The bats were working this time, unlike the 2-5 loss on Tuesday. Josh Beckett, like with all his games against the Yankees, was dominant, and came out on top, making it 4-0 for against their AL East rivals, with a 1.85 ERA in 5 starts against them. The Red Sox now have a 1.5 game lead.
Beckett was modest, knowing the win had more to do with the hitting then his pitching which was good, but far from perfect – I know the win will be going next to my name, and I’d say I contributed by eating up some innings, but the guys the stuck out all year stuck out again today.
He was talking about David Ortiz – hitting his 28th home run of the season, a two run homer, which put the Sox 4-1 up in the fifth. He was talking about Jacoby Elsbury (2-5) who also hit a two run homer, this time to give Boston back the lead, 7-5, never to be caught again. And catcher Jason Varitek locked up the win in the 8th with another two run homer, setting the final score at 9-5. Jonathan Papelbon came on and needed only 7 pitches to give the Red Sox their 11th win over the Yankees this season. Paplebon’s recent form has been exquisite – he’s struck out 20 in his last 17 appearances (17 innings pitched), allowing only three singles.
With both teams pretty even statistically this year in terms of batting, it came down to the pitching. The Red Sox don’t have the best pitching crew in the league, but they’re in better shape than the Yankees. Phil Hughes (4-5) with a 6.75 ERA was just an example of the struggles. A.J. Burnett is up next for the Yankees – He’s 9-11 this season with a 5.31 ERA. In his one start against the Red Sox this year he gave up 8 runs, 7 earned, not finishing six innings.
The Boston have Jon Lester to pitch next for them to finish off the series. Lester is 8-2 in his career against the Yankees. He’s 14-6 with a 3.09 ERA for the season, 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA against the Yankees this year.