Before I get into tonight’s game, I have to confess I’m rather proud of myself. Unlike last year, I didn’t mess up the game numbers in the titles of the blog posts once. I was actually afraid as we were winding down that I’d end Sunday’s game on Game 161 or 163 or something. But nope, humble brag here — consistency is my friend this year. At least on my game numbering.
A joke I heard repeated by multiple sources in many variations went something like: tonight’s game was the meeting of the Scranton and Pawtucket clubs but at big league prices in a game that doesn’t matter for either club. It’s a little insulting on so many levels, and while there were not as many “big names” on the rosters of either the Yankees or the Red Sox, it’s still guys signed to major league contracts to play major league baseball. And no matter how many cheers and chants and the occasional booing for not seeing a specific player pinch hit, those players played a good game, and it ended up being a Yankee win. So how exactly can we fault the selected starters tonight?
Chris Capuano took the start at Fenway tonight, throwing 91 pitches over his 6.2 innings, allowing just 4 hits and 1 run, striking out 5 Boston batters. In the 2nd, with 2 outs and a runner on 2nd, that runner scored on a deep single to put Boston up 1-0 early.
But the Yankees, even in enemy territory, don’t put up with Boston leads very well. In the 3rd, with 1 out, recently signed Perez struck out but reached 1st on a passed ball; he then advanced to 2nd on another passed ball and scored on Francisco Cervelli’s single to tie up the game. Cervelli later scored on John Ryan Murphy’s ground out. Then in the 6th, Murphy on base with a lead-off double, advanced to 3rd on Romine’s single, and scored on Zelous Wheeler’s sacrifice fly.
So when Capuano came back for the 7th inning, the Yankees were leading 3-1. After getting a quick 2 outs, the Yankees opted for Shawn Kelley, who promptly gave up a solo home run before getting out of the inning. It was 3-2 Yankees.
Adam Warren’s flawless 8th and David Robertson’s great 9th kept the Yankees in the lead, hand-delivering the win to the Yankees. And maybe it doesn’t count to qualify for postseason any more, but a win is still a win.
Both Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran are essentially finished for the season, with the powers that be not wanting to further injure two of the players they invested a lot of money in pre-season. And at this point, healthy players are always a preferred option, especially if their replacements are doing as well as they did tonight.
I think the natural tendencies for most athletes is to just push past the pain and go for it, even to the point of neglecting all long-term care. But the wise course of action is always to take a break, heal completely, and come back stronger and healthier and raring to go and redeem whatever lost time spent on the bench.