Every time the Yankees have had some momentum this year, there are the Red Sox to spoil the fun to the tune of a 9-2 victory to complete the sweep.
A run in the top of the 1st got the Yankees feeling good quick. That is until Mike Napoli struck again. With one on, and one run already in, Napoli hit his 7th homer of the year against New York. That was the highlight for Napoli, who would set a Red Sox franchise record for strikeouts in a season at 178 then get ejected in the game. But the damage was done.
Clay Buchholz was his usual self, holding the bombers to just 2 hits and 1 run in 6 innings, though he did walk 4 batters. Ivan Nova lasted just 4 innings, surrendering 5 runs on 4 walks and 6 hits. Buchholz improved to 11-0, Nova dropped to 8-5.
Alex Rodriguez drove in the first run, but left in the fifth with a tight right calf. Not surprising as the 3rd baseman has been playing with a tight left hammy. Favoring one leg for another often results in an injury to the other, see Jeter all year. 56 players have been used by New York this year, and every new one to put on the pinstripes breaks the team record.
It was a must win game in many ways for the Yankees. You want to avoid the sweep no matter what, but especially to your AL East rivals. Down 3 games in the Wild Card, a win would’ve gained ground on both Tampa and Texas. But with the loss they lose even more ground to Baltimore and Cleveland, who are sandwiched between themselves, the Rays and the Rangers. The Yankees finish just 6-13 against the AL leading Red Sox.
The highlight of the day came pre-game when the Red Sox honored Mariano Rivera with a number of gifts highlighted by a poem regaling the Yankees closer with praise and love. It was a nice moment watching the Fenway faithful giving Mo a standing O. Somethings are bigger than rivalry, and baseball history is one of them. And Rivera has his own special place in Yankees, Red Sox and Baseball history.
So now a much needed off day awaits New York before 3 games in Toronto, who should be a welcome sight for the Yankees. They’ve fell just 3 times to the Jays this season.