This weekend saw the renewal of baseball's fiercest rivalry in the clash of two perennial powers, the Yankees and Red Sox. On Friday, night the two teams of the American League East were tied for first. Living up to its billing, the first game ended up in a hard fought pitching dual that saw the Yankees eking out a 3-2 win.
That made for a bleak outlook for the Sox in Saturday's contest, when they would be pitching lack-luster John Lackey against 16-game winner CC Sabathia. Why show up?
But as often occurs when these gargantuans wrestle, anything can happen, and Lackey, supported by Boston's famed hitting machine, pitched well enough in his six innings to set up a Red Sox win, 10-4.
The teams again deadlocked for first, momentum now favored the Sox in the rubber game, with ace Josh Beckett taking the mound against Freddy Garcia, a dismal 0-2 and 10.13 era this season against the Sox. But Garcia pitched well, allowing just 1 run in 5 innings.
In the 7th, the score tied at 1-1, veteran Sox reliever Matt Albers let one slip, serving up a homer to Gardner, the Yankees now taking the lead, 2-1.
At this late stage, the lights were beginning to dim for Red Sox Nation with baseball's best reliever, Mariano Rivera, in the wings.
Having been through this before, I opted to go to bed. Minutes later, I heard my wife from the other room shouting,"Tied game!" Scutaro had scored from third in the 9th on Pedroia's sacrifice fly. Rivera had blown the save! Once again, we had the future Hall of Famer's number.
In the 10th, after Sox reliever Bard's return to form, the Yankees countered with starter John Hughes. With one out and two on, rookie Josh Reddick, 0 for 4, lined a ball into the left field corner, sending substitute runner Darnell McDonald home from 2nd base. Game over!
Whew, what a game!
And some people say baseball's boring?