Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ellsbury, Yankees rout Lester

The Yankees offense was alive tonight, scoring eight runs off Boston starter Jon Lester in 4 2/3 innings. Only three of the eight runs scored off the Red Sox ace lefty were earned. In the fifth inning with two outs first baseman Mike Napoli didn't catch a line drive off the bat of Teixeira and it opened the floodgates where the Yankees would go on to score four runs in the inning. However, it all began in the first inning when Jacoby Ellsbury, in his first at bat in Fenway since returning as a Yankee, hit the ball hard to center field and it was initially ruled an inside-the-park home run however there was fan interference and Ellsbury was placed at third base. He would score on the very next batter's base hit. Jeter, who singled in Ellsbury would also come around to score after the catcher made an error in his throw to second base which allowed Jeter to go all the way to third. Beltran, who also homered in the game, drove Jeter in and the Yankees were already all over Lester, who threw 118 pitches in his outing. Lester allowed ELEVEN hits and walked four batters but did strike out seven hitters in his short outing. Every single Yankee in the starting lineup except Solarte had at least a hit, with six players having multi-hit games. Ellsbury did make outs twice with runners in scoring position, but he also hit a two-run double in the Yankees four run fifth inning. Jeter and Beltran also had two RBI a piece.

There was much hype surrounding Tanaka's first career start at Fenway Park against the likes of Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Right out of the gates, the Yankees scored Tanaka enough for him to feel comfortable before even throwing his first pitch. Tanaka strives for perfection so for him, tonight's performance was not up to his standards. For anyone else, it would be a pleasure to toss 7 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs on two solo home runs to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. I believe that the fact that Tanaka pitched this well against an explosive lineup that is defending their World Series title says a lot about his ability, not just that the league has not seen much of the Japanese righty.

The Yankees have taken four of the first five games from the Red Sox, and take game one of three at Fenway Park against a team that was dominant at home last season. Tomorrow, the Yankees will once again face John Lackey who they have already knocked around once this season, in search for their third straight win and thirteenth of the season. Michael Pineda will make another start against Boston, having won his first against the Red Sox in the infamous "pine tar" game at Yankee Stadium.

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