Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yankees Sweep Red Sox

Not a headline I like to write. But facts are facts.

The Sox got clobbered 13-6 on Thursday night thus very probably ending the career of John Smoltz.

On Friday, the game went scoreless for 15 innings before Alex Rodriguez hit a two run home run off Junichi Tazawa, possibly ending a career before it really started.

Yesterday, C.C. Sabathia pitched seven and two thirds innings of shutout ball en route to a 5-0 victory. It was the first time the Sox had been shutout in back to back games since 2002.

Tonight was reminiscent of Friday. Jon Lester and Andy Pettitte were doing their best Josh Beckett and A.J. Burnett impressions. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the 7th when Rodriguez hit a solo homerun off Lester. It was A-Rod's 574th career homerun. He passed Harmon Killebrew for the 9th on the all-time list.

But the Red Sox did come to life albeit briefly in the top of the 8th when newly acquired Victor Martinez slammed a two run homerun off Yankees reliever Phil Coke. I guess you could say Coke's fastball lost its fizz. The homerun gave the Sox a 2-1 lead and were the first runs the Sox had scored in 31 innings.

However, ten minutes later the Yankees retook the lead. After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the 8th, Sox reliever Daniel Bard gave up back to back homeruns to Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira. The Yankees now led 3-2. Bard continued to pitch tragically when he walked A-Rod. Bard was then lifted in favor of Hideki Okajima. But he faired no better giving up a double to Jorge Posada and a two run single to Nick Swisher. The Yankees now led 5-2.

The game did get interesting in the top of the 9th when David Ortiz was sent up to pinch hit for Nick Green against Mariano Rivera. Big Papi managed to work a walk which brought up the tying run in Jacoby Ellsbury. However, Ellsbury would meekly tap out to Teixeira at first to end the game.

The Boston Red Sox were not only swept by the New York Yankees but have lost six consecutive games having also been swept by the Tampa Bay Rays. The Sox are now 6½ games out of first place in the AL East. They are also now in a tie for the AL Wild Card with the Texas Rangers. After the Red Sox play the AL Central Division leading Detroit Tigers they travel to Arlington to face the Rangers next weekend. The Rays are only 1½ games out of the AL Wild Card spot.

One can only hope that the Sox have a bad case of the flu and that the worst of it is over.

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