CC Sabathia can finally claim a win over the Red Sox after the Yankees improved to 3-10 on the season against Boston with a 5-2 win.
And yet, even now it somehow feels like a game the Sox should have won, and Sabathia should have lost.
There were two major problems for the Sox tonight. The first was John Lackey, who found himself somewhat victimized by the New York offense. The Yankees got on the board first after a one-out walk in the second inning came around to score on a weak chopper from Eric Chavez that, for once, Dustin Pedroia couldn't make the highlight play on. Another walk in the fourth--this time of the leadoff variety to Curtis Granderson--led to another run, as did the RBI double from Robinson Cano that brought Granderson home.
Still, Lackey could have escaped with a quality start had it not been for Francisco Cervelli of all people. First was the huge blast he hit onto Lansdowne to lead off the fifth. Second was the decision by Lackey to throw at him in the seventh for his small celebration at the plate post-homer. In some situations acceptable. In this one, with the Sox down by two and Cervelli the first batter in an inning which Lackey entered with 100 pitches already on his arm, not so much. The free baserunner would eventually come around to score, and the Sox found themselves trying to match five New York runs instead of just four.
They could have matched that, however, were it not for the fact that they scored two of their nineteen baserunners on the night.
Yes, you read those numbers right.
The Sox left the bases loaded in the second and seventh, saw Carl Crawford and Josh Reddick line into outs with runners in scoring position, and all around just choked, choked, choked. Especially culpable were Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who left seven men on, and both Jacoby Ellsbury and Adrian Gonzalez, who struggled all night with the opposing southpaws, ending up with five men stranded a piece.
A frustrating loss--really, that's something of an understatement--but one which can remedied with a couple of wins in the next two games, when the Sox will have the clear advantage on the mound.