Red Sox - 000 000 000 000 000 - 0 4 0It's a drag to be on the losing end of any extra-inning game, but this was one of the best games the Red Sox and Yankees have played in the 2000s.
Yankees - 000 000 000 000 002 - 2 9 1
The two rivals had never played 14 innings without a run being scored. Nearly 40 years ago, on September 24, 1969, the two teams were tied 0-0 after 13 innings before the Red Sox won 1-0 in 14.
Junichi Tazawa made his major league debut in the bottom of the 14th. It ended up being one of the more eventful half-innings of the season.
After Hideki Matsui lined out to center, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano singled. Eric Hinske then ripped a 2-2 pitch to deep right. J.D. Drew got a fantastic jump, ran maybe 10-12 steps and leapt towards the track and corner, the ball just barely nestling in the tip of his glove with his arm at full extension.
Drew: "I don't know how in the world it ended up in my glove."
With two outs, Melky Cabrera lined a full-count pitch down the right field line. It landed perhaps one inch foul; the Dud had started celebrating his game-winning hit on his way to first, before being told to go back to the plate. After another foul, he swung and missed a pitch in the dirt.
In the 15th, Derek Jeter -- who had left the bases loaded in the fifth and stranded the winning run at third in the 10th -- blooped one of his trademark weak singles to right. Victor Martinez, playing first, made a diving catch into foul territory on Johnny Damon's poor bunt attempt and Mark Teixeira struck out. Alex Rodriguez then crushed a 2-1 pitch to deep left-center for a game-winning dong.
Tazawa was squeezed by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild; his first two pitches to Hinske in the 14th were clearly in the strike zone according to MLB's pitch-f/x data, but were called balls.
The pitch before A-Rod hit the homer was also questionable. If called correctly, it would have been a 1-2 count and not 2-1. Takashi Saito also fought against a saltine-sized zone in the 13th, a strike zone that magically expanded back close to rule book size when Alfredo Aceves, Brian Bruney or Phil Coke were on the hill.
Beckett (7-4-0-2-7, 115) was strong and the seven Boston relievers -- Okajima, Bard, Ramirez, Papelbon, Delcarmen, Saito and Tazawa -- had a superb 7.2-4-0-5-7 line before Slappy's HR. It was the first time in MLB history that a team used three Japanese-born pitchers during one game.
The Red Sox had very few scoring chances, collecting only four hits in 55 trips to the plate: Ellsbury in the first and 10th, Ortiz in the ninth, and Youkilis in the 14th. They drew eight walks, including six from Burnett (7.2-1-0-6-6, 118).
Boston had Ellsbury at third with two outs in the first, runners at first and second with no outs in the sixth, a man at second with two outs in both the eighth and 10th, and first and second with two outs in the 14th. In other words, the only Red Sox runner to get to third base all night was the very first batter of the game.
So after 5:33 and 494 pitches, the Red Sox fell to 4.5 GB.
Josh Beckett (3.27, 144 ERA+) / A.J. Burnett (3.89, 114 ERA+)
Junichi Tazawa has been called up to the Red Sox. The Globe speculates that Jed Lowrie will be placed on the disabled list to make room for the right-handed pitcher.
In other roster news, Billy Traber was designated for assignment and infielder Chris Woodward was claimed off waivers from the Mariners. ... WEEI is reporting that John Smoltz has left the team and New York and is headed back to Atlanta.
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Victor Martinez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Josh Reddick, LF
Nick Green, SS
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When you rest, you are a king, surveying your estate. Look at the woodland. The peacocks on the lawn. Be the king of your own calm kingdom.
Add a drop of lavender to your bath and soon, you'll soak yourself calm.
When you're feeling under pressure, do something different. Roll up your sleeves, or eat an orange.
Be on the look out for things that make you laugh. If you see nothing worth laughing at, pretend you see it, then laugh.