So finally winning a series at home against the Red Sox for the first time in 2011 was quite enjoyable, although the spoiled part of me really wanted the sweep, having been swept by the Sox at home twice this season in historic fashion. Unfortunately with Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Russell Martin getting the nightcap off, and various pinch-runners being installed late in the game, the Yankee lineup was pretty close to something Scranton Wilkes-Barre would’ve run out by the time the bottom of the ninth inning rolled around, and the Bombers couldn’t get anything going against an exceptionally stingy Boston bullpen, ultimately falling to the Sox 7-4 in 14 innings.
In fact, the Yankee offense was almost completely MIA after John Lackey departed after six strong innings of three-run ball, mustering one(!) hit over eight innings against five different Boston relievers. Jonathan Papelbon retired all seven men he faced, but the MVP of the game may have been left Franklin Morales, who kept the Yankees off-balance with an impressive array of offerings while also hitting 97mp on the gun, picking up the win with two shutout innings.
Of course, for all the ineptitude of the Yankees’ -Q squad, Boston’s A lineup didn’t fare much better, and wasn’t able to get on the board in extras until Tony Pena — in for an ejected Joe Girardi — decided to bring Scott Proctor in for no apparent reason. I mean at that point, why not let Andrew Brackman or Dellin Betances get their feet a bit wetter? I’d rather see one of them blow the game than a clearly-has-absolutely-nothing-left Proctor. Proctor gave up the most obvious three-run home run ever to Jacoby Ellsbury in the 14th, and the Yankee bats went silently in the bottom half.
In the grand scheme of things this game really did mean nothing to the Yankees, although it would’ve been nice to drop Boston into a tie with Tampa Bay for the Wild Card with three games left. I actually missed all of Ivan Nova‘s outing, although it looked like he was OK but not great, going 6 1/3 and giving up four, departing with the Yankees being down 4-3 despite being staked to a 3-0 lead. For those who did see the first half of this epically long game, I’d be curious as to your impressions of Nova’s start.
And so the Yankees finished their 2011 season series with the Red Sox going a rather unfortunate 6-12 (including an eye-gouging 2-7 at home); easily their worst showing against Boston in the Unbalanced Schedule Era. They also dropped to 4-11 in extra-inning games, which is just weird.
The Bombers hit up St. Pete Monday night for their final three-game set of the regular season with the Red Sox-chasing Rays, in a series even less meaningful to the Yankees than this past one, but that means everything to Tampa Bay.
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