Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Game 3

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 7, New York Yankees 3

[Steven]: On second thought, I think a retired number and a hall of fame spot is enough respect.
[Steven]: Tanyon is our new closer against the sox.

That would be because Mariano blew his second save in a row for the year, his fourth straight including the post-season last year and six out of his last eleven attempts against the Sox. I think the Sox have got Mo's number.

That was the ninth inning, though. Before that, it was a grinder. These three games have been like a second Spring Training, almost. Sunday, the Sox worked on pitching. Tuesday, it was hitting. Today was advancing runners. Three double plays. Ten men left on base. Wakefield pitched fairly well, giving up two gopher balls, but Mussina didn't fare much better and the Sox were up 2 - 0 at one point. Then no one could advance runners, the Yankees struck back and we were knotted 2 - 2. Then in the seventh, no one could seem to get out of the bottom of the inning, as Timlin hit Jeter on the shoulder/head, then had a meltdown on the mound, allowing the go-ahead run to score before somehow escaping. Enter Rivera.

There was speculation as to whether or not Rivera would blow another save and indeed, he almost avoided it. After walking Mueller to start the inning, Mo gave up two singles and struck out Trot before Manny hit a grounder to third that A-Rod bobbled, missing a tag on Bellhorn that would have ended the game. Everyone is safe and the game is tied. Ortiz hits a dribbler past the mound just slow enough to score Bellhorn and avoid the double play at home. Sox take the lead, 4 - 3. Renteria drives in two more with a single and the Yankees bring in a new guy, Felix Rodriguez. Rivera is booed as he leaves the field and YES, which I am now watching, shows about a minute and a half of footage of the closer staring out of the dugout, biting his lip. Rodriguez gives up another run when Posada loses track of a ball, then strikes out Mueller to end the top of the ninth. Foulke comes in, gives up a double, then gets the next three batters. I'm dancing inside. Joe and Jerry, in their broadcast, made the supposition that Rivera's problems in the past two days might be due to the elbow problem he had over Spring Training - they noticed yesterday and today that Mo's trademark cutter did not make much of an appearance.

Kevin Millar, who had an excellent day today, left the game hobbling after getting a single in the sixth, but apparently was just suffering cramps. Several million dollars go into a guy's legs and arms and it's amazing how quickly a little muscle ailment becomes important. More of a comment on the situation than anything else, though. Tito was taken to the hospital this morning after feeling stiffness in his chest and bench coach Brian Mills ran the game in his stead. No announcement on the results of tests, but the article announcing the news mentioned that Francona had suffered a pulmonary embolism in 2002 and that he suffered permanent respiratory damage as a result, so this stiffness may be related.

Next game is Friday evening against Toronto; Arroyo versus new guy Dave Bush. GO SOX!