Monday, August 19, 2013

A Fenway Classic

In recent years, many of the games played between the Red Sox and the Yankees didn't have as much intensity as they did in years prior. The juice wasn't evident and because of that many fans were beginning to believe that the Red Sox and Yankees no longer shared the biggest rivalry in sports. Tonight proved why that very rivalry is still alive and well, as Ryan Dempster drilled Alex Rodriguez in his first at bat. After missing with his first three attempts, Dempster would hit A-Rod by a pitch in the shoulder area to send him to first base. The benches were warned after the first pitches aimed at Rodriguez were thrown but home plate umpire Brian O'Nora did nothing when Dempster actually hit Alex. To this, Girardi came out of the dugout as livid as I have ever seen him, because he was furious that Dempster wasn't thrown out of the game. He was more upset because his pitchers couldn't retaliate without facing consequences. Girardi was right in saying that Dempster should have been thrown out of the game but I was more upset that the skipper was thrown out of the game for defending his player who was plunked. The Yankees would get their ultimate revenge against Dempster in the same inning when they scored Alex Rodriguez and another run. Granderson doubled off Dempster after A-Rod was hit by the pitch and the Yankees played ABC baseball by driving the two men home to tie the game at 2.

I was going to try to get away from the A-Rod fiasco but how could I when Alex Rodriguez would make his presence felt later in the game. Alex Rodriguez would give his team the lead in the following inning on an RBI groundout that scored Ichiro Suzuki. A-Rod wouldn't be done as he took Dempster deep to straightaway center field for a long home run that made the score 6-4 Boston and set up fireworks for the Yankees in the inning. Ryan Dempster had no business hitting A-Rod with a pitch. To make matters worse, his control was so bad on the first three attempts that he didn't even get Rodriguez! The Yankees went on to score three more runs to take a 7-6 lead when Brett Gardner smashed a Drake Britton offering into the deepest part of the park that scored three runs and put Gardner at third base with a go-ahead triple. Gardner was as fired up as A-Rod was when he hit the home run off Dempster. The Yankees would come out victorious in this one after scoring nine runs to the Red Sox six runs.

CC Sabathia was awful against the Red Sox tonight but he was the beneficiary of an explosive Yankee offense, partly to do with the whole A-Rod circus. In 5.1 innings Sabathia gave up six earned runs on seven hits and walked five batters. His control has been off for two straight games as he has walked eleven batters in his last two starts combined. The bullpen took Sabathia off the hook as they recorded the final eleven outs of the game.

Just something that I want to point out regarding the Red Sox hitting batters. Following the A-Rod HBP, the Red Sox pitchers went on to hit three additional hitters with pitches and nothing was done by the umpires. Even if they missed with location, there is no reason that Red Sox pitchers should be hitting four Yankees in a game. The Yankee pitchers didn't hit any Red Sox with pitches in fear of getting ejected from the game.
Mariano Rivera came on to record the final three outs of the game as the Yankees take two of three games from the Red Sox in Boston which will be instrumental in their success the rest of the way. They need to gain ground on the teams above them in the standings and winning series will get them back into contention. They will continue that quest on Tuesday in a day/night double-header against the last place Toronto Blue Jays. The first of the two games is a make-up from a May 19th rainout. I will be attending both games so coming off tonight's contest it should be fun to see the Yankees energized. Also, I am praying that Ichiro gets his 4,000th career professional hit in one of the games against he Jays.

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