Yankees, Red Sox end up splitting




 
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September 17th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Yankees, Red Sox end up splitting


http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...printstory.jsp


NEW YORK - One hundred and sixty-seven days after Randy Johnson threw the first pitch of the regular season on a misty night in Oakland, the Yankees' goal is almost within reach. Sweep the Red Sox in a day-night doubleheader on Sunday and the Bombers will be on the verge of a ninth straight AL East championship.
At the very least they'll have eliminated the Red Sox. Technically, the Yanks would still need the Blue Jays to lose one more game before they'll clinch the division, but burying Boston would be a fitting way to end the season series between the rivals. The Yanks took control of the race with a five-game sweep at Fenway a month ago and, after splitting Saturday's twin bill with the Sox, they hold a commanding 11 1/2-game lead.
That's why there is little drama at the Stadium this weekend. The Sox won the first game on Saturday, 5-2, behind a solid start from Josh Beckett, but the Yanks rallied for a 7-5 victory in the night game with a few clutch hits and some help from Boston's fill-in left fielder Wily Mo Pena.
Johnson allowed five runs in 52/3 innings, and the Yanks trailed by two in the second game before Hideki Matsui smacked a pinch-hit sac fly in the sixth and Melky Cabrera followed him by lining an RBI single to tie the game at 5. Then in the seventh, Jason Giambi smacked a one-out liner to left that Pena misplayed into a double, which allowed Alex Rodriguez (who had walked) to score the go-ahead run. Pena, who is playing in place of the injured Manny Ramirez, also made a costly misread on Bernie Williams' two-run double in the fourth inning in addition to dropping Jorge Posada's fly ball in the second.
After Pena's final gaffe, Posada followed with a RBI single off the right-field wall that gave winner Scott Proctor (two scoreless innings) and Kyle Farnsworth (one) an insurance run.
The Bombers were pleased to get some critical hits in the second game since they were sorely lacking them in the first. The Yanks put runners on base in each of the last six innings of the opener but couldn't come through - they stranded nine runners, including one in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth. Keith Foulke put two men on in the eighth and then retired three in a row, and Mike Timlin shook off Williams' leadoff single in the final inning, striking out Derek Jeter and pinch-hitter Posada to end it.
"Winning tonight doesn't take back last month," Sox manager Terry Francona said.
Indeed, the wide gap in the standings made the day's subplots as interesting as the games themselves, and none was bigger then the reception the sellout Stadium crowd gave David Ortiz, who was quoted last week as saying that Jeter wasn't as legitimate an MVP candidate as Ortiz was.
Ortiz, who has blown off the media since arriving in town, was showered with boos - and chants of "Der-ek Jet-er" - when he came to the plate in the first game, but smacked two doubles to go along with three walks. He didn't play in the nightcap.
Jeter, on the other hand, heard "MVP" chants each time he came up but had a so-so day, making an error during the Sox's three-run fourth inning in the first game. He did, however, extend his hitting streak to 25 games by getting a hit in each game. It's the longest streak by a Yankee since Joe Gordon had a 29-game run in 1949.
"You don't think about it too much," Jeter said. "All you want to do is try to have quality at-bats."
Unfortunately for the Yanks, they didn't have too many of those when it counted most early Saturday, getting stymied by Beckett and the often-shoddy Boston bullpen.
The Yanks' lack of production left Chien-Ming Wang (17-6) without much support. Wang, one of two 17-game winners on the Yanks staff (along with Johnson), had won his last four decisions and took his first loss since Aug. 13 after allowing three runs and nine hits in five-plus innings.
Wang earned praise from Joe Torre for working through an afternoon in which he clearly didn't have his best stuff, as evidenced by the fact that his ground ball-fly ball ratio was 7-5 (he usually has about twice as many grounders). Even though his sinker wasn't working, Wang kept the Yanks close enough to strike.
"That's a really good sign from someone we've come to count on quite a bit," Torre said.
September 17th, 2006  
The Cooler King
 
The Yanks got it locked up. It's gonna be Mets/Yanks in the World Series this year.
September 17th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cooler King
The Yanks got it locked up. It's gonna be Mets/Yanks in the World Series this year.
Wouldn't that be awesome. A nice Subway World Series...
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September 18th, 2006  
Fox
 
 
Go Yankees!
September 18th, 2006  
tomtom22
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Cooler King
The Yanks got it locked up. It's gonna be Mets/Yanks in the World Series this year.
Yeah, for us Red Sox fans, it's back to 'Wait till next year' again.
*Sigh*
September 18th, 2006  
The Cooler King
 
Maybe in another 86 years Tom.
September 19th, 2006  
Fox
 
 
Cheer to that, Godfather!
 


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