Sunday, July 29, 2012

Red Sox take Series Finale in Extras

In tonight's pitcher's duel, Hiroki Kuroda pitched brilliantly despite not getting the decision in the game. He went eight dominant innings and gave up only two runs on a two-run double by Ryan Sweeney in the second inning. The double play ball helped Kuroda tonight, as the Red Sox hit into four double plays against the pitcher, a career high for Kuroda. Aside from the two run double, Kuroda looked as sharp as he had looked all season long. The problem for Kuroda was that he faced what he dealt with for four years while pitching for the Dodgers. The Yankees could not score for him in a start where he gave them more than enough.

Felix Doubront completely baffled the Yankees for 6.1 innings before Russell Martin hit an opposite field home run to cut the Red Sox lead to one run. Doubront had a devastating curve that the Yankee hitters could not figure out. Robinson Cano looked as helpless at the plate against Doubront as I've seen him all year against any other pitcher. After Doubront's departure, the Yankees would score another run to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The Yankees had plenty of scoring opportunities in the seventh and eighth innings where fly balls were not hit deep enough and ground balls were not placed in the correct direction. In the top of the tenth inning, Bobby Valentine and Josh Beckett were ejected from the game after arguing that Will Middlebrooks did not swing at a pitch as he was attempting to lay down a sac bunt. Afterwards, Middlebrooks got a base hit then Ciriaco hit a jam shot that found the grass to give the Red Sox the lead in extra innings. The Red Sox needed this game far more than the Yankees needed it, but it still would have been nice to see the Yankees take the series against their arch rivals.

Tomorrow night, the Orioles enter the Bronx for a three game series. The Orioles trail the Yankees by seven games in the AL East and are looking to cut that lead after leaving Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

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