Gads, as I start writing this, it's only the 4th inning - and the score of the Yankees/Sox game is already 11-6 (Yankees). The pitchers have all been rocked - starters and relievers alike. The Yankees are on their second pitcher - after Brown got rocked, they brought in Vasquez, and he got touched for two - and his control is looking none too good. Meanwhile, Arroyo got shellacked. His replacement, Mendoza, lasted part of an inning before they went to Leskanic - and he just gave up 5 runs. They brought in tomorrow's starter, Wakefield to close the inning down. I guess they'll be handing the ball to Lowe tomorrow night. At this rate, the core could be in double digits for both teams, and it could read like the score of tomorrow's Patriots game.
So here it is the bottom of the fourth - I guess with a 5 run lead, the Yankees feel ok leaving Vasquez in (and he just struck out Bellhorn, so maybe it's ok). This is going to be a game that depletes the pitching staffs if this keeps up. Sheesh, I spoke too soon - a walk to Ramirez after a boatload of pitches, followed by a single to right by Ortiz. Sturtze is getting loose (and let me tell you, that doesn't fill me with confidence) - and there's only one out. Vasquez is not finding the strike zone - and wow, did he get lucky. A line drive right at Olerud, and he was able to tag Ortiz before he got back to the bag. If Vasquez is back out there next inning, I'll be shocked.
I guess this counts as live-blogging - I'll just keep updating the post as stuff of interest happens.
Well, that didn't take long. The top of the fifth was looking quiet with 1 on (Jeter) and one out, and then bam - A-Rod doubled. Now it's 12-6, and there's A-Rod in scoring position. I wonder what the Sox will do if Wakefield starts getting pasted? That bullpen is starting to look very, very thin. And abm - Sheffield pastes another ball for a double, bringing A-Rod home - 13-6. The Sox bench is looking like a wake right now, and I don't think I've ever seen Fenway so quiet - you could just about hear a pin drop... As things have gone tonight, that was a fairly light inning - only 2 more runs scored. It's going to be a long, long night for the Red Sox bullpen at this rate...
Well, Vasquez is back out, and he's being effective. He actually threw a 1-2-3 inning! On to the 6th, and we'll see if the Yankees can get Wakefield torched out.
Maybe things are settling down for awhile. Posada went deep, but to dead center for an out. Huh. Sierra pasted one as well, but to left-center - just about the only place that ball could be caught. Two outs, but Francona can't feel good about those balls - Wakefield dodged two bullets just now. Well, lucky or not, Olerud went quietly - 1-2-3 for Wakefield. The Yankees have a little over 2 innings before they can go to Rivera - I expect to see him out there in the 8th. We'll have to see how the next few innings fall out...
Hmm - Olerud must have hurt his foot on that ground out. He's out, and now Cabrera has just slapped a double to that odd corner in center left. Damon just continued his ineffectuallness in this series - shallow pop out. Fox knows that the game is close to being a laugher - they are out in the stands interviewing Steven King (so this must be a horror movie :) ). Bellhorn just struck out, so we have Ramirez up with 2 gone. And Ramirez goes down on strikes, so it looks like Vasquez has found his pitches, and he's making them. On to the 7th - things are just getting quieter and quieter at Fenway.
And Cairo gets on with an infield hit - The Yankees have their first man on again. Jeter hasn't done much tonight (one walk) - and Damon makes a nice grab on a looper to center. Almost another Red Sox moment as Bellhorn drops a pop in shallow center, but they got Cairo at second - he was assuming an easy out there. Still, 2 outs. Now Fox is looking at stats on teams that have come back from 3-0 in a 7 game series - none in the MLB, none in the NBA - and only 2 in the NHL. In other words, if the Sox lose tonight, the fat lady is warming up. And in anticipation of that, Sheffield just pasted another ball into the green monster for a long single. Wakefield is out, Embree is coming in. Another scoring possibility for the Yankees.
And Matsui just got a single, scoring A-Rod and sending Sheffield to 3rd! 14-6, and no pitcher for the Sox has been up to the task tonight. This game is just washing away from them. And wow - Bernie Williams just put it past Damon, and 2 more runs score, and Williams get sto second. Fenway is now like a crypt - it's filled with the walking dead Sox fans. And Posada finds the wall, scoring Williams, Posada to second for another double. It's now 17-6, and Fox needs to go find Steven King again. Sierra grounds out, and the inning is mercifully over for the Sox. I don't think the Yankees are going to need Rivera at this point - not unless a comeback of epic proportions takes place. At this point, I'm not seeing it. For tonight at least, the Sox are done.
Well, there's some life left in the Sox. Ortiz doubled and Varitek homered - 17-8 now. More bad news for the Sox though - it looks like Ortiz may have hurt himself on his swing somehow. The Yankees have Quantrill warming up, and it looks like Vasquez is just about done. After a shaky start he did enough; he chewed up the middle innings. Nixon got a lot of that ball, but not enough - just a long out. Looks like Quantrill is coming in.
Another hard hit ball by Mueller, but Matsui managed to hold it to a long single. Two outs though, and Quantrill looks like he's got decent stuff tonight. Well, I spoke too soon. Cabrera just lined a single, so Damon comes up with 2 on. Damon flied out harmlessly to left, continuing his inability to hit in this series. No further damage - and Sturtze and Gordon are both warming up. With the 8th inning coing up, I don't expect to see Quantrill go back out. Of course, the open question is - will the night get any longer for Red Sox pitching in the top of the 8th?
Wow, another pitcher for the Red Sox. Mike Myers, and they've also put Mirabelli behind the plate. He's usually the guy who catches Wakefield, and Varitek has been hitting well - I'm not sure I understand that move. Myers got Clark (the replacement 1st baseman) on strikes - his delivery muct be hard to track. He's got a normal overhand delivery, but also a side-arm sinker ball thing. Another strike out - the Sox have finally found a pitcher who isn't off his game tonight. Well, Jeter fought out his at-bat for a single. A close play at second on a good stop by Bellhorn - ends the inning, and Sox finally get another quiet half inning. Two left to play - it's looking like 3-0 advantage Yankees.
Well, Quantrill is still in. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised - why waste another pitcher when you're up by 9 with 2 innings left? This is why Torre gets paid the big bucks and I just comment on thus stuff :) Bellhorn struck out, and Ramirez quietly flew out to center, so it looks like Quantrill has settled in. On Fox, the announcers are talking about the likely starter for game 4 (probably Lowe) - and who's left in the Sox pen for tomorrow. They have used a lot of pitchers tonight. Quantrill gets Ortiz on strikes, so keeping him in looks like the right call - on to the 9th.
Heck, I hit the bathroom and I missed something - looks like Sheffield got on base. Whoa - Matsui just hit a 2 run homer. 19-8. Williams just got a single, so it looks like Myers only had one good inning in him. Wow - the Sox are warming up Foulke - their closer. You never want to bring in your closer when you're down by 11 runs. But heck, what can they do? They've blown through the pen. Posada just got a single, and now there are 2 on, no outs, and Sierra coming up. He struck out, and Clark lined into a double play. The Red Sox survived that inning - but it's just too late.
Well, Gordon is coming in after all. One down, Mirabelli popped out to second. I'm always nervous when Gordon pitches, but I don't think he can blow an 11 run lead. Wow - according to Buck on Fox, we just passed (combined for both teams) 400 pitches. Wow. Now, there's why Gordon makes me nervous - fastball out over the plate, and Trot Nixon slammed a double off the wall in left. Down 11 runs, it's ok. In a typical set up man's spot, it's nerve wracking. Speaking of which, a wild pitch sent Nixon over to third. Millar just struck out, so the Sox have one out left. A soft fly to center, and Gordon did the job. Game over - and the Yankees have their foot on the throats of the Sox.
The ironic thing is, the Red Sox were favored coming into this series. Both teams can hit, but everyone thought that the Sox had the better pitching staff. Of course, the Yankees did win the division, so the Sox pitching couldn't be that much better. Still, in a short series, the thinking was that Schilling and Martinez would mow the Yankees down in the first two games, and then they could just split the next four - just like the Diamondbacks did in 2001. It didn't go that way - Schilling is hurt, and he got shelled. Mussina pitched well for almost 7, and Lieber did very well for 7. Martinez pitched well - but not well enough. Brown got knocked out early, but Vasquez and Quantrill chewed up the middle innings well, and the Red Sox staff served up a steady diet of gopher balls. So at the end of the day, the Sox are faced with having to execute a comeback of the sort that has never been managed by any MLB team in a 7 game series - return from a 3-0 deficit. At this point, I'm thinking sweep.