Before the Red Sox split four games in New York over the weekend we took a quick look at some of the keys to the series.
While some felt as if Boston needed to win the set to remain in the mix in the division and wild-card race, the club left town on a positive note after securing a well-played 2-1 victory in Monday's finale.
Here are three things we learned during a warm weekend in the Big Apple.
Josh Beckett and the Yankees — not a great mix
The iconic image of Beckett tagging out Jorge Posada to complete the clinching win in the 2003 World Series suggests he is a Yankee-killer. That has not been the case of late.
In four starts against New York this season, Beckett has an 11.17 ERA. He also gave up eight runs in his last appearance vs. the Bronx Bombers in 2009.
Beckett, who gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings Sunday night, figures to meet the Yanks at least one more time down the stretch. It would be nice to see some better results if that's the case.
The Defense Rests
The Sox committed five errors in the first three games of the series and had a few other miscues that didn't help the cause. They have eight errors in their last six games heading to Toronto.
Many of the issues come at positions where one might expect such a thing. Without Kevin Youkilis at first base and Dustin Pedroia at second, grounders to the right side of the infield were adventurous at times.
Bill Hall had a big error at second base in one of the losses. Victor Martinez, who had an error in his first start after Youkilis went down last week, misplayed one chopper into an infield hit.
And Kevin Cash, pressed into duty when Martinez moved to first, threw a ball away in Beckett's start Sunday night that helped fuel a five-run fifth.
Although they did not win the series, the fashion in which they took the finale gave the Red Sox plenty to feel good about. In fact, multiple players talked about how the split enabled them to stay within shouting distance of the Yankees in the AL East.
Boston remains seven games out in the loss column but does have six left against New York. If it can make up a little bit of ground before those games come along at the end of the year, anything can happen.
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