Yankee manager, Joe Girardi said it best when he reminded the media that his club is known as the Bronx Bombers and not the Bronx Bunters when discussing the role of small ball earlier this week. And his club reiterated that statement on Wednesday night when the Yankees belted three home runs, accounting for their entire offense en route to a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox.
It’s no secret that the Yankees rely on the long ball and it has been a huge part of their success as they are 76-40 when they hit at least one home run, including Wednesday. When they don’t hit a dinger, they are a dismal 4-22 bringing in a whole new level of debate as to whether or not this club is built for a postseason run when you consider in a short series that they would only see the opposing team’s top three pitchers. When you count on the long ball as much as they do, good pitching has a way of keeping the big bats quiet, especially in October.
The Red Sox were held at bay for most of the night against Yankee starter David Phelps but managed to chase him from the game in the sixth before getting two runs off of Joba Chamberlain to bring the Sox within two.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia provided some late inning drama with a solo shot off Yankees closer Rafael Soriano, but that’s as close as the Sox would come. Daniel Nava hit a long, fly ball only to fall into the glove of Andruw Jones, just shy of the Green Monster, Mauro Gomez would ground out softly before Mike Aviles kept the rally going with an infield single. Alas, Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t have the walk-off magic two nights in a row as he grounded out back to Soriano, ending the ball game.
The Red Sox did collect eleven hits on the night, six off the Yankees bullpen after being somewhat stymied by Phelps early on.
This game did have it’s fair share of fireworks other than the ones the Yankees and Red Sox were displaying at the plate.
Alfredo Aceves was his usual maniac self when Valentine pulled him from the game and his performance on the mound was just as awful, giving up two runs on three hits that included Curtis Granderson‘s second bomb of the game.
Cody Ross was then ejected in the bottom of the eighth after arguing balls and strikes and if you believe the Amica Pitch Zone courtesy of NESN, he had a legitimate gripe with the home plate umpire.
After Ross was finally removed from the field and cooler heads appeared to have prevailed, manager Bobby Valentine was tossed for continuing to banter from the dugout. Bobby then went to home plate and got his money’s worth in what was an animated performance where he did all the shouting. Is it me or is this act of Bobby’s getting a little old? I mean he waits until his players are ejected before going and stepping in and then losing his cool. Why wasn’t he out there the minute Ross was rung up and clearly upset? Anyway, it’s been a tough year on everyone and good on Bobby for blowing off some steam.
The series concludes Thursday with the rubber match, a game the Yankees need as the Orioles continue to roll right along and remain tied for the AL East lead.