CC Sabathia Too Much for Red Sox as Yankees Even Series

CC Sabathia Too Much for Red Sox as Yankees Even Series NEW YORK — Postgame, Yankees 5-2: While the Red Sox cannot concede anything at this point, given the standings, this was just one of those days where you tip your cap and move on.

Not only was CC Sabathia difficult to solve, but John Lackey had some misfortune with soft hits finding grass and what not. Not much to do but look ahead to the Josh Beckett-A.J. Burnett matchup Sunday night.

Some of the Boston players already are.

"Josh brings the pedigree of a number one guy, so he's a good guy to have on the mound tomorrow," said Mike Lowell, who drove in the Red Sox' last run on a double in the second.

On another note, David Ortiz, who was not pleased with home place umpire Jerry Layne's strike zone, said that umpires trying to speed things up has contributed to some high strikeout totals for him and others.

Ortiz: "Swing, swing, swing, swing and good luck. Can't waste time. It's killing the game, so I guess we gotta rush it."

The designated hitter was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

As for Lackey, he had the latest in a series of starts that did not look good numbers-wise, but could've been better with a few breaks. A handful of hits, including two in the pivotal fifth inning, fell softly near but out of the reach of some Boston defenders.

"The fifth inning, I honestly made a lot of good pitches and they kinda nickel-and-dimed me on that. I executed pitches in the fifth inning and didn't have a lot to show for it."

Among the positives in the contest was the relief outing of Felix Doubront, who struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth. Another thing the Sox can look forward to is the pitching matchups going forward. Beckett has been excellent since coming off the DL and Monday's Jon Lester-Dustin Moseley matchup would seem to lean heavily in Boston's favor.

Final, Yankees 5-2: The Yankees lose Alex Rodriguez in awkward fashion hours before the game. The Red Sox lose the game. We're back to square one.

CC Sabathia completely outdueled John Lackey to improve to 8-0 at home and drop the Sox six games out in the American League East.

Off to get some reaction.

End 8th, Yankees 5-2: Manny Delcarmen and Felix Doubront combine to strike out four batters in two perfect innings of relief. Enter Sandman. Mariano Rivera is out to one-up them and finish this thing off for the Yankees.

Mid 8th, Yankees 5-2: Quite an afternoon for David Ortiz. He hit into a double play to end the top of the first and has struck out three times since. CC Sabathia's 101st pitch finishes off Ortiz to complete the eighth.

Felix Doubront is about to make his debut as a reliever for the Red Sox. Love this kid and hope this experiment helps him out, not to mention the team.

End 7th, Yankees 5-2: In the search for silver linings we find Manny Delcarmen's effort in the seventh. He strikes out both Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano during a 1-2-3 frame.

Mid 7th, Yankees 5-2: A double play helps CC Sabathia get through the top of the seventh having thrown just 89 pitches. He has lasted eight inning several times this year, essentially eliminating the need to use the troubled bridge to Mariano Rivera. We may not even need Rivera at this point, but it's likely we'll see him.

John Lackey is done after another lackluster start. Five runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings. Not horrible, but nothing you want to call home about. That's pretty much been the way this season has gone for Lackey.

Manny Delcarmen is the first to step from the Boston bullpen.

End 6th, Yankees 5-2: The Yankees are running on John Lackey and Victor Martinez when they get the opportunity, and it's paying off. Curtis Granderson singled and went to third when Martinez threw the ball into center field trying to cut him down on a stolen base attempt.

Ramiro Pena's RBI single brought in Granderson.

Pena, who has two RBIs, also stole a base and bothered Lackey enough so that the right-hander wheeled and threw a pickoff attempt into center.

Pena could not advance. Still, it has not been a clean game for the Red Sox. Two errors and a couple of other miscues.

Mid 6th, Yankees 4-2: Adrian Beltre's home run in the second extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He adds an infield single in the sixth but is stranded. Beltre is hitting .337, still somewhat in the mix for an extremely unexpected batting crown.

End 5th, Yankees 4-2: When John Lackey struck out Derek Jeter looking for the second out of the fifth he had retired six in a row and 11 of the last 12. Apparently, he had also hit the wall.

Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada each single with two outs to bring in a pair of runs. Posada even steals a base for the first time since April 29, 2009, just to rub it in.

Lackey also threw one of his trademark fits when Cano's single landed not far from J.D. Drew in right. He has thrown 98 pitches and the Boston bullpen was busy.

Lance Berkman ended the inning with a weak grounder to Lackey. The boos are getting louder with each Berkman out. He is now 2-for-21 (.095) as a Yankee.

Mid 5th, 2-2: Since Mike Lowell doubled in the Red Sox' second run with nobody out in the second, they have managed just one hit, a Marco Scutaro single to start the third.

End 4th, 2-2: Adrian Beltre makes a spectacular diving catch in foul territory to finish the fourth. John Lackey is up to 67 pitches. Given where he was after the first turn through the lineup, that's pretty good.

Mid 4th, 2-2: Seems as if CC Sabathia has settled down a bit since that difficult second inning. He has allowed just one single among the last 10 batters, although Brett Gardner robbed J.D. Drew of extra bases to finish the fourth.

The great subway race is underway here. I go 'D' every time.

End 3rd, 2-2: There have been a handful of players unhappy with home plate umpire Jerry Layne's somewhat expansive strike zone. The latest was Nick Swisher, who had to be rescued by manager Joe Girardi before he things between he and Layne got heated.

Mid 3rd, 2-2: A leadoff single by Marco Scutaro doesn't amount to much. David Ortiz struck out for the 107th time, third in the American League.

I didn't see Joe Buck's reaction when Alex Rodriguez was hit by the ball in batting practice. Buck and A-Rod were apparently hamming it up when the incident occured.

I did, however, hear Rodriguez scream. In fact, that was what alerted me to the whole thing. My head was down as I was working feverishly for you and all of a sudden A-Rod barked like lab that got stepped on.

End 2nd, 2-2: When you get two early runs off a guy like CC Sabathia, you would love to have your starter go out and put up a zero. John Lackey couldn't do it.

Lance Berkman walked to lead it off (Lackey's third walk among the first six hitters) and Curtis Granderson followed with a triple that missed getting out of here by a few feet.

An RBI groundout by Ramiro Pena tied it.

Lackey has walked eight men in his last 4 1/3 innings going back to his previous start.

Mid 2nd, Red Sox 2-0: CC Sabathia had not allowed a home run since June 3 before Victor Martinez unloaded on a 3-1 fastball to get the scoring started. Two doubles followed, the second by Mike Lowell to plate another run. In the one game that figured to favor the Yankees on paper, the Red Sox are off to a great start.

End 1st, 0-0: A very ugly error by Marco Scutaro, his 15th, prolongs the inning for John Lackey. But a rather spry Mike Lowell, who is making every play at first, smothers a hard grounder by Jorge Posada to retire the side. Lackey strands two after throwing 25 pitches.

Scutaro threw the ball about 10 feet over Lowell's head when the Red Sox had Nick Swisher caught in a rundown.

We know two things that may affect the playoff push. X-rays on Alex Rodriguez's left leg/shin/foot were negative. Also, Toronto already crushed Tampa Bay this afternoon.

Mid 1st, 0-0: The old 3-5-3 double play ends the top of the first inning, the kind of twin killing that only guys like David Ortiz can hit into. With Alex Rodriguez out the Yankees have a guy in Ramiro Pena playing third who is pretty comfortable making the pivot.

Prior to the game Terry Francona said that Jed Lowrie has had "very mature at bats." Lowrie has another with a solid single of CC Sabathia with one out in the first.

4:06 p.m.: As CC Sabathia takes the mound we remind you that he has not lost here since July 2, 2009, a span of 17 starts (the Yankees are 15-2 in those starts). He is 7-0 with a 2.69 ERA at Yankee Stadium this year.

3:18 p.m.: The word is that Alex Rodriguez will get X-rays at the stadium so we may hear more before the day is through.

If A-Rod is OK he at least picked a good day to go down. He is just 9-for-54 (.176) against John Lackey. Four of the hits have been home runs, but Lackey has won most of the battles.

Boston's righty probably had most of his attention aimed at a trio of Yankees hitters who have destroyed him in the past anyway.

Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada are a collective 47-for-127 (.370) against Lackey. Interestingly enough, they have combined for just three home runs in those matchups, one less than Rodriguez.

2:34 p.m.: It did not look good when it happened. Alex Rodriguez, hit with a batted ball during BP, has been scratched from the lineup. Here is the new lineup for New York:

Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Jorge Posada, C
Lance Berkman, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Brett Gardner, LF
Ramiro Pena, 3B

1:50 p.m.: As the Yankees staff takes a look at Alex Rodriguez, there are a few more updates on the Red Sox end of things.

Jacoby Ellsbury did hit the ground hard on a diving catch Friday night and told some reporters before that game that he had some rib pain. But that may not be the reason he is out of the lineup.

"I was going to give him the day off anyway," Terry Francona said.

Ellsbury has gone 0-for-12 since returning from the disabled list and is 1-for-13 with six strikeouts against CC Sabathia. Probably a good time to sit him down anyway. If you see him sitting against A.J. Burnett on Sunday, against whom he is a .308 hitter, then you can really start asking some questions.

Finishing the Carlos Delgado stuff from the prior post, Francona said he saw Delgado hit in his workout with the team.

"Swung the bat great," Francona said. "Looked like Carlos."

If Delgado does not get called up prior to Sept. 1 he can become a free agent, according to reports.

In other news:

– Jason Varitek has been able to intensify his work on the broken foot, but just barely. He is still far from returning.

– Mike Cameron continues to rest and take it easy while traveling with the club. He seems to be in great spirits. After entering the clubhouse Saturday he had some Michael Jackson pumped up and then asked a clubhouse attendant to turn it down a bit, trying to creat "ambience." "Hotel-style," Cameron said.

– Ryan Kalish gets a day off less than 24 hours after his first major league home run. He had been given one every week or so in the minors and with Sabathia on the mound it's a good time for him to sit. Kalish had played in every game since being brought up from Pawtucket on July 31.

– Jed Lowrie, who is batting second for this one, still wears down rather quickly but continues to get stronger, Francona said. That will remain a day-to-day monitoring situation for the rest of the season.

Finally, on this Alex Rodriguez situation. I couldn't initially see who was in the batting cage but now have learned it was Lance Berkman. In one week in New York Berkman has hit .105 (2-for-19) and may have sidelined the team's best player.

Not the way you want to win over fans.

Back with more later on.

1:38 p.m.: As the Yankees take batting practice down below and the Toronto-Tampa Bay game plays on the big screen, we can give you some updates from the clubhouse, including notes on Carlos Delgado, Jacoby Ellsbury and more.

Terry Francona did confirm the Delgado signing. The former Blue Jays and Mets star, who has not played since last May due to hip issues (sound familiar), will report to Pawtucket on Sunday to begin workouts.

Delgado will play in games some time after that. It is no given he will ever appear with the big club. The Sox are simply seeing what the 38-year-old has left in the event they could use his bat off the bench or, more likely, someone to split time with Mike Lowell at first.

Francona said that projecting Delgado into any future roles is very premature.

"This is us doing our due diligence," Francona said.

Keep an eye on how Delgado does at Pawtucket. That, as much as anything, will determine if we ever see him.

Alex Rodriguez is down on the field below. Hang on for other updates. I'm going to see what happened.

12:49 p.m.: Greetings from Yankee Stadium, where the lineups are in and we are hearing reports that the Red Sox have signed Carlos Delgado to a minor league deal. We should have more on that in a bit. Here are your starters:

Red Sox

Marco Scutaro, SS
Jed Lowrie, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Victor Martinez, C
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Mike Lowell, 1B
J.D. Drew, RF
Bill Hall, LF
Darnell McDonald, CF


Derek Jeter, SS
Nick Swisher, RF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Jorge Posada, C
Lance Berkman, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Brett Gardner, LF

8 a.m.: The Red Sox take aim at Yankees ace CC Sabathia in the second game of a four-game series in New York on Saturday.

Sabathia has given up one earned run in 21 2/3 innings against Boston at the new Yankee Stadium and is undefeated in his last 17 starts there overall.

He will be called upon to even the set for the Yanks, who dropped a 6-3 decision to the surging Sox in the opener.

Clay Buchholz pitched 7 1/3 solid innings to give Boston its eighth win in 11 games. The Red Sox are five games behind first-place New York.

John Lackey goes for Boston opposite Sabathia. Lackey is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in day games this year, compared to 9-2 with a 3.70 ERA at night.

First pitch is 4:10 p.m.

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