Yankees-Red Sox: Rain and Other Blunders Lead to Another New York Loss
The addition of Alex Rodriguez to the line up, the improved pitching of CC Sabathia, and a healthy Jorge Posada were all aces in the Yankees back pocket.
Not to mention the Yankees held sole possession of first place in the AL East coming into Fenway Park—a sign that they were going in the right direction.
After three games, the Yankees are now two games out of first place, having suffered another sweep at the hands of the Red Sox. In eight games this season, the Yankees are an embarrassing 0-8 against their arch rivals.
How did the Yankees go from playing so well before entering Boston to playing like a bunch of guys who don't have it together?
In the first game against Beckett, the Yankees couldn't squeak past a run and were shut out 7-0. It didn't help that Burnett couldn't get out of the third inning, and the bullpen didn't minimize the damage.
The offense looked a little bit better against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in Game Two, but Wang was a disaster. Although Hughes gave him a little bit of a pick me up, the Yankees couldn't overcome Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon, evetnually losing 6-5.
In the final game, Sabathia and Brad Penny were going inning for inning, and despite the solo home run that Sabathia gave up to Big Papi, things were moving right along. The Yankees even managed to give CC the lead at 3-1 in the top of the eighth, but he ran into some trouble in the bottom of the inning, and Alfredo Aceves couldn't stop the bleeding. The Red Sox regained the lead, and took the final game of the series 4-3.
Aside from the pitching issues, the Yankees have also suffered some base-running blunders by Nick Swisher.
For the past two games, Swisher has committed a base-running felony that has ultimately affected the Yankees being able to push across a run.
Of course, things happen. Sometimes as a player, you read things the wrong way or you underestimate your opponent. But two games in a row?
Swisher is a veteran, not some rookie that's never played in Fenway Park before. He should know the way the ball tends to bounce off of the Green Monster, and how the outfielders play the balls off the wall—considering he's an outfielder. It didn't help that Johnny Damon dropped a routine fly ball that allowed David Ortiz to reach first base.
It's costly mistakes like that that can swing the momentum in a game.
Even with A-Rod back in the line up, the offense looked pretty much anemic. They were leaving runners in scoring position, something they haven't been doing for the past month. In three games, the Yankees reverted back to the team they were at the beginning of the season.
Another factor was the rain that fell for most of Game Three. Of course both teams have to play in the conditions, but when the rain started to fall hard in the eighth inning there was no delay of play. A lot of that probably had to do with the fact that the Yankees were up 3-1 at that point, and they weren't going to delay or call the game with the home team down.
I'm sure if the situation was reversed and that occurred at Yankee Stadium, Yankee fans wouldn't have wanted the game called with their team trailing.
The rain was a factor in the game. Brett Gardner fielded a single, and had difficulty gripping the ball to make a good throw to try and gun down the runner trying to score. Visibility was also an issue, considering Nick Swisher had to step out of the box a couple of times because the rain was obscuring his view of the pitcher.
The weather is an uncontrollable force, there's no way to predict what it will do, and sometimes there is no way around it. I'm just left to wonder that had the Red Sox been ahead in the eighth inning when that hard rain started falling if the game would've been called.
Being 0-for-8 against the Red Sox is something the Yankees never wanted to see. Going home two games back in the AL East is another thing they didn't want to happen.
However, as they prepare to play a three game series against their crosstown rivals, the New York Mets, they can take comfort in the fact that they don't have to see the Red Sox until August.
Maybe by then they'll really have it together... maybe.
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