Jeter-less Yankees edge Red Sox 3-2


On the day after Derek Jeter (who was given the night off upon his request) played his last home game, the Yankees came to town to play the last series the season. Chris Capuano, who started the year in the Red Sox bullpen, started for the Yankees. Steven Wright took the hill for the Sox, making his first start of the season, after spending most of the year down the road in Pawtucket.

The Red Sox opened the scoring in the bottom half of the second frame, as Allen Craig‘s hard single to left was boxed around in left field by Chris Young , allowing Craig to steam into second. Sweet-swinging rookie Bryce Brentz continued his hot-hitting in his short visit to the big league club, singling in Craig with two outs.

The Yankees came back to take the lead for good in the third inning, with the help of Wright’s dancing knuckleball. With one out, Wright struck out Eury Perez (hitting in his first major league game of the season), but Red Sox catcher Dan Butler could not corral the horsehide, allowing Perez to reach first. Perez advanced to second on a Butler passed ball. Francisco Cervelli, making a rare start at first base tonight, singled him in. Cervelli (the only familiar name in the Yankee lineup tonight) later came around to score on a Mookie Betts throwing error as Betts tried to turn a double play. Both of these runs were unearned, but still saddled Wright with the loss.

Matt Barnes relieved Wright in the sixth inning and got himself into hot water immediately. The Yankees put runners at first and third with no outs. The beautifully moniker-ed Zelous Wheeler powered a sacrifice fly deep enough to right that Craig’s throw home was nowhere close to being in time, pushing the Yankee advantage to 3-1.

In the bottom of the seventh, Rusney Castillo launched Shawn Kelley‘s first pitch of the night over everything in left, giving a souvenir to a lucky parking garage attendant (or perhaps customer), to cut the score to 3-2. It was Castillo’s second poke over the Monster in consecutive games. To go along with a single and stolen base, the homer pushed Rusney’s numbers toward respectability after 30 plate appearances, .267/.313/.500. Kelley had replaced Capuano with two outs and nobody on in the inning – the starter slowed the Red Sox offensive juggernaut of the past two nights which had produced 22 runs, allowing only four hits and no earned runs in 6.2 innings.

The Red Sox moribund offense brought some excitement to the Fenway Faithful in the bottom of the ninth. Xander Bogaerts singled off Yankees closer David Robertson, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Robertson came back to strike out Yoenis Cespedes (who may have been dreaming of that 100-RBI plateau and walk-off with one swing of his mighty wand) and Craig, who looked overmatched, his .131 batting average perhaps a harbinger. Garin Cecchini also took the count to three and two but flied out harmlessly to left to close the night’s proceedings.

The sell-out crowd at Fenway tonight who cried for the Yankee Captain to make an appearance in the late innings were left as disappointed as the fans who once wanted the Splendid Splinter to doff his cap one more time after his final trip around the bases. Hopefully, once the statuesque (in more ways than one) Jeter, appears in the next game or two as the designated hitter, they will feel fulfilled. It is hard to imagine, as Red Sox fans, that any fan could want to see any more of the future first-ballot Hall Of Famer after the last couple weeks. What the Red Sox would like to see is another win or two to tide them over through what promises to be an eventful winter for the Olde Towne Team.