MFYs get burned 9-6, Sox take best out of three.
Wow, what a series.
Mike and I bought and downloaded Saturday's game off of MLB.com and watched it in it's entirety yesterday afternoon --- I might have had a stroke had I watched that game live. Best game of the season - not necessarily in terms of play, but definitely in terms of excitement. Then Mike and I took our traditional Sunday nap (days off are wonderful and glorious things,) and woke up for the series finale on, ugh, Sunday Night Baseball.
The Yanks jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, thanks largely to a temporarily lethargic Sox defense. Lofton got all the way to second on what should have been a single had Damon not been asleep on his feet. Jeter sacrificed Lofton to third on a bunt, Sheffield scored Lofton with a basehit, Rodriguez got a cheap infield single, Posada was hit by a pitch (good,) and Matsui scored Sheffield from third on a sac-fly to deep center. The next batter, Bernie Williams, was retired on a fly-out to Manny and I'm thinking uh-oh, things don't look good for Lowe...bad defense and too many fly-balls do not a good sinkerball pitcher make.
But apparently I was underestimating the power of Contreras's suckitude. The Sox came right back to score two of their own in the bottom of the first, with Bellhorn and Ortiz (both walked) scored on a single from none other than Kevin Millar. For once this team was able to make a pitcher pay for issuing too many walks.
Sox had a four run fourth, with Damon and Bellhorn going deep back-to-back with three-run and single-run homers respectively, padding the lead to 6-2. The score went to 7-2 in the fifth thanks to a homerun by....Kevin Millar. Two more runs were scored in the sixth inning - Bellhorn doubled and was driven in by Ortiz, who also doubled, and scored from third on an RBI single from....guess who! Kevin Millar!! The score was then 9-2....but it just wouldn't be the Red Sox if they let the game end that easily.
For ONCE Terry Francona pulled Derek Lowe at the first sign of trouble, not after he'd already given up four runs. With two out and two men on base, Francona pulled Lowe and put in Mike Timlin, who promptly walked Posada and gave up a grand slam to Matsui. Just terrific. Score is now 9-6. I believe it was the newly aquired Terry Adams who got the final out of that inning. The Yanks threatened to score again in the eighth in the strangest play of the series: Jeter hit a low line drive that bounced off of Keith Foulke's foot or shin right back to Mirabelli, who nailed Jeter in the back (good) as he tried to throw him out at first. Enrique Wilson had come around to score from third, but was sent back after the homeplate umpire called Jeter out because he was inside the first base line. Joe Torre said that "it's a silly rule because you have to come back on that side to touch the bag." Well, maybe, but you don't have to run all the way down the frickin basepath on the inside and block a throw. In any case, Keith Foulke got the five outs he needed to save the game and we all lived happily ever after.
Unfortunately, Trot is back on the DL because of his quad - no relation to the brawl on Saturday night. Sounds pretty serious. Varitek also missed last night's game due to soreness in his wrist which he speculated was directly related to the brawl, but there is a good chance that he will be back in the lineup tonight in Baltimore.
I'd like to take this opportunity to publically apologize to Kevin Millar, about whom I have made several disparaging comments over the past month. Your defense is still pretty dodgy, Kevin, but they couldn't have done it without you!