Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Stinko de Mayo in the Bronx

Minny-Manny Keeps Yankees at Bay

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The Boston Red Sox refused to trade Manny Ramirez last season until they were sure they would receive a special player in return. Not only did they get that player, but Jason Bay has supplanted Ramirez as a Yankee killer. Tuesday night Bay struck again, belting a 3-run, 1st inning home run off of Joba Chamberlain to lead the Red Sox to a 7-3 victory. The win completed a sweep of the brief 2-game series and put the season series at 5-0 in favor of the Red Sox.

If you turned the game on after the 1st inning you would have thought Chamberlain was having the best start of his career. And in some ways you’d be right. Chamberlain struck out a career high 12 hitters in 5.2 innings, but his lack of command in the 1st inning destined the game to be a loss. His pitches laid flat in the strike zone and Boston jumped all over them.

Jacoby Ellsbury
, who later the left the game with a sore hamstring, led off the 1st with a single and promptly stole 2nd base. Singles by Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz brought Ellsbury home and Bay destroyed a Chamberlain hanger for his 7th home run of the season and a 4-0 Boston lead. In the five meetings between the two teams, Bay is 10-18 (.555) with 3 home runs, 10 RBI, 2 doubles, 6 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases.

Josh Beckett
, who allowed 15 runs in his last two starts, gave Boston a quality start this time out. He escaped 1st inning trouble when he retired Robinson Cano on a 2-on, 2-out pop up, but the Yankees made it a ball game in the 3rd. Johnny Damon followed back to back singles by Jose Molina and Derek Jeter with a 3-run shot to right to cut the lead to a single run. It was Damon’s 6th home run of the season and third in the last five games.

Meanwhile, Chamberlain began to dominate. He struck out two batters in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, then struck out the side (plus a walk) in the 4th. He put two men on in the 5th, but struck out the side again, freezing Mike Lowell looking to end the frame. Joe Girardi was understandably booed when he pulled Chamberlain after the emotional right-hander blew away J.D. Drew and Jeff Bailey to start the 6th. But Chamberlain’s final pitch was his 108th and the Yankees wisely protected their young star. The only problem being that meant going to the bullpen.

Jose Veras
and Phil Coke recorded four outs, but the Red Sox scored a pair of unearned runs against Jonathan Albaladejo in the eighth. Bay reached 1st base safely when Ramiro Pena couldn’t come up with his grounder on the sloppy surface, and then proceeded to steal 2nd base. Lowell’s ground out moved Bay to 3rd before the Red Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Drew and a hit batsmen (Bailey). Jason Varitek’s sac fly brought home Bay for a 5-3 lead and Nick Green added another run when he punched a single threw the right side.

The Yankees stranded runners in scoring position in both the 4th and 6th innings and then went down meekly after the bullpen took over for Beckett in the 7th inning.

Game Notes

Melky Cabrera was 3-4 and extended his hitting streak to 9 games. He’s 14-35 (.400) during the stretch and has firmly replaced Brett Gardner in center field. Gardner pinch-hit in the 9th and struck out looking.

Mark Melancon had a horrible night. He walked the first three hitters in the 9th and was pulled with a 2-0 count on Lowell.

With .2 innings pitched on Tuesday, Phil Coke has not been scored on in nine straight appearances.

The Yankees finish up the current homestand with a two game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. A.J. Burnett kicks things off Wednesay night when he faces Andy Sonnanstine.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to bury a bottle of Canadian maple syrup with a tag reading "Jason Bay" in a nearby graveyard on the next moonless night.