Bobby Valentine got booed harder and harder every time he went up to the mound and made another pitching substitution. Each move he made just got worse and worse, as the New York Yankees came back from 0-9 to win 15-9 in Fenway Park, furthering the suffering of the rather dim 100 year Fenway Park celebrations for the Boston Red Sox.
And although Bobby Valentine hasn’t been perfect and flawless, less than a month into his renewed MLB career, it’s a bit too much blaming him for everything wrong with this organization, off to a 4-10 start. Nothing new for Boston, who are 13-29 through their first 14 games since 2010. Still, it feels even worse this time.
Valentine kept throwing reliever after reliever. Felix Doubront allowed just four hits and one run in six innings, and maybe Valentine panicked as the Yankees put their first run on the board as Mark Teixeira hit his second home run of the season and first day. In the next inning he would hit a three run home run, when everything came crumbling down for Red Sox and Valentine.
Vicente Padilla gave up 5 runs, but he wasn’t marked with the loss. Alfredo Aceves didn’t even manage to put a single hitter out. He gave up four walks and 5 runs in a nightmarish stretch for the Sox’s pitchers. And the bats, on their turn, were muted.
Not that the Yankees pitching was that great. Freddy Garcia didn’t finish two innings in his start before taken off. David Phelps allowed three more runs in four innings of pitching. But as the Bronx bombers started living up to their name, the correlation between hitters and pitchers which isn’t always understood came into effect. Soriano (who got the win), Logan and Eppley allowed only 3 hits in the next 3 innings.
The bombing? Jeter, Swisher and Teixeira all had 3 hits. Teixeira had two home runs with 6 RBIs, Nick Swisher his his fourth home run of the season, finishing with 6 RBIs as well. Eduardo Nunez continued to produce, hitting ninth, finishing with 3-4, currently with a .455 batting average. Jeter, hitting .382 with 12 RBIs, is enjoying his DH time as well.
So the Yankees aren’t perfect (9-6), with pitching problems of their own, but not remotely close to the hole the Red Sox seem to be in, continuing their downward spiral from last season which cost them a playoff spot and their manager his job. Valentine will probably have to take someone off the rotation (Daniel Bard probably). What about his lineup problems, with Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury still out? One problem at a time.
It’s unlikely that Valentine will be fired. Something utterly catastrophic needs to happen and frankly, despite all these problems, there’s enough talent on this team to turn things around. But once a GM has to assure that the manager’s job is safe, it means we are already treading on a slippery slope.