Final: 2-0, Yankees: A-Rod ends it with one swing of the bat as he launches a two-run blast over the left field fence to end things after just 5 1/2 hours of baseball in the Bronx.
Mid 15th, 0-0: The intimidating one-two punch of Josh Reddick and Chris Woodward didn't faze Phil Coke as the Yanks' reliever hurled a 1-2-3 15th. Top of the order due up for the Yankees, let's see how the rook handles it.
End 14th, 0-0: Junichi Tazawa almost got a rude awakening to the big leagues. The Yankees gave the the rookie reliever and the Red Sox their first real scare in a while as J.D. Drew robbed Hinske of a game-winning line drive to deep right with Posada on second base. Melky Cabrera then came up and missed a game-winner of his own as he smoked one down the right field line just inches foul before striking out to end the inning.
Mid 14th: 0-0: You can put it on the board…. No! V-Mart smacked one to deep right where Hinske grabbed it just inches from the fence. It looked like Martinez had got all of it off the bat, but it didn't have the juice to get out even in this stadium. Youk followed the near-dinger with a base hit to left-center for the Sox' first hit since the 10th inning, breaking up a streak of 11 straight outs for the offense. Youk would get stranded thanks to Ortiz and Varitek ground outs.
End 13th: The Yankees, like the Red Sox, have certainly had their chances tonight and the 13th inning was no different. New York sent Teixeira and A-Rod (a combined payroll of $132 trillion this season if my math is correct) and neither slugger could get the job done. Good work by Takashi Saito this frame, who got Jeter to ground out and Damon to pop out before A-Rod popped out to shallow left-center to end it.
Mid 13th, 0-0: Brian Bruney came in and shut down the Sox, getting Woodward to strike out, Ellsbury to foul out to the catcher and Pedie to go down swinging. Yankee relievers have retired 10 Sox batters in row.
End 12th, 0-0: Hip-hip, Jorge! drew a one-out walk off the fresh arm of Delcarmen. With Posada at first, Youk showed off his outfield skills at third and made a tremendous grab by the stands in foul territory on a Cano pop fly to get the second out. After Hinske walked to get runners at first and second, Manny got Cabrera to pop out on a 3-1 pitch to send things into the 13th.
Mid 12th: 0-0: At least the Red Sox are making Alfredo Aceves look like an All-Star. The Yankees reliever struck out both J.D. Drew and Tek before getting Reddick to bounce out sharply to first. That makes 11 straight outs combined between the two staffs. Here comes Manny Delcarmen to test his luck against the Bomber bats.
End 11th, 0-0: Still nothing going on offensively here in extras as it was six-up, six-down in the 11th. Paps got Damon to ground out, Teixeira to fly out deep to center and ended the frame with some sparks as he got A-Rod to strike out swinging.
Mid 11th, 0-0: Nothing from the Sox offense this half as V-Mart struck out swinging, Youk popped out to second and Papi grounded out to Teixeira at first. Does either team want to win this game? Who's going to drop down a bunt and shake things up a bit?
End 10th, 0-0: After Eric Hinske drew a one-out walk,
Sox reliever Ramon Ramirez spun a wild pitch past Jason Varitek to put
Hinske in scoring position. Following a groundout to Melky Cabrera, Jonathan
Papelbon entered to face the Yankees' captain Derek Jeter who struckout swinging. To the 11th we go…
Mid 10th, 0-0: The Sox were able to put a little scare into the Yankee dugout as Chris Woodward drew a two-out walk before Ellsbury smacked a single to right to get two on with Pedroia up. Pedie appeared to have put a charge into it but the reigning AL MVP popped it out to left to end things.
10:32 p.m.: Staffing change here at NESN.com as I (John Beattie, a lefty specialist), will be taking over for Jeff Goldberg, who went nine strong innings. We think it's a good idea to rest Jeff now — there's still a lot of baseball to blog this season.
End 9th, 0-0: It's white-knuckle time for the rookie Bard, but he survives to send it to extras. Bard allowed a single to A-Rod and walked Matsui with two outs, then balked the runners into scoring position. But the flamethrower gets Posasa swinging at a breaking ball to get out of it.
10:10 p.m.: Okajima stays in to retire Damon for the first out, and here comes Daniel Bard to face Teixeira.
Mid 9th, 0-0: Ortiz gets the second Red Sox hit of the ninth with a two-out single off Rivera, but J.D. Drew lines out softly to A-Rod and the inning is over. It will be Damon, Teixeira and A-Rod in the bottom half.
End 8th, 0-0: Okajima flirts with some three-ball counts, but works a 1-2-3 inning to send us to the ninth scoreless. A classic pitcher's duel after a slugfest the night before. The Sox send Martinez, Youkilis and Ortiz to the plate in the ninth against Mariano Rivera.
9:44 p.m.: Hideki Okajima has replaced Josh Beckett, who departs after 115 pitches, allowing four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Mid 8th, 0-0: Ellsbury does the Dave Roberts — with Dave calling the game — but Pedroia couldn't pull a Mueller and we're still scoreless.
9:35 p.m.: A.J. Burnett walks Jacoby Ellsbury with two outs in the eighth, and will be replaced by Phil Hughes. A tremendous ovation for Burnett, who struck out six and did not allow a hit after Ellsbury's game-opening single. He walked six, and so far none have scored. Pedroia hopes to change that.
End 7th, 0-0: The Yankees get the leadoff man on for the third time in five innings, but get nothing out of it. Matsui is not having a good night on the bases. After his leadoff single, he becomes the throw-em-out half of an inning-ending double play, as Beckett strikes out Posada, then Cano to keep us scoreless.
Mid 7th, 0-0: Remember the Pedro-Clemens game in 2000? This is the new Stadium version tonight. Who will be the Trot Nixon?
End 6th, 0-0: Beckett storms back after his bases-loaded scare in the fifth, retiring the side in order on a pop-up and two groundouts. Beckett is at 93 pitches, so he'll go at least one more, maybe two.
Mid 6th, 0-0: The Red Sox return the favor, getting the first two on and failing to score. The Sox got a break when Posada was called for interfering with Ellsbury's swing on a tapper back to the mound – hitting the bat with the glove – after Nick Green walked on four pitches. But Pedroia, Martinez and Youkilis can't do anything with it.
End 5th, 0-0: Beckett dodges a major bullet in the fifth, allowing a pair of leadoff singles and leaving the bases loaded. The key play was a baserunning mistake by Hideki Matsui, who got caught flatfooted between second and third on a hard lineout to right by Cano for the first out. Matsui could not advance and never did score, as Jeter grounds out to third to end the inning, stranding three.
Mid 5th, 0-0: Looks like one run might be enough tonight. Burnett hasn't allowed a hit since Ellsbury led off the game with a single. Beckett has only allowed one hit himself. The third meeting between the two aces is finally living up to the hype.
End 4th, 0-0: Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz have something else in common besides being on "The List" (and NESN will air Ortiz's presser at 12:30 Saturday). Both sluggers have had their career-high home run droughts this year. A-Rod is in the middle of his right now, flying out to right to end the fourth, his 68th consecutive homerless at-bat.
Mid 4th, 0-0: No 13-6 game tonight. Burnett and Beckett are trading zeros, with help from their infield defenses. The Yankees have turned two double plays in four innings, getting Ortiz on a 4-6-3 after Youkilis walked with one out. Both teams have just one hit so far.
End 3rd, 0-0: There are a lot of Yankee hitters with big numbers against Beckett. Robinson Cano: .342. He leads off the third with a double. Sometimes stats don't mean much. Mekly Cabrera: .343. He hits into a 4-6-3 double play to kill a potential rally. Derek Jeter: .318. He makes the last out, stranding a runner at third.
Mid 3rd, 0-0: Pedroia has walked twice tonight, but his running takes the Sox out of the third inning. With two outs, Pedroia tried to get into scoring position with a steal, but Jorge Posada guns him down easily to end the inning. By this time last night, we were barely out of the first. Good pitching will do that.
End 2nd, 0-0: Beckett is bringing it tonight, striking out two more in the second and retiring the first six batters he's faced. With the Sox in desperate need of a big-time performance from their ace, Beckett is delivering.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: First, the good news: The Red Sox didn't strand any runners. Now the bad: A.J. Burnett sets the side in order, including his first strikeout (Jason Varitek). Burnett did not look good in earlier starts against the Red Sox, but, as we found out Thursday, this isn't April and May anymore.
End 1st, 0-0: Beckett shows no inclination to hit anybody. He just lets his pitching do the talking. Beckett sets the side down in order, striking out Johnny Damon along the way.
Mid 1st, 0-0: A disturbing trend continues. The Red Sox put the first two men on base, and fail to score. It happened in 4 of the first 6 innings Thursday, and we saw where that got them.
Tonight, Jacoby Ellsbury singles and steals second, then Dustin Pedroia walks. But Victor Martinez hits into a double play, and after Kevin Youkilis walks, Ortiz grounds out. And now Beckett takes the mound.
7:05 p.m.: Jason Bay, injured. Jed Lowrie, injured. Rocco Baldelli, Tim Wakefield and Daisuke Matsuzaka, on the DL. Mike Lowell, hobbled. J.D. Drew and David Ortiz, slumping. John Smoltz, released. Brad Penny and Clay Buchholz, struggling. It feels an awful lot like 2006. Let's just hope Josh Beckett doesn't pull a Jason Johnson tonight.
6:30 p.m.: As expected, the Red Sox have parted ways with John Smoltz, designating the future Hall of Famer for assignment after his meltown Thursday night. The Red Sox have recalled Junichi Tazawa from Pawtucket and added former Mariner infielder Chris Woodward with Jed Lowrie sidelined with an arm injury. Billy Traber was also DFA'd to clear roster space.
3:30 p.m.: The Nation turns its nervous eyes to Josh Beckett tonight to keep the ship from sinking even further after a drubbing in the Bronx Thursday night. Beckett, as we have documented all season, has been a big-time stopper. and at no other time this year has a stop been more critical.
And when you talk about Beckett, there's also the matter of protecting teammates. The beaning of Dustin Pedroia Thursday night brings an intriguing subplot to tonight's festivities. Will Beckett seek retaliation the old-fashioned way? Can he risk the possibility of a long suspension, with the rest of the rotation in tatters? Is shutting the Yankees offense down retaliation enough? If the umpires issue warnings before the game, it's a moot point. If not, we could have some serious fireworks tonight.
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