Blog Entry

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:46 pm

By Evan Brunell

The Red Sox and Yankees met up Friday for the first time in two months with first place on the line. The last time the two teams met on June 9, Dustin Pedroia's name was distant from the AL MVP discussion, Carl Crawford was a bust, five Yankees looked like complete zeroes with the bat and Rafael Soriano had already fallen out of favor in the Bronx.

Since then, Pedroia has heated up along with the Yankee bats, led by Nick Swisher. Phil Hughes, who was on the disabled list, has returned to the rotation while the Red Sox have battled injuries and attrition in their own rotation, acquiring Erik Bedard with minutes to spare before the trade deadline in an attempt to shore up the staff. While both these teams have undergone changes in the month since, one thing remains the same as it was July 9: the Red Sox is the team to beat in the American League. But the Yankees have improved since June 9 and have narrowed the gap.

On Friday, the Red Sox jumped out to a 2-0 start thanks to a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI double in the third, followed by a towering David Ortiz bomb in the fourth. The Red Sox couldn't push another run across in the fifth when Adrian Gonzalez struck out with the bases loaded. Still, Boston was in control behind the arm of Jon Lester, until the sixth inning when all hell broke loose. Granderson delivered an RBI single, then Lester loaded the bases by walking Mark Teixeira. A crucial double play put two outs on the board, albeit with the tying run scoring. Just as it looked like Boston could get out of the inning with a tie game, Nick Swisher doubled Granderson in to provide the final run of the game, leading to a 3-2 victory for the Yankees and just their second victory against Boston this season, against eight losses to the BoSox.

The bullpen won the game for the Yanks, as Boone Logan would go on to contribute a full inning of relief after whiffing Gonzalez for the final out of the fifth. Cody Wade netted one more out, then Rafael Soriano entered the game for the third time since coming off the disabled list. Signed to an exorbitant contract to set up Mariano Rivera that was orchestrated by the ownership and not GM Brian Cashman, Soriano has been a total zero the entire season. But he delivered his third scoreless appearance post-DL, adding a strikeout for extra measure. David Robinson continued his emergence as a potential Rivera replacement with a 1-2-3 eighth, and Rivera, of course, set down Boston in the ninth.

Now the Yankees are in first place, while Boston falls to second for the first time since July 6. Order has been restored to New York's psyche. And yet, the Yankees shouldn't feel at all comfortable about its standing. For one, the Yankees continue to get surprising production out of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, the former of whom only lasted 4 2/3 innings Friday night, giving up seven baserunners and two runs. Phil Hughes seems a mystery wrapped in a riddle, while A.J. Burnett does what he can to make Yankees fans pine for John Lackey. Derek Jeter can't be counted on anymore and the days of a .300 batting average from Mark Teixeira is long past. Boston has its own host of problems, but still has far less risk than New York moving forward with a stronger club, at least on paper.

Of course, two months from now, things may have changed again. All that matters is who the stronger team is in October.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:13 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:19 pm

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

Very helpful personal details, a few appreciate it towards source. You might consider it complex if you ask me at this instant, truly, the most important performance and as well , focus is simply frustrating.

Since: Jun 18, 2011
Posted on: August 7, 2011 12:23 pm


People dont realize.Mark Texeira might hit over 40 home runs this year.The last players to hit over 40 were in 1961 Maris 60;Mantle 54.Even Reggie didnt hit over 40 as a Yankee!

Since: Jul 8, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:05 pm

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

This is an entirely piss-poor attempt at "journalism." There are so many inaccuracies, backhanded "compliments," and flat-out excuses for the Red Sox, it's laughable. We get it, you spend your nights bent over at the altar of Red Sox Nation. Please find another job, this one's not working out.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: August 6, 2011 7:26 am

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

Narrowing the gap? If you read this article, you'd think the Yankees were BEHIND in the standings..And, some of those comments are weird. Jeter can't be counted on anymore? Since he hit 3000 hits he's been hitting at a .345 clip, kind of makes you wonder if that milestone had anything to do with this year's slump. And Phil Hughes? What mystery? he had a shoulder problem. Won 18 games last year, and seems like he may return to form this year. The only negative I can think of right now is Burnett, and the Yanks seem to be loaed with pitchers now, IMHO, so thats a non-issue-IF Girardi wakes up and realizes that Nova should stay a starter, and Burnett is the one who should be sat down. Even with that, things look pretty good.

Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: August 6, 2011 6:25 am

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

I am so amused by this article and by the  national media coverage of the Red Sox in general. You would think that they have won something at this point. You would think that the Yankees shouldn't be on the same field with these baseball gods. backhanded compliments and pot shots at the Yanks. And yes, I do realize that this is a Boston blogger, but geez.

However I am glad that the Yank have closed the imaginary "gap" that the the Nation has conjured up. How is there a gap? Oh the whole 8-1 against the Yanks thing. I remember 2009. 8-0 vs the Yanks to start, finished 9-9. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it....hopefully. A great coach once said. "You are what your record says you are" and the records say that the Yanks are one game better than the Sox. You should be more concerned with the RedSox psyche.

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2011 5:59 am

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

the boston rotation is... bad. outside of the top two starters they are just not good. lackey sucks, and dont forget, beckett is one veru possible injury away from reverting to worse then AJ last year. yankees have 6 starters. 

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2011 4:09 am

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

you are truly insane if you think the Yankees have an inferior starting rotation. I am not trying to make the argument that it is the best in the league, but After Becket and Lester, who can you guys possibly throw to compete....they are nothing better than AAA pitchers. Offensively, I give you...the sox are stacked, but their rotation is suspect

Since: Oct 2, 2006
Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:04 am

Yankees narrowing gap against Red Sox

"New York's psyche": I really believe that's a key insight.  This series isn't so much about who wins the division as either Boston putting the hammer down (cf. Yanks vs. Twins in recent years) or Yanks reasserting their ability to compete when it counts.  If Yanks can take one more this weekend, then should they meet in the playoffs, they'll at least believe they have a chance (notwithstanding the inferior starting rotation and 1-9 lineup).

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