Monday, April 27, 2009

Fenway Flashback

April 19, 2007...the Yankees are down 6-2 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th against the Cleveland Indians. Josh Phelps hits a solo home run to ignite a 6 run rally, climaxed when Alex Rodriguez hits a walk-off 3-run home run off of Joe Borowski to give the Yankees an8-6 win. The victory extends the Yankees winning streak to three games and raises their record to 9-6 as they head to Fenway Park for a 3-game series with the Red Sox.

Final scores in Fenway - 7-6, 7-5, 7-6 - all in favor of the Red Sox, who raise their record to 12-5. Mariano Rivera blows game one.

Flast forward - April 22, 2009 - the Yankees complete a three game sweep of the A's with a drawn out 14 inning affair that ends with a Melky Cabrera 2-run walk-off home run. The Yankees head to Fenway with a 9-6 record.

Final scores in Fenway - 5-4, 16-11, 4-1 - all in favor of the Red Sox, who raise their record to 12-6. Mariano Rivera blows game one.

Hopefully, that's where the similarities end since the '07 Red Sox won the World Series.

Last night's 4-1, ho hum loss was much different than the first two games. The Yankees didn't even show up for this one, at least not with their bats. They managed just 7 hits off four pitchers, including two who had basically no major league experience between them.

Just as they had in the first two games of the series, the Yankees struck first. Hideki Matsui singled to start the third inning and later came home on a Brett Gardner sac fly. A pair of Angel Berroa errors lead to the tying run in the bottom of the inning and the Red Sox put the game away in the fifth.

Andy Pettitte walked Jason Varitek and Jacoby Ellsbury, but with two outs and the slumping David Ortiz up, Pettitte still had a chance to get out of the inning. But Ortiz sliced a ball into the left field corner that plated Varitek and moved Ellsbury third.

The Yankees wisely chose to intentionally walk Kevin Youkilis and pitch to the left-handed hitting J.D. Drew. But before Pettitte knew what hit him, Ellsbury took advantage of Pettitte pitching from the wind up and broke for home. He slid in easily ahead of Pettitte's throw to Jorge Posada for a steal of home and a 3-1 lead. Drew then added to the misery with an RBI double.

The Yankees failure to deliver in the clutch has reached epidemic proportions the last few seasons. Last night was no different. With two on and two out in the fourth, Justin Masterson struck out Melky Cabrera to end then inning. The Yankees put two more aboard in the six with just one out, but that household name, Hunter Jones, retired Matsui on a line out and also struck out Cabrera.

With Jonathan Papelbon unavailable, Takashi Saito came on in the ninth inning for the save, allowing just a two out single to Cabrera before retiring pinch-hitter Johnny Damon to end the game.

Game Notes

Mark Melancon made an impressive major league debut last night. He retired Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Ortiz in order in the seventh, and got out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the eighth.

Johnny Damon was banged up from his collision with the Green Monster on Saturday. He's expected to start tonight in Detroit.


NY Yankees 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 2

Boston 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 X 4 7 1

WP: J. Masterson (2-0) S: T. Saito (2)
LP: A. Pettitte (2-1)

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