Sunday, April 22, 2012
Apparently 9-Run Leads Aren't What They Used To Be
The Yankees (9-6, 5-3 away) tied a franchise record for the biggest comeback ever as they recovered from being down nine runs to pull out a 15-9 win vs. the shell-shocked Red Sox (4-10, 3-5) at Fenway Park.
Boston's fifth straight loss of the season was one of the most insane defeats that I've ever seen, from the team that wrote the book on improbable losses.
I made the mistake of having dinner after Boston was up 9-1 in the sixth, I almost couldn't believe it when I flipped on the radio to find out that New York had pulled to within 9-8 in the seventh. Once the Yanks went ahead in the eighth, I knew it was over.
This one fell squarely on the bullpen's overmatched shoulders. No less than five different guys came in for the Red Sox and they all gave up runs before Junichi Tazawa (called up from the PawSox earlier this week) was able to get the last four outs.
Felix Doubront had his best MLB start, given the circumstances, so he deserved much better than what ended up happening. He held New York to one run (earned) over six innings with four hits, seven strikeouts and three walks.
Freddy Garcia was useless, he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings, while the next New York relievers-Clay Rapada and David Phelps-also couldn't stop the bleeding. However, that's when Rafael Soriano (2-0), Boone Logan and Cody Eppley combined to shut out the Red Sox in the final three innings.
Mark Teixeira (6 RBIs, 3 hits, 3 runs) and Nick Swisher (6 RBIs, 3 hits, 2 runs) provided most of the damage for the Yankees. Derek Jeter (3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, RBI), Eduardo Nunez (3 hits, 2 runs) and Russell Martin (2 runs, 2 hits, 2 RBIs) all had multiple hits as well.
You don't lose many non-beer league softball games where you have 17 hits but that's what the Red Sox accomplished today so there's that. David Ortiz (4 hits, run, RBI) is arguably the hottest hitter in MLB and it was nice to see Jarrod Saltalamacchia (4 hits, run) come out of his season-long slump too. Cody Ross (2 runs, 2 hits, 2 RBIs) and Mike Aviles (2 hits, 2 RBIs, run, stolen base) are off to fine starts in their Red Sox careers at the plate. Dustin Pedroia added two hits and an RBI.
Boston hasn't scored first often this season but they went wild to begin today with two in the first, three in the second, two in the third and two in the fifth.
Adrian Gonzalez and Ortiz had RBI doubles to start things off. Aviles and Pedroia had RBI singles sandwiched around a sacrifice fly by Ryan Sweeney in the second. Darnell McDonald had a sacrifice fly in the third and Aviles put up another RBI single. Ross closed the binge with a two-run blast to center, his third home run of the season, in the fifth. Not bad, right?
Teixeira began the epic rally with a solo homer in the sixth, his second of the season. Swisher greeted Vicente Padilla with a grand slam, his fourth homer of the season, in the seventh. Matt Albers came on and he gave up a three-run bomb to Teixeira in the same inning.
New York tacked on seven more runs in the eighth. Alfredo Aceves entered in the eighth for a six-out save but that didn't go quite as planned since he allowed five earned runs on four walks (two intentional) and two hits. Swisher, Teixeira and Martin each had two-run doubles. Jeter finished it off with an RBI single.
Not that it matters, since they would probably lose anyway but it looks like we are getting some serious rain tomorrow so I doubt the Sunday Night Baseball game (8 p.m., ESPN) will happen. That's a shame too since Terry Francona would be in the booth and God only knows what he could say about this disaster.
The Red Sox' best bet is to duck the Yankees, get out on the road against the Twins and White Sox-two mediocre teams-and try to put all this failure behind them before this season is over before it has even really begun.