Yankees/Red Sox games are never short on drama, and this one was no different.
Ivan Nova was the AL’s Pitcher of the Month. But it’s a new month, and Nova didn’t start it off well.
After a quick first inning Nova struggled. The righty just couldn’t put any of the Red Sox hitters away, causing him to throw 96 pitches in just 4 innings. For all the base runners and long counts, Nova allowed just 3 runs, but Boston’s starter Jake Peavy was just better. Peavy entered the game with an 0-4 record against the bombers in his career, but it looked like 6-plus solid innings might change that.
Down 3-2 after 4, Preston Claiborne came in in relief for Nova, and struggled. The youngster recorded no outs, allowing 4 hits, and 3 runs to break the game open for Boston. The Sox tacked on another run, and looked good up 7-2 when Peavy left with one on and no outs in the seventh.
But this isn’t the first half Yankees. And a 5-run deficit is no longer insurmountable. With the bases loaded, no outs and a run already in, Cano drove in his third of the game on a fielders choice. Then Alfonso Soriano did what he does, singled in another to put the bombers down just 7-5. Alex Rodriguez struck out, then Curtis Granderson smacked an RBI double, setting up runners on 2nd and 3rd with two out. Lyle Overbay, who had the go-ahead RBI last night, stepped to the plate, and delivered once again with a two run single to put the bombers on top 8-7.
David Robertson rebounded from a bad game on Wednesday to strike out two in a one-two-three 8th, just the shutdown inning the bombers needed. And for the third straight day, and after a 4-out save Wednesday, Mariano Rivera came in to try and shut the door. But as it goes in Yankees/Red Sox, nothing is ever easy, and Rivera (after a throwing error by Austin Romine), allowed a two out hit to tie the game. Rivera has the most blown saves against Boston, and this one tied a career high for blow saves at 6.
So at 4 hours old, the game went to the bottom of the ninth. Soriano walked with one out, and stole second thanks to a botched pick-ff. So with one out and a runner in scoring position, Granderson stepped to the plate. Then Soriano decided trying to steal third would be a good idea, and was picked off easily after a short run-down. Granderson truck out and the game headed to extras.
Joba Chamberlain has had a down year, but Girardi brought him in to start the 10th anyway. With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury got on, then stole second. Shane Victorino appeared to go to far with two strikes on a check swing which would’ve been the final out, but crew chief and 1st base up Joe West said he held up. And on the next pitch lined a go-ahead single to right field.
Koji Uehara got the Yanks 1-2-3 in the 10th to seal the 9-8 win for Boston.
Peavy picks up the no-decision, and remains winless in his career against New York. Nova also gets a no-decision thanks, meaning he still hasn’t lost since late July against Tampa.
the yanks were helped out in their wildcard chase, with both Tampa and Oakland losing, though of course it was a golden opportunity missed, becsuse with a win they’d be just a 1.5 game out.
Looking ahead to Friday’s match-up, it pits two 10-game winners. Andy Pettitte for New York. Felix Doubront for Boston.