If the New York Yankees were trying to make a major statement to the Boston Red Sox, and the rest of the teams in baseball, well, last night’s 20-11 drubbing of the Sox in their own building certainly underlined any message the Bronx Bombers had in mind of sending.
The Yankees came out swinging scoring two runs in the top of the first off Boston starter Brad Penny on a lead off double by the “red hot” Derek Jeter, a walk to Mark Teixeira, a single by Alex Rodriguez, and a two-out, two RBI single by Jorge Posada that gave the Bombers a quick 2-0 lead.
Then, after the Red Sox cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first on a sac fly by Victor Martinez that scored Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yanks continued the onslaught in the second scoring four more runs that upped their lead to 6-1.
The Yankees did their damage in the second on one-out singles by Melky Cabrera and Jeter; a RBI double by Eric Hinske — who replaced Johnny Damon after he bruised his right leg on a foul ball in the first — that drove home Melky; a two RBI double by Mark Teixeira, that plated Jeter and Hinske; and, a RBI single by Alex Rodriguez, who was out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double.
The score remained the same until the top of the fifth when the Yankees really put this contest out of reach, batting around in the inning sending 12 men up to the plate
Teixeira and A-Rod singled at the start of the fifth, which knocked Penny out of the game. Then, both runners traveled home on a three-run homer by Hideki Matsui (#20) off reliever Michael Bowden that increased the Bombers lead to 9-1.
Bowden was just as ineffective as Penny, walking the next batter Posada after the Matsui homer, and then giving up a RBI double to Robinson Cano before recording the first out on ground ball by Nick Swisher.
Then, Melky singled home Cano to make the score 11-1.
After Jeter was the second out on a force play, Bowden walked Hinske, who scored on RBI single by Teixeira that finished the scoring in this six-run inning, and gave the Yanks a very comfortable 12-1 lead, at the time.
The numbers by Brad Penny (L,7-8) were awful. He threw 89 pitches in four innings on the mound in this big game, and allowed eight runs, on ten hits, one walk, and four strikeouts, increasing his ERA to 5.61.
In the meantime, Andy Pettitte was pitching a good game through the first four innings, but maybe because he was sitting on bench for about a half hour during the Yankees six-run, fifth inning rally, this caused him to have some trouble when he took the mound again in the bottom of the fifth.
Boston scored three runs in the fifth, on a two RBI single by Ellsbury, that plated Mike Lowell and J.D.Drew; and, a RBI double by Dustin Pedroia that scored Ellsbury and cut the Yankees lead to 12-4.
The Yankees continued to pound out the hits scoring three more runs in the top of the sixth, on a RBI double by Cabrera, and a two RBI single by Jeter that gave them a 15-4 lead.
After getting through the fifth inning, Pettitte returned to the mound to start the bottom of the sixth, lasting three batters, Casy Kotchman who reached on a Cano error; a single by Nick Green; and a RBI single by David Ortiz, before being replaced by Brian Bruney with the score now 15-5.
Bruney gave up a single to the first batter he faced, Mike Lowell, on a ball that should have been caught but dropped in between Cabrera in center and Hinske in left to load the bases with no outs. Baldelli was up next and walked to force home another run that made the score 15-6.
There still were no outs, and the Red Sox had a chance to get right back into this game. But, Alex Gonzalez hit into a 4-6-3 double play, that also scored Ortiz from third with the Sox seventh run. Bruney then retired Ellsbury for the final out holding the score at 15-7.
This completed the pitching stats for Andy Pettitte (W,10-6), and they are not pretty. Andy threw 104 pitches over five innings of work, while allowing seven runs (five earned); on seven hits; two walks; and, four strikeouts.
Michael Bowden was also finished after two innings of relief in this game, and to say the least, the Yankee batters really lit him up for seven runs, on eight hits, three walks, and no strikeouts.
Delcarmen was now on the mound for the Sox in the seventh, and the Yankees scored their 16th run on a triple by A-Rod (4-for-4); and, a RBI grounder to first by Matsui.
Brian Bruney was still on the mound for the Yanks in the bottom of the seventh, and after getting the first out, promptly loaded the bases on two walks and a hit by pitch. Not what the Yankees needed at this point in the game from their bullpen.
So, Damaso Marte, just activated from the disabled list, was called into the game to end this possible Red Sox rally. And, he did his job, retiring Ortiz on a fly out; and, Lowell on a strikeout to keep the score at 16-7.
The Yankees capped their scoring in the ninth, on a three-run homer by Hideki Matsui (#21), his second home run of the game, giving him seven RBI’s on the night; and, a RBI double by Swisher off reliever Ramirez, that gave the Bronx Bombers a 20-7 lead.
But, the scoring was not over, just yet, in this game.
Sergio Mitre pitched a scoreless eight inning for the Yankees, and returned to the mound to pitch the bottom of the ninth.
It is ironic that Mitre was now called on to close out this game because originally he was scheduled to make the start in this important first game of this three-game series. But, Joe Girardi moved the rotaton around so that Pettitte could be the starter, and, all I can say, it was a wise move that may have saved this win for the Yankees, even with the 20 runs and 23 hits the Yanks pounded out.
Sergio Mitre had a disastrous ninth inning, allowing a one-out solo homer to Jason Varitek (#14); a single to Kotchman; a RBI double to Ortiz; a two-out homer to Mike Lowell (#15); and, hit by pitch, before retiring Alex Gonzalez on a force play for the final out of the game that framed the Yankees 20-11 victory.
This was a big win for the Yankees [really, all wins are big], that improved their record to 77-45, seven and a half games ahead of the second place Boston Red Sox (69-52).
Just another game in this great rivalry, as the Yankees have gone from 0-8 vs. the Red Sox, in the first half of the season, to winning the last five games in a row to cut Boston’s lead to 8-5 in this year’s version of “A Season Within A Season”.
The greatest rivalry in baseball and all sports, the “Yankees vs. Red Sox” continues …
To view the boxscore, click on: Yankees 20, Red Sox 11
— Jimmy, “BY&L”