The Red Sox sent up one of their better starters to pitch in tonight’s finale, a rubber match both teams were eager to win. Honestly, he did a pretty great job holding off the Yankees offense tonight with some minor exceptions. In the 3rd, with 2 strikeouts, Gardner singled and then scored on Alex Rodriguez’s double.
Now, Gardner’s dash from 1st base to home took all of 10.3 seconds to beat out the throw from left field; that’s 270 feet covered by two of Gardner’s feet in a very short time. To put this in perspective, Jamaican sprinter and gold medalist Usain Bolt ran the 100 meter dash (about 328 feet), at 9.58 seconds in 2009. (It should be noted that Bolt is also 7 inches taller than Gardner, with a much longer leg reach.)
After dealing with symptoms of dehydration in Texas, CC Sabathia got the start for tonight’s finale and did a pretty great job. (Lesson learned, kids: stay hydrated and you can be amazing too!) Sabathia threw 99 pitches over 6 innings, giving up a season-low 3 hits, 3 walks, and 1 run, striking out 8 Boston batters. The 5th inning was the most interesting of Sabathia’s outing. A strikeout, a single, a strikeout, and a walk started things that inning before a single scored the Red Sox lone run. Another walk loaded the bases and brought up the Red Sox’s infamous power-hitter, who promptly struck out. Sabathia’s energetic response echoed through all the Yankee fans, keeping those rivals at bay.
The game was tied up, and Justin Wilson’s 7th kept the start solid going with 3 strikeouts. This set up the Yankees’ offense again with Jacoby Ellsbury’s monster 1-out solo home run to the 2nd deck seats in right field. Now, it was up to the Yankees’ bullpen to preserve that lead, which they did with the Dynamic Duo — Dellin Betances’ 8th in 16 pitches and Andrew Miller’s 9th in 17 pitches.
It should also be noted that the Yankees’ pitching staff struck out 13 Red Sox batters. They were just shutting down any Boston offense with whiffs and swings. Credit where credit is due. This was a great pitching game from both sides, and it was those 13 strikeouts that made the difference and kept the Yankees on top.
Final score in the Bronx: 2-1 Yankees, Yankees win series 2-1.
And this weekend continues the AL East competition with the visiting Blue Jays. Weird news from Toronto: the Blue Jays organization announced that next weekend when the Yankees visit Rogers Centre it will be in front of 3 sold out crowds. This is odd only because Rogers Centre doesn’t really sell out… ever. I can’t remember a game in Toronto that didn’t have a large number of empty seats, like when the Yankees play the Rays at the Trop. Now, Baltimore and Boston can pack them in like sardines. Now, all eyes will be on the lookout next weekend to find any empty blue seats below the CN Tower.
A quick note on energy and competition: adrenaline and energy are natural by-products of the competitive drive. So when a play is made the release of said energy will be expelled in some way depending on the result of said play. Failure = frustration; success = celebration. It means you’re naturally expressing and releasing all that built-up adrenaline in a rather healthy manner. Now, if you’re taking it out physically on someone else’s person in anger or abusing a position of power to exert your superiority over another, we have a problem. Then you’re no longer a competitor, but rather just a jerk. Bottom line: be competitive, be energetic, be excited when you win and disappointed when you lose, be a good winner and a gracious loser, be brave and daring, and be amazing and amazed; otherwise, how will anyone know how much it really matters to you?