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Dropped pop-up helps lift Red Sox over Yankees

Aug 7, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

John Henry may think that his team needs “a miracle” to make the playoffs, but the Red Sox just keep finding ways to win baseball games.

The latest example was Friday night, when some miscommunication between Francisco Cervelli and Javier Vazquez led to a dropped pop-up in front of the mound during the top of the second inning. The miscue opened the door for the Red Sox to score three unearned runs. They ended up being the difference in a 6-3 win.

According to Tim Britton of MLB.com, Yankees manager Joe Girardi saw it as the crucial play of the game.

“It led to three unearned runs, and we lost by three runs,” Girardi
said. “It’s unfortunate that’s what it turned into. Javy got the second
out. He just couldn’t seem to get the third out.”

“Someone’s got to catch it,” said Girardi. “That’s the bottom line.”

The Red Sox, winners of two straight and eight out of their last 11, are now within five games of the first-place Yankees in the American League East. They haven’t been this close to first since July 11. There’s still quite a hill to climb, obviously, but they have a golden opportunity to make up some serious ground this weekend.

  1. Old Gator - Aug 7, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    A few observations: (1) it was a fluke error, committed in part by a guy who doesn’t spend a lot of time on the field, and (2) it was Javy Vasquez pitching, and (3) the Borg are going through their inevitable little funk right now. I don’t think it’ll last long regardless. The Borg can handle the Beanbags and the Beanbags, although well stocked with spoiler talent, don’t have the horsepower to stay up there with the big boys this year. It’s the Rays that the Borg still have to worry about in their division, and the Rangers they should worry about in the playoffs.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Aug 7, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Just to amplify point number 3, this funk is readily identified. Pitchers get 2 outs and then are flummoxed getting the third by timidity. Men on third with one out or less do not get home. Sac flies in this situation have been a problem for years and while I don’t exempt ARod or Tex for their performance in this situation, it is tailor-made for heroics in the bottom of the order and isn’t happening at all with Granderson and Berkman.
    Javy should have had the hook applied directly after the fifth, the bullpen now has been intimidated into throwing strikes and inducing grounders and Javy was hardly having an impressive night.
    So, CC, get your act together for today, the Rays aren’t going to lose forever.

  3. ThinMan - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Since they last played each other on May 18, the Yankees have gone 42-27, including last night. The Red Sox? 43-27. The reason the Yankees are in front has everything to do with April, and very little to do with how the two teams have played since. Saying the Red Sox don’t have the horses to keep up with the Yankees, based on how the two teams have been playing recently, doesn’t hold up in the face of the evidence.

  4. Professor Dave - Aug 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    What’s great about this post is that none of the things being said here are true! I love baseball analysis.
    Also – a piece on Jeter’s favorable strike zone.
    http://joyofsox.blogspot.com/2010/08/umps-shrink-jeters-strike-zone-by-16.html

  5. YankeesfanLen - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Sorry, I looked at he link and found a nice connect-the dots but couldn’t locate your insightful analysis, which, I assume, is correct.

  6. Old Gator - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    It was based in large part on the loss of Kevin Quasimo…er, Youkilis. Who’s going to make up for his production, which does have a lot to do with the Beanbags having kept pace down in their ground floor condo – Carlos Delgado? Lowell being back is a boost but, again, given his oft-demonstrated frangibility and vehicular limitations, he still doesn’t quite fill the niche. Beckett back once every fifth day ameliorates the loss a bit, but doesn’t make up for it. The Bags have the talent to make life miserable for the Borg and the Rays, but not enough to catch up with them. I’ll stand by my analysis.

  7. Md23Rewls - Aug 7, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    Isn’t that sort of the point, though? They can’t trade wins with the Yankees and Rays. If they do, they’re going to wind up losing the division/wild card by five or six games. They have to actively win MORE than those two very good teams, and that is what they don’t have the horses to do.

  8. basiltherat - Aug 7, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Well, to tell the truth even without Youkilis (and especially when Pedroia returns) Boston’s offense is considerably better than Tampa Bay’s — it’s mostly a fluke that the Sox have outscored the Rays by 23 and not by 70 or 80 — and with Beckett back and looking sharp their rotation is at least as good. I don’t expect the Red Sox to outplay the Rays by five games in the final 50 or so, but it’s nearly as much of a longshot as a lot of folks here seem to think.
    And I’m a Rays fan, FWIW.

  9. basiltherat - Aug 7, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    … it’s NOT nearly as much of a longshot.

  10. Old Gator - Aug 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Ouch. Now with A-Roid apparently out for at least a short count, I may have to revise my thinking on this issue anyway. Who knew Berkman came complete with a Geechee curse?

  11. Professor Dave - Aug 8, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    Berkman is my new favorite Yankee.

  12. Professor Dave - Aug 8, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    I know it’s hard when you’re distracted by the pretty pictures and the words were in English written at least at a highschool level. I didn’t write them, but it’s interesting. Try and keep up.

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