Raise your hand if you ever thought you’d see a Yankee-Red Sox game at Fenway Park enter extra innings tied at a National League-esque 1-1. Nope, me neither.
The Yankees held on to win the game 3-1 in 10 innings on the strength of a huge solo home run by new True Yankee™ Curtis Granderson off Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon. Clutcherson’s bomb broke the tie and was followed by an insurance run off a Mark Teixeira RBI fielder’s choice, setting up Mo to come on in the bottom of the 10th and nail down his second save of the year. The victory gave the Yankees their first series win of the year and also marked the first time they won a series at Fenway Park in the month of April since 1975(!). Granted, they don’t play a series in Boston every April, but that’s still pretty ridiculous.
This game had a completely different feel to it than the first two of the season, due in large part to John Lackey’s fast-paced, workmanlike approach to pitching. I know the Yankees weren’t ever seriously considering signing Lackey, but Mike was lusting after the guy in the offseason and I after last night I have to say it’d be a joy to watch this guy start a baseball game for my team. I couldn’t believe my eyes that it only took about two hours to get through the first six innings.
The Yankees and Sox each received their first quality start of the year, with Pettite going six strong and yielding only one run, while Lackey was even better, tossing six and giving up zero runs. Lackey kept the Yankees off balance all evening by changing speeds and giving up very few hard-hit balls. It was a frustrating-as-hell performance to watch as a Yankee fan, but damn impressive as a baseball fan. The only real jam Lackey encountered was in the sixth as he began to tire, but he managed to get out of trouble, inducing the super non-clutch A-Rod to ground into a rally-killing double play.
Speaking of A-Rod, he went 0-5 on the night, and the 2-3-4 hitters combined to go 0-12. That’s right, Nick the Stick and Mark Teixeira are still the only Yankees without a hit in 2010. Stick didn’t look great for much of the evening, but he scorched one to right in the sixth that once again was hit just a little too close to a fielder, prompting this gem from Leokitty. Stick did manage to work a walk in his last at-bat in the game, giving him 5 walks over the first three games. His line sits at .000/.400/.000 on the young season. Tex picked up two walks of his own, but his at-bats haven’t exactly been inspiring a ton of confidence yet. Still, we know he’ll get going soon enough.
Speaking of getting going, the much-maligned and angry-as-[expletive] David Ortiz was responsible for Boston’s only run batted in of the game, so take THAT, you [expletive] [expletive]s in the Boston media.
Speaking of much-maligned, goat of Game 1 and all-around horrible person Chan Ho Park was the unsuing hero of last night’s game, tossing three scoreless innings of one-hit ball. I don’t know about you, but if Park can be that effective in relief for extended periods of time, I feel pretty good about the depth in the Yankee bullpen.
The Yankees head to Tampa Bay for a three-game set starting Friday night, and hopefully the team can come out of this intense six-game road trip and start the season at a robust 4-2.