Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Another Yankee Outburst Crushes The Scum


Remember how I wondered, during the Yankees' 13-run outburst against the Chicago White Sox on Friday and their 12-run onslaught on Sunday, if they were saving any runs for their arch-enemies this week?

Apparently, they were. I just hope they didn't spend themselves last night, because there's 2 more games against The Scum.

Last night, Masahiro Tanaka started for the Yankees. Doing so for the Red Sox was 23-year-old Henry Owens, making his major league debut. Uh-oh, the proverbial pitcher the Yankees have never seen before.


The Red Sox began the night 13 games behind the 1st place Yankees. So far, I like what I'm seeing.

But, looking at the Red Sox lineup, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Most of the usual suspects are gone. David Ortiz, the big fat lying cheating bastard, is still there as the designated hitter. Mike Napoli is still there at 1st base -- mainly because you can't have 2 DHs, and 1st base is the least taxing field position.

But Dustin Pedroia is injured, and unavailable for this series. They had former San Francisco Giants World Series hero Pablo Sandoval, putting "Kung Fu Panda," who may be even more rotund than Big Papi, at 3rd base -- because the DH and 1st base slots were already occupied. Former Florida Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers star Hanley Ramirez was in left field, having returned to the Sox, his 1st organization.

Brock Holt? Blake Swihart?J ackie Bradley Jr.? Xander Bogaerts? These sound like names of soap opera characters -- the kind dashing, if dimwitting, young man that the leading lady, tired of her husband's neglect and philandering, uses for her own affair, and then sees them killed by the show's villain of the month. Alejandro De Aza? Maybe a similar character in a telenovela.

Anyway, the Sox' makeshift lineup worked just enough... for a while. For 5 1/2 innings, it was a tight pitching duel. The Yankees struck immediately, with a single by Chris Young, a walk by Alex Rodriguez, and a single by Mark Teixeira. But Owens settled down after that, and the Sox got him 2 runs in the top of the 5th: A double by Napoli, singles by De Aza and Swihart, and a sacrifice fly by Bradley.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, a website which is your friend whether you know it or not, the Yankees began the bottom of the 6th with a 38 percent chance of winning the game. That seems a little low, considering A, how they've been hitting lately; B, the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium; and C, the quality, or rather lack thereof, of the Red Sox bullpen.

Young led off the inning with a single. A-Rod doubled him over to 3rd. Then Sox manager John Farrell -- a native of New Jersey, a graduate of Shore Regional High School in West Long Branch, and himself a former pitcher and pitching coach, so he darn well should have known better -- pulled a blunder that might have come right out of Joe Girardi's Binder Full of Strategies. After just 5 innings and change, having thrown 96 pitches, he pulled Owens for a reliever, Robbie Ross.

Big mistake. Teix singled home young to tie the game. Brian McCann doubled home A-Rod to give the Yanks the lead. Carlos Beltran grounded to 3rd, and Sandoval couldn't hold the runner. 4-2 Yankees.

Sandoval put the Sox right back in the ballgame by leading off the top of the 7th with a home run. Girardi relieved Tanaka with Justin Wilson, but he allowed a hit and a stolen base, so Girardi replaced him with Dellin Betances, who immediately made things worse with a wild pitch, a walk, and a stolen base. But he struck out Holt to keep it a 1-run ballgame.

It didn't stay that way. As with a non-baseball hero of the old Yankee Stadium, 1937-48 Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis, knocking the 2015 Yankees down turned out to be the worst thing the opposition could have done. It didn't knock 'em out, it only made 'em mad.

The Sox ended up using 3 different pitchers in the bottom of the 7th, just like the Yankees in the top of the 7th. Unlike the Yankees, they did not hold their opponents to just 1 run.

The Sox began the inning with Jean Machi on the mound. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded to short, and Bogaerts made a bad throw. Young drew a walk. A-Rod singled home Ellsbury. 5-3.

Farrell brought in Craig Breslow to pitch. (Another soap-opera name.) He struck Teixeira out. Then McCann crushed a home run down the right field line, his 18th dinger on the year. 8-3, and the game was effectively over. According to Baseball-Reference, at this point, the chances of the Yankees winning the game had soared from 38 percent to

But the winning wasn't -- far from it. Beltran doubled. Chase Headley doubled him home. 9-3. Breslow got Didi Gregorius to fly out, but he walked Brendan Ryan, and now the Yankees had batted around. Ellsbury singled home Headley. 10-3.

Farrell brought in Alexi Ogando. (That sounds more like the name of a girl from a teen drama like One Tree Hill or Pretty Little Liars.) Chris Young welcomed him to the game with a drive down the left-field line. Home run, his 13th of the season.

Then Ogando walked A-Rod, before finally stopping the bleeding by striking Teix out. There were 3 outs in this massive inning, and 2 were Teix Ks. (Don't be mad at him, though: He, along with A-Rod and the protection he provides in the lineup, has been the biggest reason the Yankees are in 1st place.)

13-3. In the inning, the Yankees had scored nine times in the inning. How many times, Ed Rooney? "Nine times!" That's 9 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks and an error.

The TV cameras caught starter Owens in the dugout, in tears. His major league debut, for one of the iconic teams in baseball, against another, in the greatest rivalry, in the most famous stadium, and he'd done very well for 5 innings... and it had all fallen apart, through hardly any fault of his own. And now, so had he.

As anyone who's observed the Red Sox since at least the 1970s can tell you, Jimmy Dugan of A League of Their Own was wrong: There is crying in baseball.

Branden Pinder pitched a scoreless 8th, and Nick Rumbelow a scoreless 9th -- the 2nd game in a row that he's pitched a perfect 9th. And the Yankees sent Rumbelow back down to Scranton this morning, to make roster space for tonight's starter, the much-hyped Luis Severino. "Nice job, kid, now go back to Scranton, and try not to spill any bananas."

Yankees 13, Red Sox 3. We crushed The Scum. WP: Tanaka (8-4). No save. LP: Owens (0-1).

*

I saw the Yankees beat the Red Sox 13-3 once. Live. It was July 30, 1999, and it was at Fenway. My favorite live game ever. (My favorite game of any kind remains the one the Yankees played at Shea Stadium on October 26, 2000.)

Lisa Swan, the tasteful half of the Subway Squawkers, got to see last night's game on a friend's dime. She enjoyed it, as you might guess. She paraphrased Robert Duvall's line about napalm in Apocalypse Now: "I love the smell of defeated Red Sox in the morning. It smells like... victory!"

This may be the 1st time the words "smell," "Red Sox" and "love" have ever been used in the same sentence. Certainly, I wouldn't have expected any Yankee Fan to use that combination! Unless he -- or, as in this case, she -- is a big fan of Apocalypse Now.

As for what Red Sox fans think, "The horror... The horror... " Or, as the guys behind Sox blog Monstah Mash put it:

I’m sure even the kind folks at Subway Squawkers can agree that this was not a game, or evena massacre–this was a 10 kilaton atomb bomb dropped on the collective hopes and dreams of an entire fanbase. The Yankees could have stopped at six or seven runs to thoroughly humiliate us, but no in typical arrogant Yankee fashion they wiped the baselines with us and it has left me standing still with my mouth gaping open in agony and confusion.

Well, boo-hoo, poor you.

The series continues tonight, with Severino making his major league debut, and Steven Wright -- not the existentialist comedian, though he is from Massachusetts and is a big Red Sox fan -- starting for the Red Sox.

Come on you Pinstripes!

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