Well, for anyone who thinks a low scoring game is boring, you must have had fun last night. On a night when the Sox offense was on a roll, the pitching imploded. The Yankees had a very similar problem. The two teams went toe to toe for the most part. After 5 innings both teams had gone through 2 pitchers with the Red Sox giving up 11 runs, while the Yankees gave up 9 runs. Both teams needed a reliever to stop the bleeding. The Yankees found theirs in LaTroy Hawkins who pitched two scoreless innings, and the Red Sox found theirs in David Aardsma who also pitched two scoreless innings. But, to end the game, the Sox brought in Mike Timlin who was (again) unable to hold back the dam and gave up 4 more insurance runs to the Yankees. Game over. Yankees win 15-9.
The good news, for Sox fans, is that the Red Sox were able to clobber Yankee ace Chien-Ming Wang, who had pitched a 2-hitter against them only last week. The bad news is that Clay Buchholz got just as clobbered. So far, Clay looks like a pitcher who has potential, but still needs more work in Pawtucket. Here's what I expect. Clay will get 2 more starts, probably fare moderately well, but not brilliantly. Right around that time, Bartolo Colon will be declared fit and ready to go, and we'll see Colon come up and Clay go down. That's more good news - we have a starter working his way up to help out. We also have the possibility of Curt Schilling making it back up sometime this summer.
The Yankees caught a break in the 5th when Melky Cabrera went a mile out of the base path to break up a double play. The rule is that he has to be able to reach second base when he slides, but in this case he was sliding out to center field, no where near the bag. The ump should have made the call, which would have resulted in the runner at first being out, ending the inning. As is turned out, it only cost the Sox one run - and gave Julio Lugo a cheap error in his stats.
Here's a worrisome quote from Terry Francona...
"Tonight, we go to Tavarez, and if he struggles, that's what happens. We really didn't have anywhere else to go," said Francona.
We didn't have anywhere else to go because Kyle Snyder had been cut loose! Theo Epstein needs to be out there looking for dependable middle relief!
When you score 9 runs and lose, in my mind you really let one get away. The other piece of good new for the Sox is that our #5 pitcher is the one who got hammered. For the Yankees, it was their #1 ace pitcher. Not a good thing. The Red Sox send their ace, Josh Beckett, to the mound tonight to face Mike Mussina. You would think this one should go to the Red Sox, but we'll see. If Beckett and Mussina pitch the way you'd expect, and the Sox bats (Ramirez, JD Drew) stay hot, the game is in the bag. I'd look for a classic pitching night for the Sox - Beckett goes 7 innings, Okajima pitches and 8th, and Papelbon closes her out. The only worry is that Beckett has been tiring around the 6th inning, so (gasp) we might need middle relief!
Lastly, start worrying about injuries. The list is growing with Kevin Youkilis fouling a pitch off of his toe, and Alex Cora going the DL for an elbow strain. To replace Alex Cora, the Sox are bringing up Joe Thurston from Pawtucket. With Youk likely sitting out tonight, the Sox are expected to play Jed Lowrie at third base, and Sean Casey at first. Not a good sign to be missing your two starting corner infielders.