So Much For Meaningful Games In September

September 26, 2009 – 12:43 pm

A-Rod Takes Lester YardNYY 9, Boston 5. Who could have seen that coming? Boston has their ace starting and the Yankees have their No. 5 starter on the mound, in a “must win” game for the Red Sox, assuming that they are still interested in winning the division which a sweep would give them a decent shot at. And after just 2.1 innings the score is 5-0 — but it’s the Yankees with the 5-spot, not the Red Sox! Pretty amazing. The Yankees pounded John Lester for five runs on eight hits, led by Alex Rodriguez’ three RBIs on a single and a two-run blast. Meanwhile, Joba Chamberlain was retiring the first 11 Red Sox hitters in a row, in his best outing in a long, long time. He ended up with a line of 6 IP, 3 R, 5 H, and 5 K. The only real blemish was a two-run homer to David Ortiz in the sixth, and the reality is that Big Papi is starting to heat up lately, so that’s going to happen to the best pitchers. And even with that, it was a “quality start”, so I guess you have to put Joba back in the running for the No. 4 starter. His next start will be a meaningless game for the Yankees, but it will tell us a lot about what to expect from Joba in the post season.

And speaking of meaningless games, it would appear that when Melky Cabrera literally knocked Lester out of the game with a line drive to the knee in the third, Terry Francona threw in the towel for the rest of the season. Rather than going to his veterans in the bullpen, he chose instead to go with recent call ups. And then in the eighth, trailing by just four runs — still somewhat of a winnable game — he pulled all the starters. So with the Angels losing yet again, it would seem that the Yankees pretty much now have a lock on the best record in the league and all that’s left of the season is setting up the rotation for the playoffs, while keeping everyone else in their current groove. Nice situation to be in, no?

Photo: NY Daily News

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