for the Red Sox, but hadn’t put it in writing.
Jed Lowrie will hit sixth, bumping Carl Crawford to seventh. Mike Cameron is in right field against CC Sabathia, as expected.
Here is the lineup for the Sox:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Mike Cameron, RF
Jason Varitek, C
So you know, Dustin Pedroia is being examined in the coming hour or so and hopefully will be back for the opener in Toronto on Friday. We should have an update either during or after the game.
2:29 p.m.: Greetings from Yankee Stadium, where the Red Sox are about to take early batting practice in stifling conditions.
The temp on the dashboard of the cab I took over showed 101 and the driver said that went down. It is an absolute steambath in the city today. I’ve identified four new odors never smelled on this planet before. That’s what happens when you combine these conditions with almost 20 million people and all that comes out of them.
There are strong thunderstorms expected later on. While they might be nice relief, they could threaten the game a bit. We will keep an eye on that.
For now, we anticipate a lineup that will probably include Jason Varitek, hopefully include Jed Lowrie and not include Dustin Pedroia. We can expect to see Carl Crawford batting second as long as Terry Francona is OK with having three straight lefties at the top of a lineup against CC Sabathia. A more logical approach could have Lowrie, if healthy enough, batting second and Crawford staying in the sixth spot.
Purely speculation for now. Sit tight, the answers are forthcoming.
9:45 a.m.: The first-place Red Sox will look to finish off their second sweep in New York in less than a month when they throw Josh Beckett at the New York Yankees on Thursday night.
Beckett will square off with CC Sabathia in a phenomenal matchup at what is expected to be a hazy, hot and humid Yankee Stadium.
Those were the conditions Wednesday night when Boston coasted to an 11-6 win behind three home runs. The win gave the Sox sole possession of first place in the American League East and gave them a 7-1 mark against New York this year.
After the game it was learned that Dustin Pedroia will be in Boston on Thursday to have his sore right knee examined. He could be back for the series opener in Toronto on Friday, or possibly face a lengthier hiatus if there are any serious issues with the knee.
Boston has a pair of five-game winning streaks upon which to build. It has won five in a row overall, and has taken its first five games at New York for the first time since 1912.
First pitch is 7:05 p.m., and you can’t use hockey as an excuse to miss this one.