« September 29, 2005
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September 30, 2005
Red Sox win the opener of the three-game series, 5-3, pulling them into a first-place tie in the A.L. East. Now all eyes turn to Cleveland, where the White Sox and Indians are heading into the 11th inning, to see what impact Boston's win has on the wild-card race.
Posted by Art at 10:19 PM | Permalink
Top of the ninth
Sierra strikes out swinging. Williams strikes out swinging. Cano singles to right. Jeter grounds out, Renteria to Olerud. Red Sox 5, Yankees 3
Posted by Art at 10:09 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the eighth
Nixon called out on strikes. Varitek grounds out, Jeter to Giambi. Olerud flies to Matsui. Red Sox 5, Yankees 3
Posted by Art at 10:05 PM | Permalink
Bad news from Cleveland
All night long, it looked like the Red Sox (and Yankees) were going to get some help from the White Sox . . . even though Chicago rested six of its regulars for tonight's game against the Indians. But Cleveland, which trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, tied it up and that game is headed to extra innings.
Posted by Art at 10:02 PM | Permalink
And then they were even
New York manager Joe Torre knew coming into tonight's game that it was going to be a battle of epic porportions.
The Yankees were facing former teammate David Wells, who has proven over time that he is a big-game pitcher. Boomer kept the Bronx Bombers off balance for much of the night and led Boston to a 5-3 victory at Fenway Park.
With two games remaining in the regular season, the Sox and Yanks are even in the American League east standings.
"This was an important game, obviously," said Yankees' Alex Rodriguez. "It was a game we wanted to win and we needed to win. We just didn't get it done. Tomorrow is another day."
The teams take the field at 1:15 today.
Rodriguez and New York manager Joe Torre said Wells was the difference in this one.
"He threw a lot of curveballs," said Rodriguez. "I thought I hit a home run on one of them, but he threw a lot of curveballs. It looked like he had a great feel, especially after the third inning.
"Wells is a guy, who you want to get in the first three innings because when you look up, he could still be out there in the eighth and that was the case tonight."
New York starter, Chien-Ming Wang, was a little jittery according to Torre, but the Yankees' skipper was still happy with the outing.
"He certainly pitched well enough to win," said Torre.
"Wells did not allow us a lot," added Torre. "We had chances, but we didn't cash in."
The Yankees have Randy Johnson taking the hill on Saturday and hope to reverse tonight's shortcomings.
"This ballclub has bounced back so often," said Torre. "And, we need to do that tomorrow."
Posted by Joe McDonald at 9:57 PM | Permalink
Top of the eighth
Chad Bradford replaces David Wells as Boston's pitcher. Sheffield grounds out, Renteria to Olerud. Mike Myers replaces Bradford as Boston's pitcher. Matsui strikes out swinging. Mike Timlin replaces Myers as Boston's pitcher. Posada called out on strikes. Red Sox 5, Yankees 3
Posted by Art at 9:44 PM | Permalink
Wang's final line is . . .
The Yankees' starter allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits with six walks and four strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. The young right-hander surrendered a solo home run to Jason Varitek to lead off the second inning. Wang threw 104 pitches (54 strikes)
Posted by Joe McDonald at 9:44 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the seventh
Graffanino grounds out, Rodriguez to Giambi. Damon grounds out, Giambi to Wang. Renteria walks. Al Leiter replaces Wang as New York's pitcher. Ortiz walks, Renteria taking second. Scott Proctor replaces Leiter as New York's pitcher. Ramirez grounds out, Jeter to Giambi. Red Sox 5, Yankees 3
Posted by Art at 9:27 PM | Permalink
Going. . . Going. . . Gone!
Before Derek Jeter launched a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, the Yankee shortstop entered his fourth at-bat of the game 0-for-7 in the last two games. The round-tripper was his 19th of the season to cut the Sox' lead to 5-3.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 9:26 PM | Permalink
Top of the seventh
Williams flies to Nixon. Cano singles to left. Jeter homers to right-center, scoring Cano. Rodriguez called out on strikes. Giambi grounds out, Olerud unassisted. Red Sox 5, Yankees 3
Posted by Art at 9:14 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the sixth
Damon singles to right. Damon steals second. Renteria strikes out swinging. Ortiz is intentionally walked. Ramirez singles to left, Damon taking third, Ortiz taking second. Nixon walks, scoring Damon, Ortiz taking third, Ramirez taking second. Varitek reaches on a fielder's choice, Ortiz scoring on a throwing error by Giambi, Ramirez taking third, Nixon taking second. Olerud hits a sacrifice fly to Williams, scoring Ramirez. Nixon takes third on a passed ball by Posada. Mueller grounds out, Giambi unassisted. Red Sox 5, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:52 PM | Permalink
Top of the sixth
Giambi singles to right. Sheffield flies to Damon. Matsui doubles to right-center, Giambi taking third. Posada grounds out, Mueller to Olerud, runners holding. Sierra flies to Damon. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:45 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the fifth
Olerud walks. Mueller grounds into a double play, Jeter to Cano to Giambi. Graffanino fouls to Posada. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:34 PM | Permalink
Consumption is a beautiful thing!
There is no scoreboard watching going on at Fenway Park tonight. The fans in attendance are completely consumed with this game and not the other one of note.
In the last week, every time a new score was put on the scoreboard in left field, the fans either rejoiced or booed. Tonight, however, when the White Sox-Cleveland score was updated with the White Sox winning, 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, there was no reaction from the fans.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 8:33 PM | Permalink
Top of the fifth
Cano flies to Ramirez. Jeter grounds out, Mueller to Olerud. Rodriguez flies deep to Damon. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:26 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the fourth
Ramirez grounds out, Jeter to Giambi. Nixon walks. Nixon caught stealing, Posada to Jeter. Varitek called out on strikes. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:17 PM | Permalink
Top of the fourth
Matsui singles to center. Posada pops to Graffanino. Sierra called out on strikes. Williams flies to Nixon. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:08 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the third
Damon reaches on an error by Rodriguez. Renteria sacrifices, Chien-Ming Wang to Giambi, Damon taking second. Ortiz grounds out, Wang to Giambi, Damon out attempting to take third, Giambi to Rodriguez to Jeter. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 8:01 PM | Permalink
Top of the third
Rodriguez flies deep to Damon. Giambi called out on strikes. Sheffield lines to Renteria. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 7:52 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the second
Jason Varitek homers to left-center. Olerud grounds out, Giambi unassisted. Bill Mueller grounds out, Jeter to Giambi. Graffanino grounds out, Cano to Giambi. Red Sox 2, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 7:46 PM | Permalink
Top of the second
Bernie Williams flies to Ramirez. Robinson Cano grounds out, Tony Graffanino to John Olerud. Jeter lines to Nixon. Red Sox 1, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 7:41 PM | Permalink
Bottom of the first
Johnny Damon walks. Damon steals second. Edgar Renteria grounds out, Jeter to Giambi. David Ortiz singles to right-center, scoring Damon. Manny Ramirez strikes out swinging. Nixon called out on strikes. Red Sox 1, Yankees 1
Posted by Art at 7:27 PM | Permalink
Top of the first
Derek Jeter strikes out swinging. Alex Rodriguez walks. Jason Giambi walks, Rodriguez taking second. Rodriguez steals third. Gary Sheffield hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Hideki Matsui singles to center, scoring Rodriguez, Giambi taking third, Sheffield taking second. Jorge Posada strikes out swinging. Ruben Sierra flies to Trot Nixon. Yankees 1, Red Sox 0
Posted by Art at 7:24 PM | Permalink
The movie of choice in the Yankees' clubhouse prior to tonight's game was Gladiator . . . Former Red Sox pitcher Alan Embree and current Boston hurler Mike Timlin were chatting during batting practice. . .With his RBI-single in the top of the first inning, Hideki Matsui now has 115 RBI on the season. He has posted three consecutive seasons with 100-plus RBI. . . Wang surrendered a solo homer to Jason Varitek in the bottom of second inning. It was only the right-hander's eighth round-tripper allowed in 110 innings of work this season. . . Alex Rodriguez's error in the bottom of the third inning was his 12th of the season. . . Through five innings, Derek Jeter is 0-for-3 and now has only one hit in his last 13 at-bats. . . With his base hit in the top of the sixth inning off Wells, Jason Giambi has five hits in his last 29 at-bats and has reached base safely in 14 of his last 19 plate appearances. . . In the sixth inning, Matsui posted his third hit of the night and now has 53 multi-hit games this season. It is his 13th three-hit game. . .Sox' Johnny Damon has stolen two bases off Jorge Posada tonight. In fact, Posada has allowed 90 swipes this season and has thrown out 38 potential base stealers. . .Chien-Ming Wang walked in a run in the bottom of the sixth inning, which is unusual. In 114 innings of work, Wang has only walked 29 batters.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:45 PM | Permalink
How did we ever get to this point?
When the Yankees completed spring training, manager Joe Torre figured he had the deepest starting rotation in his 10 years as skipper.
Then the rotataion crumbled.
Kevin Brown went down. Jaret Wright went down. Carl Pavano went down. Newly acquired Randy Johnson was not pitching as well as the club had hoped and there's Mike Mussina. The club's biggest turnaround, as Torre said, happened when Aaron Small, Shawn Chacon and Chien-Ming Wang became the core of the rotation.
Tonight's starter, Chien-Ming Wang, will certainly have his hands full in front of the Fenway Faithful.
"Tonight is an experience he is going to learn from and build from," said Torre. "He doesn't have a whole lot of experience under his belt, but he has certainly made us comfortable."
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:34 PM | Permalink
Mussina to pitch Sunday
New York manager Joe Torre admitted prior to last night's game that Mike Mussina will be his starting pitcher on Sunday.
Mussina is 13-8 with a 4.41 E.R.A this season. Because the right-hander will be pitching on short rest, Al Leiter will replace him if he gets into trouble.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:29 PM | Permalink
Torre knows Wells
Yankee manager Joe Torre knows David Wells all too well. The former Yankee hurler is no doubt fired up about pitching against his former club with the stakes as high as they are. The left-hander did not do so well in the season opener in New York, but he’s hoping this time out will be much different.
Torre realizes the attitude and mound presence Wells will take into his outing tonight.
''Hopefully we are able to put some runs on the board early and be able to get some good at-bats against him,'' said Torre. ''He has a lot of run support. He throws a lot of strikes, so you want to be patient, but not patient to the point where you put yourself in a hole. We certainly know his reputation and we've seen it first-hand, a lot of our guys have. We know he lives for this type of situation.''
Torre was asked how a guy like Wells is able to perform so well in these types of situations.
''You are born with it,'' said Torre referring to Wells' personality and mound presence. ''That is not stuff you can't learn. Boomer is a challenge-type guy. You give him something to accomplish, especially if there is a little doubt in there, it makes him that more determined.''
Wells is 2-2 with a 4.26 E.R.A against the Yankees this season. In his career, he has a 18-10 mark with a 3.09 E.R.A. against New York. At Fenway Park this season, Wells is 7-1 with a 3.00 E.R.A.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 6:14 PM | Permalink
This and That, Game 160
Jonathan Papelbon, who worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings Thursday night, was given Friday night off from bullpen duty. The rookie right-hander said he'd be ready to go for Saturday and Sunday . . . Right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who threw 79 pitches in a loss Wednesday night, was avaialable in the bullpen Friday night . . . Kevin Youkilis and Curt Schilling received photos of themselves with former President George H.W. Bush taken during pregame festivities at a game earlier this year that were signed by President Bush . . . Actor Robert Redford was at the game, wandering around on the field during the Yankees' batting practice . . . Mike Timlin was awarded UPN's 10th player award . . . Roberto Petagine has left the team for an excused absence to deal with a serious situation at home, the Sox said . . . Wade Boggs, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, was honored in a pregame ceremony, walking in from under the center field stands after a video tribute was run on the screen in center. Owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and CEO Larry Lucchino presented him with a 2004 championship watch, and then Tim Wakefield pulled up the third-base bag and awarded it to Boggs, who played the position in Boston for 11 years before joining the Yankees, for whom he helped win a World Championship. Somewhat surprisingly, even though he went into the Hall wearing a Red Sox cap, he ended his brief remarks by saying, ``Go, Sox,'' with the Yanks sitting in the third-base dugout only a few feet away.
Posted by at 6:00 PM | Permalink
No extra incentive for Stanton
Mike Stanton admitted he was surprised when he heard the Red Sox had obtained him Thursday for the rest of the regular season, which could be as many as five games depending on scenarios that included ties in the standings.
But he said there is no extra incentive on his part because the Sox are hooking up with this weekend with the Yankees, the team that released him on July 1 with his earned-run average at 7.07.
``There is extra excitement, but not because of who's on the other side,'' said the left-hander.
``Obviously this is not something you expect to happen,'' he said, referring to the deal. ``Originally when I heard about it I laughed. It was quite a surprise. You think you've seen everything and something else comes up.''
Stanton pitched much better for Washington (3.58 E.R.A. in 30 games) after being cut loose by New York. He attributed the improvement to just being able to pitch consistently.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, were able to obtain him for two non-descript minor-league right-handers. It's likely Stanton will appear in this series.
``I told him to be ready and that we were glad to have him, and he said he'd be ready,'' said Boston manager Terry Francona, relating the first brief conversation he had with his newest pitcher.
``It (the late deal) is a little unique, but he may help. That's the whole idea,'' said Francona.
Posted by at 5:53 PM | Permalink
Sling for Stern
Adam Stern, the Rule 5 draftee, was back in the Sox' clubhouse Friday, a day after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.
The outfielder was wearing a sling, but he was happy with the results of the arthroscopic procedure performed in Los Angeles. It could have been a lot worse.
``There was fraying of the rotator cuff and the labrum, but they were able to avoid sittiching the labrum,'' said Stern, who expected to be ready to throw full-bore by February or March, earlier than he would have been able to do had the labrum needed stitiching.
``They told me I had to get it done, though because there was a bunch of junk in there,'' he said.
Bunch of junk? A new medical term, perhaps?
``I was so loopy (from medication) when they told me what they did that I don't know exactly what they said. I'll have to talk to (team physician) Dr. (Thomas) Gill) before I can give you a more scientific explanation,'' he said.
Posted by at 5:36 PM | Permalink
Not so sobering advice
David Wells, signed in the offseason by the Red Sox because of his history of success in big games, including the postseason, Friday night had a chance to rub it in the noses of the Yankees, for whom he had two stints.
As he was about to leave the ballpark Thursday night, David Ortiz said he offered some advice to the left-hander.
``I told him, `If you feel like you can pitch a no-hitter, then go out and get drunk,' '' said Ortiz with a hearty laugh. ``He did it once.''
Ortiz was referring to the perfect game Wells authored for the Yankees in 1998. In Wells's autobiography, he said he had been hung over while pitching his gem against Minnesota on May 17 that season.
Posted by at 5:31 PM | Permalink
Pick your poison
It has not gone unnoticed that David Ortiz has had a monster September in his run at an MVP award.
The Red Sox' designated hitter had mashed 11 homers already this month prior to Friday night's game against the Yankees. That was a club record, eclipsing the 10 September dingers bashed by Jimmie Foxx (1938) and Tony Conigliaro (1970).
But Ortiz suggested that the Yankees should be thinking twice about pitching around him because Manny Ramirez bats behind him in the lineup. Ramirez has seven homers in his last 12 games, boosting his season total to 42, while helping increase his RBI total to 138, third in the American League behind Ortiz (146) and Texas' Mark Teixeira.
``If I'm a pitcher, I don't take any chances with Manny, I tell you that right now,'' said Ortiz. ``He's a box-ful of surprises. He's excited, very into the game right now. I don't see myself pitching to Manny.''
Posted by at 5:25 PM | Permalink
Ortiz speaks well of MVP rival A-Rod
David Ortiz, who is in a personal battle with the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez for the MVP award, had some nice things to say Friday night about the New York third baseman and former fellow Seattle Mariners farmhand.
``He deserves a lot of respect from a lot of people,'' said Big Papi. ``The last time they were in here, we went back to my house and hung out. He's a good guy. He's very interesting when you sit down and talk to him. He's the kind of guy who pays a lot of attention to what you say. He learns and he teaches. He's one of the best players in the game.''
Posted by at 5:20 PM | Permalink
Youkilis gets the go-ahead
Infielder Kevin Youkilis was cleared Thursday night to participate in this series.
Youkilis suffered a fracture of the tip of his right ring finger on Sept. 18 while trying to field a ground ball.
Boston manager Terry Francona was more likely to use him as a pinch hitter than in the field. Francona said using him at third base would ``be a stretch'' because it's still difficult for Youkilis to throw the ball hard, but first base duty remained a better possibility.
Youkilis said he was ready to go, able to hit with the help of a gel-like pad that was wrapped around the handle of his bat to help cushion the still tedner finger from the vibrations of the ball hitting the bat.
``I'm fine now,'' said Youkilis, his fingernail area on the finger still an ugly black. ``It still hurts for a little bit if I throw the ball hard, but that goes away after a few seconds. Hitting I feel great.''
Posted by at 5:12 PM | Permalink
Home field advantage
The Red Sox could thank the schedule maker for having the home-field advantage for this series with the Yankees.
Boston entered last night tied with Atlanta for the best home record in the majors at 53-28. That certainly didn't make winning the series, or sweeping, a certainty, by any means.
It couldn't hurt, but it isn't the be-all, end-all, said Boston manager Terry Francona.
``The biggest thing is we get to bat last,'' said Francona. ``It will be electric, and most of it will be on our side. But it's not like football where the adrenalin really matters. We can't hand the ball off to (David) Ortiz and send him up the middle. We're not going to block. A pitcher can get too pumped up and miss his spots.''
Posted by at 5:05 PM | Permalink
It was strange to see a clean-shaven Mark Bellhorn eating a meatball sandwich in the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway Park prior to tonight's game. The former Red Sox second baseman fell from grace this season, only months after helping Boston to its first World Series title in 86 years.
Bellhorn and southpaw Alan Embree are both experiencing the magic of October from the other side.
"It's different," said Bellhorn. "But this is the way you want it to be. You want it to end with this rivalry. It's been a month-and-a-half since I've been here and I've gotten to know these guys a lot better now. It does feel like I was [at Fenway] just yesterday, driving in and going into the Red Sox’ clubhouse.''
Bellhorn expects this to be a special weekend. It doesn't matter which side you are playing for.
''It's going to be great,'' he said. ''The crowd is obviously going to be involved. I always love playing these types of games. This is what the season is about.''
When asked if he was hoping the final weekend of the regular season would mean as much as it does now at the time he was optioned, Bellhorn said ''I knew it was going to happen, and everyone in the [Yankee] clubhouse said the same thing. In everybody's mind, everyone knew it would be these two teams at the end.''
One hour until game time.
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:55 PM | Permalink
There was no overstating the importance of this three-game showdown series with the New York Yankees, with an American League East title and possibly the only postseason berth to come out of the division on the line.
There also was no overstating the fact that pressure would be hanging in the air at Fenway Park long before the first pitch of Friday night's series opener.
But manager Terry Francona, whose Red Sox knew they needed to sweep the series to overtake the Yankees, didn't sound as if he wanted to be anywhere else.
``The amount of anxiety that gets built up is not for the reasons you guys might think,'' said Francona at his daily pregame press conference, which was held in the interview room instead of his office because of the large contingent of media.
``Losing is part of (the anxiety), but it's more what we expect of ourselves, the amount of caring, the amount of work. That's what may make us edgy sometimes, but I wouldn't trade it for the world,'' he said.
``This is pretty exciting. Yeah, I'm going to enjoy it. If we're down a run in the ninth, I won't have my pom pons up. But competition is awesome. Trying to be better than someone else at what you enjoy doing is something great,'' he said.
Posted by at 4:52 PM | Permalink
The Sox lineup, Game 160
Boston's lineup for Friday night's showdown against the Yankees was as could be expected, given the fact New York was starting a right-handed pitcher.
John Olerud was in the lineup at first base. Trot Nixon moved up from eighth in the lineup against the left-handers the Blue Jays threw at the Sox earlier in the week to fifth, with Jason Varitek sliding down to sixth.
The only mild surprise was at second base where Tony Graffanino got the start. Alex Cora had started some games at the position against righties.
Posted by at 4:49 PM | Permalink
Yankees Red Sox
Posted by Joe McDonald at 4:47 PM | Permalink