Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Red Sox vs. Yankees, August 26, 2008 *LIVE BLOG*

It is I, liveblogger extraordinaire Smarty Barrett, here to bring you the first game of this key 3-game series in the Bronx. Last series at Yankee Stadium, blah blah blah. Let's have a look-see at these lineups:

Red Sox
1. Jacoby Ellsbury RF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Kevin Youkilis 3B
5. Jason Bay LF
6. Jed Lowrie SS
7. Coco Crisp CF
8. Jeff Bailey 1B
9. Kevin Cash C

P Tim Wakefield

1. Johnny Damon CF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Bobby Abreu RF
4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
5. Jason Giambi 1B
6. Xavier Nady LF
7. Hideki Matsui DH
8. Robinson Cano 2B
9. Jose Molina C

P Andy Pettitte

Amelie Benjamin and Heidi Watney are talking. I am not paying attention to a word they are saying and I don't care. Man, this is great TV. Earlier Eck and TC were talking about the 2003 ALCS for some reason. Yankee Stadium history! Folklore! Momument Park! Toilet-shaped! Some real news now, apparently Lowell is ready to come back. F'n awesome. Jeff Bailey is starting at 1B tonight...that's all you need to know about how bad this team needs Mike L. No offense, JB. And NESN opens with a bit of a Sox/Yankees at Yankee Stadium montage, backed by some Godsmack. Interesting choice. And we're about to go here, so let me throw out a prediction - I like the Yanks to win this one, unfortunately, my guess is 7-3. I like J-Bay to go deep though. Let's roll.

Top 1
Here's Jacoby to lead it off against Andy Little. And he's quickly down 0-2. And then he grounds out to Cano, 1 down. Your 3rd base ump tonight is Fieldin Culbreth. What a great name. Here's Pedroia. And he taps a little check-swing roller to Giambi who takes it to the bag himself, 2 down. Now Papi. And some close pitches called balls and Ortiz draws a walk. One on, two out, and here's Youk. More close pitches being called balls - I like it but I don't know if it bodes well for Wake and the knuckler. 3-0 count to KY. And Pettitte works it to full, Ortiz will be rumbling from first on the pitch. Ball four! Two on now, with two outs, and here's my boy J-Bay. And he works a full count, runners will be off from 1st and 2nd...and Bay flies to right and Pettitte escapes, no score going to the bottom of the first.

Bottom 1
Wakefield is fresh off the DL and ready to face Johnny Damon. And he greets him with a homer, 1-0 Yankees. A little flare down the RF line that curled around the pole. Here we go. The Lord Christ Almighty is up now, and he grounds out to Youk at 3rd, one gone. Here's Abreu, and he quickly grounds to Pedroia, two down. Now for Mr. Madonna. And Wakey gets him looking, so he settles in nicely after the Damon tater, 1-0 Yankees after one.

Top 2
The SS of the future leads it off against Pettitte. And Lowrie strikes out looking. Coco at the dish now. And he hits a soft liner to right, Abreu comes in and grabs it, quickly two outs once again. Coco may have broken his bat on that one. Tiger Woods is in the house. Now Bailey. And he hits a soft roller down the 3B line and he reaches on the IF single. Almost a swinging bunt right there. Cash Money stands in now, runner at first and two down. And ouch, Cash just fouled one off Molina's shoulder and he's down. He looks to be OK though. Cash hits a roller down to 3rd, very similar to Bailey's. A-Rod charges, bobbles, and everyone is safe. That will probably go as another infield hit. And once again, the Sox have runners at first and second and two down for Jacoby. And he slaps one down the LF line for a base hit, here comes Bailey and we're tied at 1. That's how you hit with two down! And Pedroia quickly rips one down to 3rd, A-Rod fields the hot shot and touches the bag, inning over. Jacoby and the Sox tie it though, 1-1, headed for the bottom of the 2nd.

Bottom 2
Giambi leading it off here, and he grounds one right at Wakefield, he makes the play, one gone. Now Nady, and he hits a soft pop-up to first, Bailey makes the catch in foul ground and there's quickly two down. Matsui at the dish, and he grounds a single into right, one on with two outs for one of the worst hitters in baseball. Wake is ahead of him 1-2 here, but Cano rips a single up the middle, and my jinx sticks with me. Now the Yanks threatening with two on and two out. Here's one of the 73 Molina brothers. Jose rips a single up the middle, and that's going to score Matsui, Yanks back on top 2-1. Friggin' Wakefield. Can you hold 'em for once? Now Damon. 3-run homer, perhaps? Nope, a harmless grounder to 2nd, Pedroia makes the play and the 2nd is over, but not before Wakefield gives a run right back, 2-1 Yankees.

Top 3
Ortiz leads off here in the third. He quickly works the count to 3-1 and then rips one into the centerfield gap. Ortiz chugs into second with a leadoff double. Youk now, and Pettitte is already at 50 pitches. And now Youk rips one down the right field line, fair, into the corner, tie ballgame. Ortiz scores and it's 2-2. Double for Youk. And here's J-Bay. And he rolls one up the middle for a single that will score Youkilis, Sox on top 3-2! Hell yeah. Pettitte starting to get slapped around here now, and he is throwing a ton of pitches. Lowrie at the dish now, still no outs here. He makes Pettitte throw some more pitches, but then grounds into a DP, Cano unassisted to first, and there's quickly two down. Coco trying to keep the inning going now. But instead he goes down looking on three pitches, inning over. But the Sox get two and they lead 3-2 going to the bottom of the 3rd.

Bottom 3
Can Wake hold this? Let's find out. The greatest player to ever put on a baseball uniform pops to second for the first out. Abreu now, and he rips one up the middle, out of the reach of Lowrie for a hit. Man, every hit Wake is giving up is going straight into center. Remy says "Abreu can run, he has 14 steals but he's been caught 10 times." I would disagree, Rem Dawg. I would say that is someone who can't run. A-Rod now hits a roller to short, Lowrie moving towards third gloves, to 2nd for one, and to first! Double play! Inning over! Nasty play, 3-2 Sox after 3.

Top 4
Bailey, Cash and Jacoby in the 4th. This trio led to the first run, so let's see what they can do here. Bailey works a full count (more pitches!) but then grounds to 2nd for out number one. Cash Money stands in, and Pettitte walks him on four pitches. Man, there is no way Andy is going to make it to the 6th, Sox are really working him here. Jacoby now, one on, one out. Pettitte falls behind 2-1 and he is not happy with the home plate ump. And now Andy gets Ellsbury looking on a pitch that looked WAY outside. Jeez, if all you need to do is whine to get some calls, then I suggest the Sox get on it. Cash still at first with two outs now, and Pedroia up. He grounds one to A-Rod who charges. gloves, and throws out Dustin. Side retired, headed to the bottom of the 4th, still 3-2 Sox.

Bottom 4
Pettitte's at 78 pitches through four. Whew. Maybe he will make it to the 6th, but not much farther. Sox aren't making this easy for him. Giambi leads off, and he flies to Ellsbury in right, one down. Nady up now, and he draws a one-out walk. Here's Matsui and he cranks one too deep right...but not deep enough. Ellsbury makes the catch in front of the wall, two outs. And now Cano grounds one to second, Pedroia makes the play, and we're done with four, still 3-2 Sox.

Top 5
Ortiz leading off here, and Pettitte throws his 80th pitch for ball one to Ortiz, 1-1 is the count. Now Ortiz cranks the 81st pitch to deep right, but Abreu grabs it right in front of the W.B. Mason sign, one loud out. Now Youkilis. And he grounds Pettitte's 86th pitch to short, two outs. J-Bay up here, and I'm still waiting for him to go deep. Pettitte is going to hit 90 pitches here. And Bay ground pitch number 91 into center for a base hit. One on, two outs. Will he hit 100 pitches in the 5th? I'd love to see it. Lowrie here, and he rolls pitch number 93 into right field for another base hit! Bay stops at 2nd, and more 2 out baserunners for the Sox. Here's Coco with two on and two out. Here comes pitch 96, and it's way inside, almost hits Coco. 2-1 count. And Coco loops one to right, it falls in for a hit! Bay scores, Lowrie heads for 3rd, he's safe, and it's 4-2 Sox! Hell yeah, Coco! Now Bailey up, and Coco steals second on the first pitch. Molina threw down even with two outs, but Lowrie stayed put at 3rd. Now two in scoring position for Bailey. Brian Bruney up in the Yankee pen. And you bet Pettitte will hit 100 pitches, here comes pitch 101. And Bailey rips one down the third-base line, it hits the bag and goes right to A-Rod, he throws to first from foul ground...and Bailey is safe! And TWO runs score! Coco in from second and it's 6-2 Sox! That'll be it for Pettitte, here comes Bruney. Pitching change coming at you, and the Sox have broken it open! Here's Cash to face Bruney, and he rips one to 3rd, A-Rod gloves and whips it to 1st for the out. But a big inning here in the 5th has the Sox on top 6-2.

Bottom 5
Now Wakey has a 4-run lead to work with. Molina leads off, and he flies to center for the first out. Here's Damon. And Johnny pops one down the right-field line again, and it's gone AGAIN! It's now 6-3 Sox. Another home run, almost the exact same spot, about as short as you can hit a ball in this dump and have it go out. And now Jeter singles to left and I'm reminded that no lead is safe with Tim Wakefield on the hill. One on, one out, one in, and here's Abreu. And now HE singles to left! Wakefield is so eager to give this back, jeez. Now A-Rod, the tying run and it could very easily be 6-6 very soon. Javier Lopez getting loose for the Sox. And Wakefield battles A-Rod and finally gets him to fly to center, two outs. And boos rain down on A-Rod. Here's Giambi, this is a crucial AB - get this guy, Wakey. And he does - Giambi flies to center, Coco grabs it, and my heart resumes beating. 6-3 Sox after 5.

Top 6
Bruney dealing with the top of the order now. Ellsbury flies to center for the first out, and here's Pedroia. He really works Bruney and gets a walk out of it, one on with one out. Lopez continuing to throw, and it looks like he'll pitch the bottom of the 6th. Ortiz up. He works a walk on a very close pitch. And here's Girardi to the mound. I've never seen a manager to the mound this much in non-pitching changes. Do these guys have a pitching coach? First and second one down for Youkilis. And now HE walks! Bruney is handing out the bases-on-balls, sacks drunk with one out for J-Bay. Bring me that homer, Bay! Big swing, but a deep fly to left. Nady grabs it, Pedroia tags, and a sac fly for Bay makes it 7-3. Now Lowrie works a long AB that ends with a fly to center. We're going to the bottom of the 6th, 7-3 Sox.

Bottom 6
I assume we'll be seeing Lopez here. We do, and he'll face Nady first, who flies to center for the first out. Matsui up now, and he breaks his bat and grounds out to Pedroia for the 2nd out. Wow, this game has slowed down a lot. Wake and Andy were working quickly, now it's just dragging. And Cano strikes out, loses his bat and it ends up in the Hudson River somewhere. Jeez. Inning over, nice clean work from Lopez, and we're done with 6, 7-3 Sox.

Top 7
New pitcher on for the Yanks, whom I have never heard of. David Robertson? Well, here he goes, dealing with Coco, and he tries to bunt but it rolls foul. And now he slaps an 0-2 pitch to right for a base hit. Here's Jeff Bailey, and we may see Coco steal here. He doesn't as Bailey strikes out looking, one out. Cash Money up now. Snap throw to first and Crisp is just back. Giambi missed the tag, looks like. This guy Robertson has a pretty sick curve, and he gets Cash on a check swing, two outs. And now Coco goes with Ellsbury up, and Molina gets him for out number three. That's it for the top of the 7th..stretch time! 7-3 Sox.

Bottom 7
Changes for the Sox: Cora in at SS, Lowrie moves from SS to 3B, and Youk moves from 3B to 1B. Cora will hit in Bailey's spot. And Manny Delcarmen in to pitch for the Sox. Molina due up, but Pudge Rodriguez, aka The Incredible Shrinking Man will hit. Masterson and Okajima getting loose behind MDC. I like this bullpen rotation they're using tonight. And MDC gets Pudge swinging. Here's Damon, and here's the Delcarmen I know, as he walks Johnny on 4 pitches. Bow your heads in his presence, here's Jeter set to will his team to victory. And he singles to right, Damon up to second, first and second one out for Abreu. We may be seeing Masterson and/or Okajima very soon. Ball one. This is the Manny Delcarmen experience folks - fasten seatbelts. 2-0. Abreu fouls one off and it's 2-1. Another foul and the count is even at two. Come on, MDC! And Delcarmen bounces one in for ball three, full count. The 3-2...and first Cash wants time to talk to his pitcher. And ball four is in the dirt, bases loaded, and Delcamen is done. Pathetic. Pitching change coming at you, here comes Masterson. I don't get Delcarmen, if he can't get outs, why is he on this team? Well, here we go, bases loaded, one out, 7-3 Sox, bottom 7, A-Rod at the plate. Strike one. And now a hard grounder to short. Cora gloves, touches second, on to first! BOOS RAIN DOWN! Double play-Rod strikes again! 7-3 Sox, bring on the 8th!

Top 8
Here's Ellsbury, who pops one to shallow right, Cano makes the catch rather lazily, one out. Pudge stays in to catch, your new pitcher is Edwar Ramirez. Your batter is Dustin Pedroia, and he grounds to A-Rod. The boos are loud and often as soon as he touches the ball. His throw to first is booed, booed louder, and booed some more. Two outs. Now Ortiz rips one down the right field line for a two-out double. And Girardi will put Youk on intentionally and face Bay with two on. Now Bay rips one to third. A-Rod bobbles, boots, throws to first and Giambi can't handle it. Remy thinks it should be a hit and I agree. But they assess the error. The booing is just incessant now. Bases loaded, two down for Lowrie. And he lines one right at Cano for out number three. A-Rod better hope he doesn't get another AB in this one; 7-3 Sox.

Bottom 8
Masterson only threw two pitches, my guess is he'll be back out there with Oki and Paps getting ready behind him. And it is Masterson, and he falls behind Giambi 3-0. And it is Oki and Paps behind him. I will be happy to manage your little league team. Giambi grounds one into the shift, but Pedroia boots it and Giambi is safe on the E4. Now Nady singles to left, and there's two on with no outs and here comes Tito. Okajima coming in. And he'll deal with Matsui first. Works the count to 2-2, and Oki is working him away, away, away. Full count now. And Oki gets him looking! Sick pitch! One down. Cano at the dish now, still first and second but now one out. Oki ahead one and two, and they gotta know that Cano will occasionally swing at a bad pitch. And now another full count. And Oki induces the pop-up...Pedroia under it, and there's two down. And Papelbon is going to get four outs. Nice job for Oki, were you taking notes Delcarmen? 7-3 Sox, and it's Pap time with two outs in the eighth. And here's a 5'4" catcher, and one pitch, a grounder to Papelbon and that will do it! Not a good night to be a Rodriguez. 7-3 Sox going to the 9th.

Top 9
The portly Chris Britton is on to pitch for the Yankees, and Coco greets him with a bloop single to right. Now Cora's first AB, and Remy wonders if they would bunt here. I'm not a big bunting person, but this doesn't seem like a bad time for one. But they don't and Cora flies out to right for the first out. Here's Cash Money. And he singles to left, two on with one out. Jacoby stands in, and Britton gets him looking for out number two. Here's Pedroia, oddly enough the only Sox starter without a hit tonight. And he rips one, but right at A-Rod and he catches the liner for the out. Time for Papelbon to close this one out, still 7-3 Sox.

Bottom 9
Top of the order vs. Paps. Damon leads off, and Papelbon quickly gets him swinging. Owned. Here's God. And he grounds one to Lowrie at 3rd and he boots it, stays with it and throws, but it is way too late and Jeter clutchly reaches on an E5. Let's see A-Rod do THAT. Actually, with that bobble it becomes very likely that we will see A-Rod in the 9th. How awesome would it be if he made the last out? Either way, he is going to hear it and hear it bad when he comes up. Or he may not - grounder to 2nd, Pedroia to Cora to Youk... but Abreu beats it. So two down for Boo-Rod, who is booed. Good news for him is he can't hit into the double-play here. And it's now 1-2 to A-Rod. Oh man a K would be sweet. The sad thing is if he homers here, they will talk about how it was a completely meaningless hit. But he K's! And this one's over! 0-5 night for disgrace-Rod and the Red Sox take this one 7-3. Good clean strong win, and a BIG win. I can breathe easier for the rest of the series now, cuz we ain't gettin' swept. Yankees season may very well be over. I'm greedy now and I want the Sox to go for the jugular.

Goodnight, everyone!

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