Friday, August 29, 2008
Yankees get a win to savor in October when they're sitting at home
After winning the first two games of the final regular season Yankees-Red Sox series at Yankee Stadium, Boston had a great chance to pick up the sweep yesterday afternoon. Jon Lester was dealing and his team had a 2-0 lead when he departed with two outs in the seventh.
Sadly, Hideki Okajima reverted back to his earlier season form: giving up a pinch-hit two-run homer to Jason Giambi. The Giambino added the game-winning hit in the ninth, a bases-loaded single off Jonathan Papelbon with one out.
It was still a very successful trip for the Sox (77-56). The road has been one of their biggest weaknesses this season but they won three series in a row. Boston now has 20 of its last 29 games at Fenway. They're 4.5 behind the Rays in the AL East but 2.5 games ahead of the Twins (who appear to be finally fading a bit).
At 10.5 games behind in the AL East and six games behind Boston in the Wild Card, to say the Yankees (71-62) are on life support is generous. Regardless, they came through with an exciting win for the home fans.
Jon Lester and Mike Mussina dueled for seven innings but neither factored in the decision. Lester stuck around for 6.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. He left since his pitch count was up to 119.
Mussina went seven innings. He gave up two runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Boston got both of its runs in the fifth on a Jason Varitek RBI single and Jacoby Ellsbury's fielder's choice.
Giambi homered to deep center with two outs in the seventh and then delivered again in the ninth after Justin Masterson (4-4) had loaded the bases. Papelbon was up 0-2 on Giambi but he left a fastball over the middle of the plate.
Derek Jeter had three hits off Lester and Mariano Rivera (5-5) got the win after recording four outs.
The Red Sox had more bad news after the game as Josh Beckett was scratched once again from his scheduled start tonight. He's also going to visit Dr. James Andrews to check out his elbow which is never a good sign.
In addition, the first-place Chicago White Sox come to Fenway for three games beginning tonight. The slugging White Sox will probably hit about 15 homers over the course of the series.