From Pete Abraham, the lineup:
Posada DH (Pete had him listed at C, but I assume he’s DH and that it’s just a mistake)
Ransom 3B (see my note below)
Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 5.06).
No surprise that Melky is in vs. the lefty, but I thought it might be in Fenway’s big RF, with Swisher DHing. I expected Matsui to sit and Melky to play. I wasn’t sure if Gardner would be in or not, but Girardi went with the D and the extra righty bat of Molina vs. the lefty Lester.
Abraham points out that Swish is slumping a bit (he couldn’t keep that pace up, only natural) while Matsui (who I expect in vs. Beckett and Masterson the next two days–the offday and day off today should help those knees) is picking up.
As for Ransom, he is 8 for 47. A-Rod (even with all his distractions, hopefully he has grown up a bit) can’t be back soon enough. Abraham says he’s close to a minor league game. Could the Boston game at the Stadium (Boston’s first game in the NEW Stadium also be A-Rod’s return? That is 10 days away). There is drama for you.
Hmmm. Ransom did have the experience at 3B. Pena didn’t, and Pena hadn’t played above AA before being brought north with the big club. You do wonder though…if A-Rod weren’t two weeks from returning, might SWB start playing Berroa at 3B instead of SS? Would they consider a switch? Berroa is at .340-2-13 with SWB right now. He has just one MLB game at 3B. That’s the problem. He’s 31. 32-year-old Justin Leone is playing 3B for 12-1 SWB at present. He’s at .175-1-6. If Berroa were a 3B, not a SS, would there have been a switch made? Or would it have been as it is now—wait for Alex? They did give Pena a day, but… he is 2 for 13 himself. What to do here for the next two weeks? Just keep trotting Ransom out and hope he picks it up?
In any case, you would like to at least see two good weeks from Ransom. Start tonight, Cody.
It’s very early, but…
Youkulis has been a terror…not so Big Papi.
Jeter singled to lead off the game but two long flies and a K later, the Yanks get nothing.
Ugly 1st for Joba. Luckily just one run given up, but lots of pitches. Ellsbury singles, goes to 2nd on a balk, steals 3rd and scores on a (Sterling calls it a WP, ESPNMVP says PB by Molina) on the SB. Joba walks Pedroia, whiffs Ortiz, walks Youkulis, then gets a DP. But 25 pitches thrown??? We saw this problem in S.T. and it’s still here.
With two outs, Melky walks, steals 2nd, and Molina walks. Ransom whiffs. 8-48. 15 K. I know he had a good spring, and when I wrote “Alex who” I obviously was kidding. You knew you wouldn’t get much, but seriously, can Berroa come up and play 3b? Ouch.
Heck, when Jeter went down in 2003, Erick Almonte did make 12 (ugh) errors in 31 games, but he did at least hit .260. Granted 24 K in the 100 AB, but .260. Ransom is at .167.
Better and more economical 2nd for Joba. 1-0 Boston after 2.
Two on, two out, and Lowell does to Swisher what Brooks Robinson did to the Reds in the 1970 Series. Liner stabbed, saves a double and a run.
Joba in and out of trouble in the 3rd. 1-0 Boston after 3.
Melky singles, Molina walks (!!!), Ransom finally comes through with an RBI double and Jeter’s GO (thank goodness no one on first, or another GIDP) gives the Yanks the lead in the 4th. Lester is at 88 pitches after 4.
Joba continues a Houdini act with the DP balls. Still 2-1 Yanks after 4.
2-1 after 5. Joba gets another DP ball. It’s like he has channeled Wang.
Suzyn talks about the Pesky Pole as something that Johnny Pesky wrapped HRs around with great frequency, and that’s why they named it thus.
LET’S CHECK THE STATS: THE MOST HR PESKY EVER HIT IN A SEASON WHILE WITH BOSTON WAS THREE. THREE. HE HAD 17 HIS WHOLE CAREER.
Suzyn, you need to check the record book.
The real reason? Most likely this: Pesky is Polish. His real last name is Paveskovich.
Boston tied it in the 6th. Of all people, Nick “It Ain’t Easy Being” Green.
Coke came in for Joba.
Joba’s line: 5 1/3 (still no depth), 2 R, 1 ER, 9 hits, 4 walks, just 2 K. In and out of trouble. Helped by 4 DPs.
Lester out after 6. Tie game going into the 7th.
Jeter, the captain, starts it with a double. Damon tries to bunt him over and reaches when Okajima can’t handle the bunt. A hit. Teix bloops an RBI single. Posada singles. Bases loaded. Swisher’s fly isn’t deep enough but Cano’s is. SF and 4-2 Yanks.
Coke gets two outs, then gives up a walk. Alby in to get Bay, which he does. One guy.
It looks like Bruney and Mo for the 8th and 9th. More runs would help.
Ransom walks and steals 2nd. Ok, Rbi double before, walk, SB here. Let’s see if it brings a run in. But good to see some of the little things done by Ransom tonight. Uh, oh. Ransom is showing signs of an injury as he goes to third on a chopper. Pena in to PR and play 3b. Something to watch…is this minor or not? Damon strands him. Looks like Alby will start the 8th.
He does and gets the first two, then a HBP.
…and Mo is coming on for the FOUR-OUT save.
Bruney apparently is unavailable for whatever reason, and Alby is out after going 0-1 on a batter after the HBP. Hopefully Alby is ok.
and on a blooper to CF, ruled a single, Jeter flubs it. … two on, still 4-2.
Pedroia up. Last year’s MVP vs. the greatest closer ever. The winner? #42 by a K.
The Yanks loaded the bases in the top of the 9th. Teix HBP, walks to Posada and Swisher. Cano GIDP. Melky popped up. Ouch. You never have enough insurance.
Melky goes to RF, the Road Runner to CF. Swish out for D.
The currently weakest Red Sox hitter, Ortiz (believe it or not), whiffs against the Greatest. Youkulis singles, Drew grounds out.
… and Mo blows it. With two out, Bay ties the game with a HR. Ouch. Superman meets Kryptonite. What’d I just say about more insurance?
Base hit by Lowell. K. Too late. Extras.
Boston brings in Pimplebutt. I mean Papelbon.
Pedroia saves a run in the 10th. Still, Yanks have 2nd and 3rd, two out, Teix whiffs.
11th…1st and 2nd one out. Melky GIDP.
Bottom of 11th. Weakest hitter, Ortiz whiffs.
One out away. Mo blows it. Marte blows it.
Yanks leave 15 on.
What a bad taste.
Postscript: From Suzyn on postgame:
AND IT IS NOT PRETTY:
Bruney went back to NY with an elbow problem.
Wang on DL. Robertson up. …. until, as we figure….Hughes. Then again, Robertson may need to replace Bruney … who knows?
Ransom will go on DL. Berroa?
Wow. Talk about losing more than a game.