Red Sox-Yankees: Yanks Get Soaked in Sweep at Fenway

June 12, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

For Yankees fans, the pouring rain at the end of the final game fit the overall mood pretty well.

When Mark Teixeira hit a screamer right at Boston’s Kevin Youkilis to seal yet another three-game Red Sox sweep, you could feel the hearts of thousands of Yankee fans collectively sink to a new low.

Exuding confidence in the days leading up to the series, the Yankees were 7-3 in their previous 10 games, and all seemed well—the bats were hot, there finally seemed to be an answer to their rotation questions, and overall team chemistry was high.

It took only three games for it to all come crashing down. What in the name of Babe Ruth happened? 

Let’s take a deeper look into the wreckage to try to find some answers.



Most of the blame for Games One and Two falls squarely on the Yankees’ starters.

In the series opener, A.J. Burnett thought that Bud Selig might credit a poor performance as a game off from his suspension, and subsequently went out and stunk up Fenway—2.2 innings, five runs, five hits, five walks, one strikeout, and a home run to the previously powerless David Ortiz.

Not to be outdone, Chien-Ming Wang—he of the 34 runs allowed in 21.1 IP—nearly matched Burnett’s performance in Game Two, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks with three K’s in 2.2 innings pitched.

Thankfully, CC Sabathia looked like he was able to right the ship in the final matchup, holding the Red Sox to one run in seven innings.

That is, until he ran out of gas in the eighth inning and allowed the game-winning runs to get on base.

Perhaps the only bright spot for the Yankees’ pitchers was that the bullpen seemed to perform decently well when asked.

Outside of Alfredo Aceves, who was saddled with the blown save in Game Three as he allowed two of his inherited runners to score, the other relievers seemed to keep the Sox from doing a lot more damage.

Brett Tomko and Phil Hughes—who were called upon to relieve Burnett and Wang, respectively—made sure that Boston didn’t take the games too far out of reach. Tomko especially helped out, allowing one run on two hits in 2.1 innings in Game One.

In addition, Phil Coke continued to improve, as he didn’t allow a hit in either of his two appearances. Same goes for David Robertson as well—his scoreless inning in Game Two was definitely a positive. Jose Veras also seemed to get back on track, despite allowing a home run to Nick Green in the seventh inning in Game One.

So it’s not quite the bullpen’s fault that the Yankees were pounded for 17 runs and 26 hits, which leaves only one group of pitchers to blame: the rotation.

With questions arising once again like an undead zombie, the Yankees need to figure out who belongs in the rotation once and for all if they want to return to the top of the AL East.



Prior to the New York-Boston series, the Yankees’ bats were in full force.

They could bring out the boom stick and unload on the other team at will. They could lie in wait and pull off the dramatic come-from-behind win. They could provide just enough firepower to hold on for the win.

Against the Red Sox, none of those scenarios happened when they were needed most. In fact, it looked like Boston was able to demonstrate its ability to win in each of those manners.

The Yankees’ bats were disturbingly quiet in Game One, as they were baffled by Josh Beckett and limited to five total baserunners the entire night while the Red Sox offense was busy pounding Burnett and getting a huge lead early in the game.

Then, in the second game, the Yankees mounted a late charge but fell short, as Boston put just enough runs on the board to hold on for the win.

In the final game, the Yankees were able to take the lead thanks to A-Rod’s heroics, but it was Boston who had the last laugh as they finally got to Sabathia in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three runs to effectively neutralize the Yankees’ late-inning scramble.

No matter what the situation, however, the Yankees could not seem to figure out Red Sox pitching. In total, the Red Sox threw 22 innings of shutout ball while fanning 23 batters and allowing only eight runs.

Time to hit the batting cage and heat those bats back up.


Team Morale

When you’re playing good baseball, it shows in the clubhouse—things get a lot lighter, and you just go out there and have fun.

When you’re losing to your hated enemy, however, everything completely changes.

Every time the TV cameras cut to a shot of the Yankees dugout after the final out, you could almost taste the disappointment and feel the dejected atmosphere as the players and coaches slowly trudged to the locker room, heads down and backs slumping forward.

Just as winning breeds winning, losing creates a sense of desperation and brings out negativity that can snowball if things don’t get better quickly.

Especially when you have lost eight straight games to your rival—nine if you go back to the final game of 2008—and that funk doesn’t seem to go away.


In short, it seemed like everything that the Yankees needed to go their way didn’t quite go their way. The bats cooled off to dangerously low levels. The pitching was atrocious. And the pressure of winning their first game against Boston led to even higher levels of team disappointment.

On the plus side, the teams don’t meet again until Aug. 6.

For the Yankees, that’s plenty of time to dry off from the rain and figure out what to do to settle the score.

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