GAME 109: It’s always nice when timely hitting, good defense, and clutch pitching come together in the same game. Yankees fans witnessed that elusive feat this afternoon in Fenway Park, as the Bombers posted a 6-4 win over the suddenly re-building Red Sox.
Yanks Down 3, Clutch Hitting Saves Day
After a 3-run bottom of the second by Boston, doom seemed inevitable. But thanks to a huge assist from Boston starter Allen Webster (6 walks in 2.2 innings), the Yanks seized the moment and did what they were supposed to do. With the bags loaded in the third inning, Captain Derek Jeter stroked a soft double over the second base side of the infield with enough loft and english on it to spin it into foul territory, allowing two runs to score. A Jacoby Ellsbury ground-out plated Brett Gardner (recipient of one of Webster’s three walks to start the inning), tying the game at 3. In what proved to be the game-winning RBI, the consistent Carlos Beltran poked a single to left, scoring Jeter for a 4-3 lead.
Tex 1, Moon 0
In the 5th, Mark Teixeira added a moonshot, 427 foot home run over the Green Monster for a little insurance. A much-needed tack-on run was provided in the 7th from doubles by Beltan and Stephen Drew for a 6-4 lead — Drew’s first hit in pinstripes.
Clutch Bullpen Makes 6 Runs Hold Up
Starter Shane Greene came only one out away from a ‘W’ before being lifted after 4.2 innings, but manager Joe Girardi made all the right moves today. Joe mixed and matched with Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson (28th save) to nail down a game the Yankees could simply not afford to lose.
Here’s the box score and Bryan Hoch’s recap at mlb.com.
AL EAST PENNANT UPDATE: With Baltimore’s loss to Seattle, the Yanks pick up a game and are now 5 back. Combine that with the Astro’s victory over Toronto, the Yanks are 2.5 games out of second, but only one in the all-important loss column. The streaking Tampa Bay Rays are not letting up, and only 2.5 games behind New York. The ‘Dog Days’ may just separate the contenders from the pretenders, so fasten your seat belts. Things are about to get interesting.
MEMORY LANE: On August 2, 1979, we lost Thurman Munson. More thoughts on this in the coming days. It still hurts. And always will.
On today’s date in 1990, Yankees rookie Kevin Maas hits his tenth home run in just 77 at bats, the fastest any player has ever reached that mark. But the Yanks lose to Detroit 6-5 in 11 innings.