Sox sweep Yankees for 10th straight win
April 27, 2009 Leave a comment
Man, and I thought game 1 was unbelievable. The Red Sox came back from a huge deficit in Game 2, and then broke a 1-1 deadlock in Game 3 to take their 10th straight victory last night, highlighted by Jacoby Ellsbury’s steal of home plate in the 6th (video at MLB.com).
In a feat not seen in Boston for 15 years, Ellsbury took off towards home plate with the Red Sox ahead 2-1. Starter Andy Pettite, startled, cut short his motion and threw home, but Ellsbury was already set to dive as the pitch came across the plate. He landed safely before catcher Jorge Posada could do anything with the ball. Maybe even more amazing is that Posada had warned Pettite to watch Ellsbury right before that very pitch. Imagine the adrenaline rush as he was called safe at the plate!
You can argue that it wasn’t a good baseball decision by Ellsbury to go; you typically don’t try this low-percentage play unless it’s a tied game or you’re down by one. But maybe that’s what gave Ells the extra edge he needed. With the bases loaded, Pettite chose to go to the windup, and clearly Angel Berroa was not expecting anything, as he was way off the bag at third. And afterwards, Pettite seemed shaken up; you can credit part of J.D. Drew’s RBI double to Ellsbury. That’s the kind of contribution that’s hard to quantify with any statistic.
For all the fireworks surrounding the steal, don’t forget the bullpen, which featured Hunter Jones and Michael Bowden turning in scoreless outings to take the remaining fight out of the Bombers and preserve the victory. Bowden looked sharp on the biggest stage against Boston’s biggest foes; fanning Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano will no doubt this will give him some confidence going forward.
Also, Drew had to exit the game because of his left quadriceps; hopefully it won’t be more than a game or two that he’s out.
Other minor news: Papelbon remarks that he’s changed his delivery to put some more power behind his fastball. I dunno, I thought it was pretty good already; but maybe it’s supposed to help with the strain on his shoulder. Amalie Benjamin blames the new delivery for batters getting around on Papelbon better this season.. I don’t know about that.. Manny Delcarmen has been turning heads with his more consistent velocity this year, coupled with better command.