After the Yankees, 18-7, win against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, this loss to the Red Sox has to be the most disappointing loss of the season. The game was basically over in the first inning, as the Yankees looked “flat”, and the Red Sox starter, Jon Lester, pitched a gem, a five-hit, 7-0, complete game shutout.
The Yankees starting pitcher, Andy Pettitte, began the game by striking-out Jacoby Ellsbury. He then gave up back-to-back singles to Dustin Pedroia and J.D. Drew, as Manny Ramirez was the next batter up. Manny hit what looked like was an easy, inning ending double play ball to Robinson Cano. Cano quickly flipped the ball to Derek Jeter, who made the force at second, but then threw the ball wide at first for an error, that allowed Ramirez to be safe at first, and Pedroia to score Boston’s first run. The next batter, Mike Lowell then singled home Manny to give the Sox a 2-0 lead.
As it turned out, in the bottom of the first inning the Yankees would have their only chance to score any runs in this game.
Lester walked the first two batters he faced, Damon and Jeter, but got out of any possible trouble by getting Bobby Abreu to hit into a force play, and then struck-out Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi to end the inning.
Boston scored two more runs in the second inning on a lead-off single by Coco Crisp, a walk to Jason Varitek, a beautiful sacrifice bunt by Julio Lugo, that advanced both runners to second and third, which set-up a two RBI double by Ellsbury, to give the Red Sox a 4-0 lead.
Boston scored three more times, on a sac-fly by Lugo in the 4th; a sac-fly by Lowell in the 5th; and, a RBI single by Kevin Youkilis in the 8th, to complete the scoring of the Red Sox seven runs.
Meanwhile, Jon Lester (7-3) settled down after the 24 pitches he threw in the first inning. He struck-out eight Yankee batters [all swinging], and gave up 5 hits, and only allowed the two first inning walks in route to his 105 pitch, complete game, 7-0, shutout.
Lester was also helped by the Red Sox defense, as they turned three double plays in the game.
Andy Pettitte (9-6) struggled throughout his 4 2/3 innings of work, giving up 6 runs [5 earned], on 9 hits, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts.
The only good news for the Yankees was the solid relief efforts of Giese and Robertson, who pitched good out of the bullpen. Hawkins was not effective [again] as he gave up one run, on two hits, and a walk, in his one inning of work, in the 8th.
After the game, Manager Joe Girardi had a closed door meeting with the players that lasted for about a half-hour. He would not give any details to the press, as he said it was a private matter between him and the players [which I totally agree with]. But, hopefully, the results of the meeting will produce more consistent play by the whole team. As Yogi Berra once said, “it’s getting late, early out there”.