8 strikeouts. 1 walk and 1 hit batsman. Two earned runs on 4 hits. 2 errors in the field.
For all intents and purposes, Javier Vazquez should have been the winning pitcher. Unfortunately, his opposition was Pedro Martinez, who threw 105 pitches over 6 tearjerker innings in his first appearance at Yankee Stadium since You Know When.
It was a good game, and a feel-good weekend for the Sox, as they swept the Yankees for the first time since September 1999. Maybe this will put the hysteria about Pedro to rest.
Which is all well and good, but let's be realistic: the same year as that last sweep, the Yankees went on to win the division. The last time the Red Sox had such a big lead over the Yankees was in May 2002, but that year, the Yankees also went on to win the division--by ten games.
In fact, looking at the ultimate results of all of the Yankees most recent under-.500 starts is downright scary.
So it's not time to pop the bubbly just yet. However. I posited all of the above to my friend Joe, a true Sox fan:
joe: yankees < red sox
Me: right now, yes
joe: you're right, when our injured players come back, it'll be dire
This, my friends, is what Zen is all about.
Furthermore, let's not let the Yankees off the hook--they have some serious problems. Their best pitchers left town. Their team captain is being booed in his own house, and is on the longest hitting slump of his career. Their recent "Hot-Rod" acquisition is still anemic at the plate and just decent on the field. Most of their "fans" left the stadium by the fifth inning on Friday, and never came back. Their arch-rivals need just four more games to win the season series against them, and, as we are so often reminded, it's only April.
All they seem to have in recent weeks is their history, and money--both of which I'll be the first to admit are formidable.
But it seems right now that the weight of that history is more burden than bouyance, and all Georgie's horses and all Georgie's men are still dealing with the dud Contreras and performing CPR on A-Rod's game.
These are not the Yankees of yesteryear. These are more like the Yankees of the late 80's and early 90's. And you'll notice that in the 1995 series, their under-.500 start was not so glorious at the end of the season as the next few.
And there are some things about the Sox this season that are not to be ignored. Our rock-solid bullpen, for one. A pitching rotation deeper than the Marianas Trench, for another. Manny Ramirez emerging as the unlikeliest team spokesman since Bill "the Spaceman" Lee. New acquisitions like Mark Bellhorn, a sabermetrics geek's wet dream.
What it comes down to, though, is not that we beat the Yankees, but that--like last year--we have a tough, gritty, scrappy baseball team that may still leave an egregious number of runners in scoring position, that may still miss those two guys with the funny names, that may still have yet to heat up in terms of offensive production, but that showed unheard-of versatility when they bombed the Bombers for an 11-2 blowout on Friday, ground out a 12-inning epic in a 3-2 gut-wrencher yesterday, and held fast for a 2-0 squeaker today.
Just take it from a Yankee fan:
The Yankees appear to be fighting one-dimensionally - it's almost as if they don't get that 7-inning, 8K, 4 hit performance out of their starters and the offense isn't permitted a big, fat 6 run outburst, they might as well give up (this is nothing new, dating back to 2002.) Their opponents have appear to continue to beat the Yankees w/ guerilla style offense, scattering runs, forcing errors, and getting the timely big blast out of their clean-up guys from time to time. Also, opposing mediocre starters and relievers are coming across as geniuses right now when, in some cases, they are anything but. True, injuries have hurt us, but that's every team - the Yankees need to bring the game to their opponent more often, otherwise our bullpen guys are going to wear themselves out every game, playing from behind all the time. I know it's not their game, but I just wish the Yankees tried to scrap a little more. These games count right now, unfortunately. (NYYfans.com)
We've come from behind; we've dominated when we had to. We've plumbed the depths of our bullpen and we've gotten the first trips between Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium out of the way, and--great news!--it's only April.