First Yankees – Red Sox game of the season calls for blog updates throughout.
Grey day at Fenway Park, not the best baseball weather and a chill in the air in New York, which means it’s probably not better up in Boston. Lackey vs. Hughes, neither starter pitched well in their first game. Red Sox still looking for their first win, Adrian Gonzalez gets his first taste of the rivalry. Oh, and it’s also the Red Sox home opener. Great day for baseball! Keep it here at NASB!
Some thoughts here about the rivalry: Going back to 2005, the Red Sox are 4-2 in the first game of the year against the Yankees, including the 2010 season opener, and 2009 where they scored two runs in the ninth off of Mariano Rivera to tie the game, and then win on a Youkilis home run in extra innings.
Top 1st: Gardner leading off. Not off to a great start himself, batting just under .200. Shows a good eye taking a close 2-2 curveball for a ball and then works a walk. YES hasn’t flashed up the umpires yet, but Lackey was getting some close calls go against him.
Jeter pops a bunt sky high into the air that Saltalamacchia easily catches. Horrible bunt, Jeets. Lackey looking like he’s bounced back well, he gets Teixeira to lazily flyout to center. Gardner steals second with A-Rod batting as Salty throws it into centerfield, but Brett stays at 2nd. Walk to A-Rod to set the stage for Cano with 2 outs and ducks on the pond.
Robbie Cano drills a huge double over Ellsbury’s head in centerfield. Big hit for Cano, both runners score, good start for New York! Swisher flies to left to stop the bleeding for the Sox.
Lackey really upset with home plate umpire, Mark Wegner. No command on the mound, he’s going to have to turn it around in the next few innings or it could be a short day for him. And it may end at the hands of Wegner if he keeps it up.
Let’s see how the Sox do here in the bottom of the 1st against Phil Hughes. Could be a sign of contrasting days. Yankees get a couple of breaks on pitch calls in the first to put runners on base; Crawford hits a rocket at Cano for the first out.
Or I could be incredibly wrong! Dustin Pedroia takes a hanging curve over the Monster in left for a solo shot!! Hughes’ home run woes continue! 2-1 Yankees lead. In his first at-bat, Gonzalez flies out to right, some mis-communication between Granderson and Swish, but nothing big. Youk has a typical Youk at-bat and draws a walk on a full count. Velocity still down on Hughes’ fastball, but he did hit 92 MPH in that sequence. And on the first pitch, Ortiz lines out to left to end the inning. 2-1 Yanks, end 1st.
Posada to lead off against Lackey in the 2nd. Still has command issues with that fastball, but gets Posada to ground out to first on a 2-1 curveball. And Lackey can’t keep it going. Double off the Monster for Granderson, Crawford had trouble with the bounce. Should be a little used to it, he has played his entire career in the AL East. That’s about 10 games a year out in left. Martin grounds it to Pedroia, who fields the ball on the short side of 2nd. It gets the runner over, but with two outs for Gardner.
And HE plays wall ball, too! Double over Crawford in left-center, and the Yankees lead 3-1. Some big two out hits by the Yankees early on! Lackey still not happy with anything that’s happening. Fans getting restless too. Jeter’s slow start continues with a ground out to Gonzalez. But the Yankees get the run back.
Hughes out for the bottom of the 2nd and J.D. Drew smokes a single into centerfield. Saltalamacchia batting now. I have no idea if I’m spelling it properly, and it’s a long name, so he is now known as Salty. And he grounds a base hit past Cano into rightfield. Little rally going for the Sox here! Ellsbury dunks one into right for a basehit, but Drew got a bad jump. Doesn’t matter; bases loaded and nobody out for the Sox! Scutaro hits a soft grounder to short, Jeter gets the force out at third base, but the Sox cut the lead to 3-2. Another pitcher’s duel at Fenway Park. Jeter gets another try at short and takes the easy out at first to cut down Crawford. Smart plays by Jeter this inning.
Pesky Pedroia, who the Red Sox were without from the middle of June onward last year, gives the Red Sox their first lead of the game with a single to right-center. Pedroia now 2-2 with three RBI. Shows you how much they missed him last year. And Gonzalez grounds one through the left side to score Pedroia just ahead of Gardner’s throw. 5-3 Red Sox! Surprise… Youk walks on a full count for the second time today. Ortiz adds another run on a single to center, but Youk gets caught in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd for the final out of the inning. 6-3 Red Sox, and they score 5 in the 2nd inning.
Lackey out there with a lead now. Big inning for Lackey, has to shut the Yankees down this inning. And he gets Teix to strike out on a check-swing. Jeckyl and Hyde for Lackey again as he hits A-Rod on the second pitch. Colon warming for Yankees, looks like he may come in. Cano does it again as he lines a double down the left field line! 2nd and 3rd with one out for the Yankees as they look to bounce back. Absolutely what Lackey and the Red Sox did NOT want. Swisher fell behind 0-2 before working the count full and hitting a grounder up the middle for Scutaro, who gets Swisher, but the run scores. 6-4 Red Sox. Solid at-bat. Posada can’t answer with anything more as he taps out to first. Let’s see who pitches the third inning.
Bartolo Colon will start the third for the Yankees. He’ll face J.D. Drew to start off the inning. I’m not surprised that they went with the hook, given that it IS against the Red Sox. I did not expect Hughes to be out after two innings though. I don’t even think the most passionate Red Sox fan could have expected that. Drew strikes out looking. And a good two-seamer over the inside corner to get Salty looking at strike 3. Good start for Colon. Great inning for Colon as Ellsbury flies out to left. 1-2-3 and it keeps the Yankees within two runs. And with Lackey struggling, a huge relief opportunity for Colon and keep the Yankees in the game.
Granderson is robbed by Crawford who makes a sliding catch in left for out number one. Maybe Lackey can smile now? Martin grounds one down the line at third, but a solid play by Youkilis to field and throw him out. Little life in the inning for the Yankees as Gardner gets his second extra-base hit with a triple into the rightfield corner. It’s up to the Captain now. And Captain Clutch DOES come through. Solid single to center to drive in Gardner. Yankees back to within a run, down 6-5. Two out hits are ruining John Lackey’s day. And a wild pitch (which didn’t get that far away from Salty), moves Jeter into scoring position. Lackey gets a tough call on a 2-2 slider that was just barely inside but gets Teixeira out on strikes.
Second inning for Colon as Scutaro flies out to right to start the inning. This is where Colon can be very useful for the Yankees throughout the season. Five up, five down as Crawford flies to center. Here comes Pedroia again. I liked it better when he was injured. But he strikes out, the third K of the game for Colon. Maybe he should have started…
Comeback mounted! A-Rod launches a no-doubter to lead off the fifth. Crawford didn’t even turn. Tied at 6. And then Cano quickly grounds out. Lackey settles down more, and gets Swisher to line out to left. Two outs for the Yankees, but they’ve been deadly in this area today. Posada gives one a ride to the track in left-center, but Ellsbury has it to end the inning. Lackey at 90 pitches and has been unimpressive, will Francona send him out for the 6th?
Gonzalez lines one into the shift on one hop for Cano who throws him out. Colon still lighting up up out of the pen! Three plate appearances, three walks for Youkilis and the first base runner allowed by Colon. Red Sox put runners on the corner as Ortiz lines one under the glove of Teixeira at first and into right field. JD Drew, however, does not get the job done and pops out to shallow left. Salty giving Colon a good at-bat out there, fighting off a couple of 2 strike pitches and with Ortiz running, hammers one off the Monster. Ortiz only gets to third, and the Yankees trail once again, 7-6. Ellsbury pops out to right-center as Granderson makes the catch, and then collides with Swisher. That’s the second time today that they’ve had communication issues out there!! But the inning is over with minimal damage done. Lackey is actually in line for the win.
Former Yankee, Alfredo Aceves, comes in of relief for Lackey. Aceves’ last appearance was in Boston last May, before going out with a season ending back injury. Granderson whacked a pitch foul down the rightfield line. Granderson strikes out swinging on a 2-2 count. Martin gets an infield single off the glove of Scutaro deep in the Shortstop hole. It would have been a tough play even if he came up with it cleanly, Martin runs very well for a catcher. Gardner is having another really good at-bat, full count and fouling off a couple of pitches. And with Martin running on 3-2, Gardner walks. Aceves with some command issues as well. Not a good day for pitchers, but then again, it hardly ever is up in Fenway. The rally ends early as Jeter bounces into a 6-4-3 double play. Good turn by Pedroia, who had Gardner right there barreling down on him.
Unfortunately, that will be all for the live blog, as I have a meeting at the radio station in less than an hour. But I’ll be back later tonight with a wrap-up on the game.