9-7: Yankees outslug Sox, 15-9

What a difference five days makes. One start after Clay Buchholz and Chien-Ming Wang faced off and went a combined 15 innings with only two earned runs, neither starter made it past the fifth inning today, as the Yankees won a wild one, 15-9. The game was actually a lot more competitive than the score might indicate, with six lead changes on the night.

After all the talk this weekend about what an ace Wang is, he lasted just four-plus innings today, giving up 8 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks. He threw 69 pitches and was unable to make the big pitches when they counted. When Dustin Pedroia walked and Manny Ramirez doubled him home in the first inning, I smelled an implosion about to happen.

I just didn’t know it would be an implosion on both sides. Buchholz gave up back-to-back homers in the first to Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez to fall behind 3-1. Buchholz lasted just 3 2/3 innings, throwing 85 pitches and giving up 7 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk. While he sported a good breaking ball and change today, Buchholz struggled with his fastball mechanics, topping out at 91 mph with inconsistent control. His release point was all over the place, and the Yankees lineup is too good not to take advantage of that wildness.

Jason Varitek hugged the right field line with one out in the 4th, and was nearly thrown out by Abreu trying for a double. Sean Casey came up big again, singling to score Varitek to knot it at 3-3 on a wide throw by Melky Cabrera. That could have been a play, though; Tek is just slow as molasses on the basepaths. I have to say, Casey scrambling back to second base when Wang caught him leading off was one of the most undignified things I have ever seen; but considering no one was covering, I’ll give him a pass on that one.

The offense posted 14 hits and 6 walks in this wild one. Ramirez and J.D. Drew both had three hits, and Pedroia’s two-run single in the 5th gave the Sox a 9-7 advantage, but it just wasn’t enough on this night. Kevin Youkilis took a hard foul ball off his left foot, and struggled the rest of the game, striking out three times.

If you had asked me before the game which bullpen I would bet on, I’d have quickly picked Boston’s staff, especially with Joba Chamberlain absent. But only David Aardsma was strong tonight, tossing two shutout innings. One game after playing the hero, Julian Tavarez (0-1) gave up the lead for good. That 11-9 lead was tantalizingly close for a long time, but nothing doing against the New York pen; give them credit for holding the line. Mike Timlin gave up back-to-back 2-RBI doubles in the 8th to seal the Sox’ fate.


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