Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rain Delay in Boston -Resumed

Top of the 8th inning, Yankees trail 3-4, runners on 1st and 2nd, 2 out. With the Yankees threatening to score and the Sox about to bring in Papelbon early the umpire decides to cover the field when a little rain falls. There had been thunder and lightning in the distance but by the time the tarp was finished getting unrolled, before they had a chance to unfold it, the rain was letting up. Hopefully for the Yanks they won't have this one stolen away from them by mother nature and an anxious officiated crew. Oh, did I mention Alex Rodriguez was at the plate?

Beckett started strong and was in command of the early part of the game. Terry Francona let him start the 7th but he began to have some difficulty, giving up a run before Manny Delcarmen came in to relieve him with 2 outs. Delcarmen got out of the inning with a strike out. Okajima came in to pitch the 8th inning and left with 2 on and 2 outs, setting up Papelbon.

Beckett's numbers were 6.2 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 5 strike outs, and 88 pitches for 55 strikes.

For the Yankees, Mussina kept the game close and exciting. He put a few runners on and got out with some double plays. While not looking as sharp as Beckett, Moose kept the Yankees in striking range throwing 5.2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, 1 K and no walks. He threw 71 pitches for 51 strikes.

Brian Bruney came in in the bottom of the 6th and have up an RBI hit and also gave up a run in the 7th. There's been no sign of Chamberlain warming up yet.

David Ortiz continues to struggle at the plate. Using the word struggle seems like an understatement. Ortiz can't do anything. He was up twice in clutch situations and grounded into a double play and later struck out. Manny Ramirez was the offensive star for Boston, hitting a solo home run and an RBI double.

The Yankees have only left 2 on base tonight but for the most part haven't done much offensively. Giambi has gone 0 for 3. Cano has 2 hits. Alberto Gonzalez is 1 for 3 with a run scored and is showing some speed on the bases.

If the game is resumed, the first at bat will be crucial as A-Rod tries to drive in some runs with 2 outs and runners in scoring position. Papelbon is set up to grab a save if he pitches well. If the Yankees do get some runs Chamberlain and Rivera will both be available to pitch in the 8th and 9th if needed. If the Yanks fail to score, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone else in to pitch, saving those two for Sunday.

Yanks fans, keep hoping the rain clears and that A-Rod can come through in the clutch!

Update: After a little over 2 hours, the game resumed. Papelbon delivered and A-Rod came up short in the biggest at bat of the game, striking out in the clutch. Latroy Hawkins shut down the Red Sox in the bottom of the 8th and then Papelbon came back out to pitch the ninth. The kid was sharp, striking out the first two batters and then getting a ground out to end the game.

Mussina and Beckett each had decent starts and the score was close, but Beckett was able to go an extra inning and was a little sharper. Both bullpens had some minor troubles but Boston was able to get Papelbon to the mound with a lead and he gave them 4 quick outs in a big game.

The Yankees still have Chamberlain and Rivera available for tomorrow. If Hughes can keep it close and Dice-K doesn't prove to be too much for the Bomber bats, the Yanks have a good chance to win another game and take the series.

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