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Yankees’ bullpen implodes, allows nine runs in the seventh and eighth innings in loss to Red Sox

Sep 6, 2013, 11:30 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox Mike Napoli hits a grand-slam home run against the New York Yankees in their MLB game in New York Reuters

Last night, Mariano Rivera surrendered a game-tying RBI single to Stephen Drew with two outs in the ninth. Joba Chamberlain then allowed what became a game-winning RBI single to Shane Victorino in the tenth. Tonight, it seemed like a real team effort as four Yankees relievers combined to allow nine runs in the eighth and ninth innings as the Red Sox went on to win 12-8.

Phil Hughes started off the bullpen meltdown by allowing an RBI infield single to Dustin Pedroia in the seventh. Joe Girardi came out to replace Hughes with lefty Boone Logan for the platoon advantage against David Ortiz. Ortiz struck out, but Girardi left Logan in to face Mike Napoli. While Napoli doesn’t have much of a platoon split over his career, Logan does. Thus, it was no surprise when Napoli drove a fly ball to deep right field for a grand slam. In Logan’s defense, Napoli’s fly ball is a catchable out in 29 other ballparks, but that is no excuse. Preston Claiborne later came on and ended the inning with no further damage.

Claiborne, a 25-year-old rookie, remained in the game to start the eighth with the game still tied at eight apiece. After David Ross struck out, Will Middlebrooks singled to left to bring up Shane Victorino. Victorino, who recently changed from switch-hitting to hitting right-handed full-time, drove Claiborne’s 85 MPH slider into the seats in left field to break the tie and put the Sox up 10-8. They weren’t done. Mike Carp singled, which brought Girardi out again, this time to bring in Joba Chamberlain. The embattled former top prospect quickly got the second out of the inning, but things quickly got out of hand. He intentionally walked Ortiz, unintentionally walked Napoli, walked Nava with the bases loaded to force in a run, and allowed an RBI single to Drew, boosting the Red Sox lead to 12-8. All told, Hughes, Logan, Claiborne, and Chamberlain combined to allow nine runs on eight hits and four walks while recording just six outs.

Red Sox closer Koji Uehara pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to finalize the 12-8 victory, lowering his ERA to 1.12 in the process. With the Rays in progress, the Red Sox temporarily move to seven games ahead in first place in the AL East.

  1. stratomaticfan - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    “Napoli drove a fly ball to deep right field for a grand slam”

    Hit top of RF wall (shortest RF in baseball) and bounced over…barely a HR……how exactly does that qualify as driving a ball to DEEP right field?

    • Bill Baer - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      It doesn’t refer to distance, rather the confines of the outfield.

    • Jack Marshall - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:45 PM

      Uh, if the ball ends up in the stands, that’s DEEP right field. You can’t get deeper than the stands…after that, it’s called “deep into the stands.”

      Glad I could help.

    • roverboy1949 - Sep 7, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      I agree that “deep right” is a stretch, but barely or not, it still was a Grand Slam. Go Red Sox !!!!

    • moogro - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:48 PM

      Yea, way to ignore Bill’s elaboration to say the same thing again. Adderall?

  2. thebigtim2012 - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    Pretty wild how we lose two closers to injury and end up with the best option.

  3. wetmorepsu12 - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:43 PM

    “Implodes” for the Yankees = a typical night for the Phillies.

  4. bruininnh1984 - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    yankee stadium… the short porch giveth, and the short porch taketh away. and once again, doubront can’t make it to the 5th, and the yankee bullpen blows another good start by petitte

  5. aceshigh11 - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:33 AM

    Ugly, ugly game for the Yankees.

    This Red Sox team continues to impress with their “never say die” attitude. Such a welcome departure from the last few years. It used to be that if the Sox were losing in the 6th or 7th inning, you might as well turn the TV off…

    But not this team. The number of exciting come-from-behind and walkoff victories this year has been ridiculous.

    And Uehara? The guy’s got absolutely FILTHY stuff…he’s on an epic tear. Who would have thought that losing TWO closers (Bailey and Hanrahan) would have proven to be a positive?

    • js20011041 - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      I don’t think that you can chalk this up to “a never say die attitude.” I just think that this is a really good offense, with a deep lineup, that grinds out at bats. Between that, a very good back end of the bullpen, and a little luck, they’ve been able to make some amazing comebacks. I don’t think that “the will to win,” or TWTW in Hawkspeak, varies much from one team to another. These guys are among the 800 or so best at what they do in the world. They’ve all got the desire to win games.

      • chunkala - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Or we could just chalk it up to being lucky. 2003 ALDS, 2004 ALCS, 2007 ALCS, Game 5 ALCS. Numerous examples of the other team just collapsing. For any other team, the probability of winning was probably around 1/500 but for RedLux it was probably closer to 1/3. Thats a crazy disparity. Maybe RedLux wouldn’t come back last year but where have you been over the past decade? This organization relies on outlasting the starter and praying that the bullpen implodes, it’s how they’re built.They have 33 wins in the 7th or later with 18 of them as comebacks. 18!?! Down 6 runs in 9th to SEA and win. Only Boston could win that game. Cmon guys, this is 99% luck, 1% skill.

      • bruininnh1984 - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        really chunk? it’s all luck? in all those games, the red sox put themselves in the position to take advantage of that luck, which to me, speaks about the talent that the red sox have. take napoli’s at-bat last night for example: he fouled off a couple of tough pitches before he got a pitch he could drive over that short porch in right. to me, it’s 70-30 split talent to luck.

  6. titansbro - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Yeah, right field is that part out there with grass. If it goes deep into that little grassy section that would be deep right field. This one went past that so I guess what you’re getting at is that he should have said “shallow right field bleachers” instead? But no that’s not what you were saying at all. It ain’t rocket science my friend.

  7. sabatimus - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    One of the few times I’m glad for that stupidly short right field.

    • chunkala - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      I wish RF was longer but what is RF in Fenway 280 feet? And what about LF, 300 feet with a 40 foot wall that makes any popup an instant double? There’s a reason Boston usually has numerous guys with .300 Averages. Check the splits for Pedroia, Salty, Drew and double splits for Ortiz, they are really telling. How about the 2004 WS champs, everyone batted close to .100 Points higher at Fenway. The NYY may hit a bunch of cheapees to RF but at least they hit HRs everywhere.

      • sabatimus - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        I agree with the sentiments about the green monster, but at least in left field the wall is really high–it robs people of line-drive home runs (i.e. instant runs) and turns them into doubles, or even singles. Sure, there are plenty of home runs hit to left that would have been outs in any other park, but when you can pop up the ball to right field in Yankee Stadium and have it leave the park, something is really wrong.

      • bruininnh1984 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

        it’s actually 302 down the line in right and 380 to deep right. so if you’re gonna sit here and put most of the red sox’s success on the fact that they play at fenway, how do you explain their abysmal record at home last year? How do you explain atlanta having a better home record than the sox? that ballpark down in atlanta plays bigger than fenway. oh and the red sox are also a pretty good road team too. they have the third best road record in the majors behind texas(who has a worse home record) and LA (who only play slightly better at home than on the road).

      • nbjays - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Chunk, I don’t know what’s funnier… your attempts to portray the Red Sox and others as “lucky” to beat the Yankees or your attempts to portray the Yankees as a home run machine, especially in away games.

        Yankees are 22nd out of 30 MLB teams in hitting HR this year, and 14th of 15 in the AL, ahead of only the Royals. Of their 125 homers, 55% (69) have come at home, 45% (56) on the road.

        Red Sox are 7th of 30 in MLB, 6th of 15 in the AL. Of their 153 homers, 49% (75) have come in Fenway, 51% (78) elsewhere.

        And the most important stat: Boston is 10 games up on the Yankees and leading the division.

  8. pisano - Sep 7, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    The year has been over for the Yankees for a while now, this was the final nail in the coffin. This team needs a total revamping, top to bottom. We’ll really see what kind of GM Cashman is this off season. Boston went from last to first with basically a green GM, so we’ll find out how serious the Steinbrenners are about putting pride back into the Yankees.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:53 AM

      It’s going to be an ugly transition.

      1. How to handle a rapidly-aging Jeter without disrespecting or embarrassing him, given his importance to the franchise
      2. Cano – to sign or not to sign?
      3. Find Mariano’s heir apparent, if possible
      4. Shore up middle relief
      5. The A-Rod situation
      6. Stick with the goal of keeping payroll under the luxury tax threshold
      7. Hope that Sabathia is not in permanent age-related decline

      Lots of questions without many obvious answers staring back.

      • js20011041 - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:35 AM

        It’s going to be really ugly. Go back four or five years and the Yankees could go out in the free agent market to fill some of these holes, but the game is different now. Those free agents aren’t out there anymore. The best way to secure major league talent in a hurry is to trade for it. The problem for the Yankees is that they simply don’t have the prospects to trade. This farm system looked good a couple of years ago, but some of their guys have really flamed out. Teams are flush with cash as well, so they can’t simply go out and write a check along with a few prospects to acquire a player either. Given the perpetual expectations in New York, and the massive, gaping holes on this roster, I don’t envy Brian Cashman.

  9. nbjays - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    To most Red Sox fans, the most-hated Yankees have been Bucky Fucking Dent and Aaron Fucking Boone.

    Yankee fans now have Shane Fucking Victorino.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:57 AM

      I think Victorino needs to cause some direct, devastating pain during the actual playoffs to acquire that level of immortal disdain.

      • nbjays - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        Won’t happen this year, then. The Yankees chances of being in a one-game playoff with Boston is zero.

  10. losanginsight - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:33 AM

    The Yankees Suck

  11. edelmanfanclub - Sep 7, 2013 at 4:05 AM

    I was at the game. All the Yankees fans were harassing me when it was 8-3, but even after BOS scored 9 unanswered, they just had to keep bragging about the past with their 27 world series rings. Regardless, a good game.

    • ddavispacoralsprings - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Same old tired argument about what the NYY did in the early 1900’s. So they won 27. Do we really care about that far in the past? What’s relevant today? Lets be real. The Yankees have always had the $$$ to outspend the other guys. From the very beginning. I appreciate the past but don’t dwell on who won the world series in 1908. The Red Sox are playing good ball and more importantly have that much needed “chemistry” that all winning teams need. The Yankees look old, tired, worn out. Just saying. Some times its hard to look at yourself. Last year was pitiful for the Red Sox and we suffered through it. Took our whoopin and went home. Its fun to watch this year. Lighten up and Red Sox fans enjoy the ride.

      • bruininnh1984 - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

        it’s the only argument they have. arguing with yankee fans is like arguing with a brick wall: they have nothing of substance to say back.

    • pisano - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Consider yourself lucky they didn’t leave you for dead, after that beating they took, I would have thought a Boston fan would have been the whipping dog.

  12. proudlycanadian - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    I have to give credit to the beards for Boston’s success this season. Next year, the Yankees have to ditch the no beard policy.

    • joestemme - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      Good line!

      But, seriously, it might not hurt the Yankees to loosen up a bit on the clean cut corporate image. Nothing wrong with having a little fun in baseball – it is a “game” after all. The Yankees players and coaches look distressed in the dugout, meanwhile, the Sox look like they are having a ball.

      • cackalackyank - Sep 7, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Of course, beating the snot out of your nemesis bullpen on their home field never hurts a teams ability to ‘have a ball’.

  13. theskinsman - Sep 7, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    Pisano, if memory serves, you were among the only Yanks fans who agreed with me at the end of last season regarding the Yanks advanced age, and how they might follow the Red Sox decline this year.
    Believe me, Red Sox fans know how it is watching your team slowly unravel. Watching The Yanks bullpen is something to behold. No lead is safe. I will point out that history shows they will spend big and retool in the off season. They’ll be back.

    • pisano - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      theskinsman… good memory, yes I remember your post and as I said in the post above a total retooling is needed. I said above that you have to give Boston a lot of credit for making the moves they did, they got rid of over paid under achieving players and brought in players that produce. And guess what, no worthless 10 year contracts. Very smart franchise. This may be the team to beat for a trip to the world series.

  14. roverboy1949 - Sep 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    The Red Sox still get no Love. All I hear is how the Yankees lost this game, not how the Red Sox Won the game. I guess they’ll just have to win the World Series to make people believe as much as we do.

    • sabatimus - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      Maybe you’re consuming the wrong media?

  15. cackalackyank - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    In case anyone out there was wondering…the overweight female has finished her song in the Bronx. Bring on the rebuild. Maybe Cherrington will give Cashman some pointers.

  16. coloradostupid - Sep 7, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Reminiscent of the 2004 team – new manager, and some of those guys who have been playing a while really want a ring. Fun to watch.

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