Saturday, September 15, 2007


Its so much easier to post after a win. I don't know how Pirates bloggers do it.

The Sox made this a very easy post today, crushing the Yankees 10-1. Beckett was dominating, giving up only three hits in seven innings of work. He walked two and struck out seven. Compare that to fellow Cy Young candidate Chien-Ming Wang's 5.2 innings of five run, three walk, three strike out ball. Advantage: Josh.

While this game ended as a laugher, it didn't begin that way. Jeter's homer in the first put the Yankees up 1-0. The Red Sox answered back in the bottom of the inning tying it at 1, but neither team scored again until the Sox put one on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Boston scored three more in the bottom of the sixth and then four more in the bottom of the seventh to put the game away.

The win guarantees that the Yankees will leave town at least 4.5 games behind Boston with 14 games to play (the Red Sox have 13 games left). A win by the Sox tomorrow all but wraps up the division crown as the lead will be 6.5 with just 12 to play.

The Sox didn't need
much help from their bullpen today. That could be huge tomorrow. While the Yankees went through six different pitchers, the Red Sox used only three. For Boston, Timlin won't likely be available tomorrow as he's thrown in two consecutive days, but other than that the Sox should have Papelbon, Gagne, and Okajima ready to go tomorrow. Conversely, the Yankees should have Chamberlain (although he was throwing in the bullpen for a while at the end of today's game) and Rivera ready should they be needed as well. If Clemens doesn't make it through seven the Yankees will have a tired bullpen to turn to for help.

Quick 'n Dirty Cy Young Comparison:

Wang: 18-7, 3.82 ERA, 186.1 innings pitched
Beckett: 19-6, 3.20 ERA, 188.2 innings pitched

The other guy in serious contention is C.C. Sabathia of Cleveland who is 17-7 with a 3.21 ERA in 227.0 innings pitched.

Also of note, there were some extracurricular activities in today's game. A few innings after throwing a pitch dangerously close to Coco Crisp, Wang hit Kevin Youkilis in the left wrist. Youk had to leave the game (x-rays were negative) and was clearly in some serious pain. An inning later, after retiring the first two hitters, Josh Beckett hit Jason Giambi on the arm with a fastball in the first pitch of the at-bat. The pitch was inside, but it wasn't egregiously so. While Wang's pitch that hit Youk was almost surely unintentional, Beckett's pitch that hit Giambi could have been thrown with malice. Whether it was or not, with Clemens and Schilling (but especially Clemens) on the mound tomorrow this will not likely be forgotten.

AL East: Sox lead NY by 5.5 games, 5 in the loss column. The Yankees lead over the Tigers for the Wild Card is 3.0 games as of this writing (but the Tigers are currently beating the punchless Twins 4-0 in the second inning - a win by Detroit makes that a 2.5 game lead).

Tomorrow: The Red Sox and Yankees wrap up their season series tomorrow night at the Fens. The Yankees lead the season series 9 games to 8, but the Red Sox have outscored New York 96-89. Curt Schilling goes against Roger "Its my last 'last time in Fenway' I swear!" Clemens. Game time 8:05pm EST.

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