Final Score: Boston Red Sox 1, New York Yankees 2
I'm a little conflicted. On one hand, if we're going to lose a game, at least it was a exciting one with a nail-biting finish. On the other hand, Julio Lugo just struck out with the tying run 90 feet away - with the bases frickin' loaded! - after the Sox squandered two chances to break down Rivera and score the second run they needed to push the game into extra innings - or at least the bottom of the ninth. So yeah, little conflicted, a little unsure about how to handle what just went down. Might feel a little better if Sean Casey could play shortstop; I'll take his lack of history against Rivera over Lugo's poor history. He can't though, so I'll take that disappointment and aim it somewhere else.
I know: I'll focus on the positives. Pitching, for example. Masterson might not have won today's game, but not for lack of trying. He might have even come away with the victory if he had kept the ball out of the air more often, or not hit batters like they were going out of style, but still, two runs is nothing to sneeze at. Good Red Sox starting pitching is nothing new though, and these days I'm far more likely to dwell on a poor start than crow about a good one - no need to get repeatative, after all. But starting pitching isn't what's got my blood going today; I'm all up about the relief corps. Mike Timlin, specifically.
Mike Timlin (and his snappy comebacks) came on in the eighth for his first relief appearance since coming off the DL yesterday. His job: keep the Yankees from scoring another run so the Sox could come on in the ninth and blow three chances - ahem - have a shot of taking the lead. His success rate: 100 percent. Bottom third of the linup to be sure, with three guys hitting a combined .241, but since we're so desperately focused on staying positive, I'll take Timlin's successful return as a silver lining. Every comeback has to start somewhere, right?