Thoughts on the Red Sox series

The New York Yankees took two of three games over the weekend against the Boston Red Sox. Only a great performance by Jon Lester on Saturday prevented the weekend for being more of a success for the Yankees than it was. With all the strife swirling around the Red Sox this season, what should not get lost amid the bombast is that the Red Sox are not a very good team right now. When Hiroki Kuroda faced the Red Sox on Sunday night, the Red Sox lineup featured Ryan Lavarnway batting fifth and Jarrod Saltalamacchia batting sixth as the designated hitter. And Nick Punto was the third baseman. That is not the kind of lineup the Red Sox featured in their glory days of the mid-2000s.

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Counting on Kuroda

Before the 2012 season and after the New York Yankees signed Hiroki Kuroda, there was a lot of speculation on how Kuroda would make the transition to the American League and particularly to the American League East. Kuroda had always toiled in the National League West with its big ballparks and limited offenses. To this point in the 2012 season, Kuroda has pretty much answered all those questions. He has made the transition pretty darned well. There was also concern on how Kuroda would fare at Yankee Stadium III with its short porch in right and the supposed jet stream to that direction. That concern has also been answered by Kuroda. Another question raised before the season was where and if Kuroda would fit on the post season rotation, if there was a post season. The answer seems moot now. To some extent, Hiroki Kuroda has become the one pitcher the Yankees count on.

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Hiroki Kuroda Really Likes Pitching In Yankee Stadium

When the news came out on that infamous Friday in January that the Yankees had made a deal for right-hander Hiroki Kuroda to come and pitch in New York, a lot of people were skeptical about the move. They wondered, how Kuroda would handle the transition from the National League to the American League? How, or more to the point, would he be able to adjust to pitching to the batters in the big, bad American League East Division? And the question that was asked the most was how would he pitch in Yankee Stadium? People automatically assume that pitchers Continue reading Hiroki Kuroda Really Likes Pitching In Yankee Stadium

Japan night in the Bronx! Kuroda’s gem, Ichiro’s two homers power Yanks to 4-1 win over BoSox

Hiroki Kuroda threw eight innings of near-spotless baseball, and Ichiro Suzuki blasted two home runs, as the Yankees cruised to a 4-1 win and a 2-1 series victory over the struggling Red Sox. It had been a while since the Bronx vibrated in quite the same way for a Japanese Yankee–since November 4th, 2009 to be exact–and while tonight didn’t have quite the same implications as that fateful evening, Hiroki Kuroda and Ichiro Suzuki more than deserved the showers of standing-ovation applause that rained down upon them. The win allows the Yankees to avoid the ignominy of losing two series in a row in Yankee Stadium to the Red Sox, and hastens the end of the Bobby Valentine era in Boston.

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Ichiro and Kuroda power the Yankees past Beckett and the Red Sox

The Yankees won the rubber match against the Red Sox Sunday to take a 2-1 victory in the three game series. Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yankees eight innings of one run baseball, continuing his recent hot streak. The Bombers managed four runs against Josh Beckett. The highlights came off the bat of Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki connected on homers off Beckett on consecutive at-bats. The first blast was an upper deck shot that was gone off the bat. Derek Jeter also had a big night, going three for four with two doubles and scoring two runs. He’s now batting .321/.363/.431 on Continue reading Ichiro and Kuroda power the Yankees past Beckett and the Red Sox

The Farm Report: 8/19/12

Empire State blanked Rochester 6-0:
The game was scoreless after three, but the Yankees rallied in the top of the fourth. Francisco Cervelli drew a walk and Melky Mesa doubled him in. Kosuke Fukudome singled, putting runners on the corners. Darnell McDonald walked, loading the bases, and Corban Joseph grounded a single to right, plating two more runs for a 3-0 lead. The Yankees doubled their lead in the sixth. Fukudome, Pena and McDonald drew consecutive walks and Joseph singled in Fukudome and Pena. A sac fly by Eduardo Nunez plated McDonald and the Yankees went on to win 6-0.

Joseph went 3-3 with four RBIs and two walks. Fukudome went 1-2 with two runs scored and two walks. John Maine pitched six scoreless innings, scattering four hits and two walks while picking up four strike outs. Chase Whitley went two innings and allowed two hits.

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Game 121: Put Beckett Out Of His Misery

The Rays continued their hot streak today by finishing up a four game sweep of the Angels, putting Tampa Bay just 4.5 games in back of the Yankees. The team just doesn’t seem to lose. The Yankees have no choice but to put Josh Beckett and the Red Sox out of their misery tonight. Derek Jeter SS Nick Swisher 1B Robinson Cano 2B Curtis Granderson CF Eric Chavez 3B Raul Ibanez LF Russell Martin C Ichiro Suzuki RF Casey McGehee DH On the mound is substitute Yankee ace Hiroki Kuroda, who is looking for his 12th win of the year. Continue reading Game 121: Put Beckett Out Of His Misery

Game 121: Two straight series?

When Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound tonight for the Yankees in the Bronx, he won’t just be battling the Boston Red Sox lineup and Josh Beckett: he’ll be battling the impression that the Yankees, despite all their winning, have been a bit inept against Boston in these past two series. If the Sox win tonight, it will mark the second series in a row that the sub-.500 BoSox have captured from the AL East-leading Yankees. And both series have been in the Bronx.

Look, the Yankees are going to be fine this season, and will sit happily in the playoffs come October; the Sox are still in freefall, with a manager who can’t figure out how to stop them, and are battling a host of better-playing teams for a Wild Card spot. It’s unlikely that these roles will reverse this year.

But it’s distinctly possible that the Yankees will drop two series in the Bronx to the Sox. And that’s not acceptable, no matter what their record is–and it’s doubly unacceptable given that they’ve been so incredibly bad this year.

Red Sox (59-62)
J. Ellsbury, CF
C. Crawford, LF
D. Pedroia, 2B
A. Gonzalez, 1B
R. Lavarnway, C
J. Saltalamacchia, DH
S. Podsednik, RF
P. Ciriaco, SS
N. Punto, 3B

Yankees (71-49)
D. Jeter, SS
N. Swisher, 1B
R. Cano, 2B
C. Granderson, CF
E. Chavez, 3B
R. Ibanez, LF
R. Martin, C
I. Suzuki, RF
C. McGehee, DH

First pitch is at 8:00 PM EST on ESPN. Continue reading Game 121: Two straight series?