Recap for Baseball Digest
WP - Pettitte (10-6) LP - Penny (7-8)
No matter how well the Yankees played during stretches of first half of the season, there was the constant reminder that they were 0-8 against the Boston Red Sox. Part of playing the best baseball in the majors since the All-Star break has been exorcising those demons. The Yankees, back in Fenway Park for the first time since June 11, were determined to show the Red Sox and their “nation” that the recent 4-game sweep at Yankee Stadium was no fluke. The Yankees were successful in making a statement and then some, pounding out 23 hits in a 20-11 thrashing of Boston.
While Joe Girardi most definitely will not point to this game as a good example of good pitching, defense, or base running, he can proudly look back at the way his lineup dismantled starter Brad Penny and the Boston bullpen. Chief among the batterers was Hideki Matsui, who hit a pair of 3-run home runs and drove in 7 runs.
Andy Pettitte settled into the game after allowing a first inning run, but lost his command after the long 6-run 5th inning that put the Yankees on top 12-1. Thanks in part to a poor job by Brian Bruney of keeping inherited runners on base, Pettitte was charged with 7 runs (5 earned) in 5 innings. It was still good enough to give him 10 wins, tying him with A.J. Burnett for second best on the ball club.
But this game was all about hitting. Already up 4-1, the Yankees blew it open against Penny and rookie Michael Bowden in the 5th. Terry Francona pulled Penny after he gave up back to back singles to Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, but things only got worse. Matsui drilled a long 3-run home run off Bowden into the Boston bullpen in right-center for a 9-1 lead.
Jorge Posada followed with a walk, moved to 2nd on a wild pitch, and scored on Robinson Cano’s double. After moving to 3rd on a ground out, Cano came home on Melky Cabrera’s RBI single to push the Yankees advantage to 11-1. Teixeira’s second single of the inning provided the inning’s final run.
Boston jumped on Pettitte to cut the margin to 12-4, but the Yankees answered right back with three of their own runs to go back up 15-4. That’s when some life returned toFenway. The Sox cut the margin to 15-6 in the bottom of the 6th and had the bases loaded with no one out against Bruney. But newly re-acquired shortstop Alex Gonzalez bounced into a run producing 6-4-3 double play that let the air back out of the balloon.
Derek Jeter added yet another 3-hit game to his hot streak. He’s now batting .333 overall and a gaudy (no relation to Chad) .434 against left-handers.
After 31 runs and four hours of baseball, WABC radio’s John Sterling must have been exhausted. He sounded like a runner that just completed the New York City marathon when he said his patented “The Yankees Win” phrase to end the ball game.
From the Elias Sports Bureau - the 31 runs were the most combined in a Yankees-Red Sox game. The 20 runs was the 3rd most the Yankees have scored against Boston.
Johnny Damon will be out of the starting lineup on Saturday and possibly Sunday after fouling a ball off his knee last night.
The series continues this afternoon with A.J. Burnett facing Junichi Tazawa, who gave up the 15 inning game winner to Alex Rodriguez on August 7.