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Thursday, August 28, 2008
It's Gonna Be a Long Offseason in the Bronx
All season long, even before the rash of injuries, it was clear that the New York Yankees were a flawed team. They weren't built for success in the postseason (not enough arms, defense or OBP guys). Still, in my wildest, PCP-induced dreams, I could have never imagined that the Yankees would miss the playoffs for the first time in 14 years and be all but dead before the calendar even says September.
In its second to last game at Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox blew out the Yanks, 11-3. In the process, they showed New York a blueprint for why they've won two World Series championships in the last four seasons while the Yankees are 0-for the new Millenium. The keys to the 2008 Red Sox: Quality starting pitching, patient hitters and young studs getting plenty of playing time.
Boston (77-55) once again wore out Yankees (70-62) pitchers, with 13 hits and six walks. Dustin Pedroia led the way, going 3-for-4 with three runs and four RBIs on his first career grand slam. Jason Bay was 2-for-4 with four RBIs and a run. David Ortiz was on base four times with two hits and two walks while Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits and scored twice.
Veteran Paul Byrd (9-11) gave his team all you can ask of a fifth starter: six innings, two runs, five hits, two walks and five strikeouts.
Sidney Ponson (7-5) wasn't so lucky for New York. He went 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with four walks and three strikeouts. The duo of Jose Veras (five runs) and David Roberston (two runs) made sure that the Yankees faithful went home early as the Sox exploded for seven runs in the eighth.
A-Rod had two doubles, a run and RBI but nobody will remember that since his team got smoked and it occured after his nightmarish performance the night before.
Jason Bay drove in Pedroia and Ortiz with an RBI double in the first. Bobby Abreu scored on A-Rod's double in the first, making it 2-1 Red Sox.
Robinson Cano tied it in the fourth with an RBI single but Boston scored twice in the fifth to regain the lead. Kevin Youkilis walked with the bases loaded and Bay had a sacrifice fly score Pedroia.
The eighth was a hit parade for the Red Sox. Bay tripled in Pedroia, Alex Cora had a sacrifice fly which scored Bay, Coco Crisp knocked in Jed Lowrie with a single and then Pedroia blasted his grand slam to left center.
Jason Giambi homered in the ninth but by that time, most of New York's fans were gone or had turned off the YES Network.
Mike Mussina and Jon Lester-the two surprise aces of their respective teams this season-duel this afternoon in the finale.