Game 124: Yankees 8, Red Sox 4

Bronx Cheers:
Swisher: The outfielder went 0-4 at the plate, ending his streak of getting on base safely at 30 games.

Melky: Cabrera also went 0-4 at the plate with a strikeout.

Cano’s two errors: Robbie had more errors than hits (though his hit was a homerun). The dropped pop fly behind first was just an embarrassing play. Cano has been a great defensive second baseman this year, but plays like that make me cringe.

Curtain Calls:
Jeter: The first two pitches Beckett sent to Jeter resulted in a homerun and a single. The Yankee Captain had a great defensive game as well. Jeter has 2701 hits and is closing in on the franchise record of 2722 held by Lou Gehrig. It really is incredible that no Yankee has hit 3000.

Matsui: For the second time in this series, Godzilla sent the ball deep twice. What makes it even more interesting is that in 41 regular season games at Fenway, Matsui only had two homeruns.

Bullpen: Hughes and Mo have gotten to relax quite a bit as the first two games of the series were blow outs. Matsui’s second solo shot kept the game from being a save situation, but the Yankees’ most trusted bullpen arms still pitched the last 2.1 innings, giving up no runs and only one hit.

CC: He didn’t have his best game, but Sabathia pitched a solid game against a good offense. CC went 7.2 innings and gave up 3 earned runs, no walks and eight hits. He also had eight strikeouts. Sabathia now has fifteen wins – the most in MLB. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is only the second time since 1946 that a pitcher has reached 15 wins in his first season with a team. The first was Roger Clemens with the Blue Jays in 1997.

Thoughts on the Yankees-Red Sox So Far:
The Yankees started off poorly against their rivals to the North. The Red Sox took the first 8 games from the Bombers, thanks in part to poor starting pitching performances. Burnett, despite an incredible outing against the Red Sox on August 7, has struggled against the Red Sox. On the year, AJ is 0-2 with an 8.85 ERA against Boston.

The Yankees now sit 7.5 games ahead of the Red Sox with 38 games left in the season. There is always the chance that they could lose that lead, but things are looking good for the Bombers. Since the All-Star Break the Yankees have won ten of eleven series, two against the Red Sox. They aren’t on a hot streak, they are actually this good. The Red Sox, on the other hand, have struggled in the second half of the season and have a lot of work to do if they are going to catch up.

In the On Deck Circle:
The Yankees have tonight off as they make the trip back to New York to prepare for a series against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are one game behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card race. Joba Chamberlain (8-3, 3.98), fresh off of eight days of rest, gets the start for the Yankees, while Kevin Millwood (9-8, 3.48) will take the mound for Texas. Joba took the loss against Seattle in his last start. He will need to get back to pitching quickly and confidently, like he was right after the All-Star Break. Millwood had a stellar June, going 4-1, 1.30. He has struggled lately, only winning one of his last eight starts and going 1-2, 6.75 in July and 0-1, 4.15 in August. The game starts tomorrow night at 7:05 at the New Yankee Stadium.