The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, tied atop the American League East standings, meet in Game 2 of their three-game series at Yankee Stadium Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. ET. The pitching matchup has A.J. Burnett going for New York against the seemingly ageless Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.
While we wait for first pitch, let's look at a few notable stories following Boston's 6-4 victory Tuesday night.
Yankee starting pitcher Freddy Garcia was awful Tuesday night, lasting just 1.2 innings.
"I didn't have anything today," Garcia said. "I can't throw strikes, can't throw my slider. That's what happened. I didn't have the chance, really, to make any adjustments. Everybody's seen my offspeed."
Garcia (4-5, 3.86 ERA) has been pretty good in 10 starts so far this season, but the way Boston battered him around calls into question whether or not the Yankees can count on Garcia against the good teams in a pennant race. The veteran right-hander tops out at 85-86 mph and has to rely on keeping hitters off-balance with a variety of breaking balls, change-ups and splitters.
The Yankees need to hope Tuesday's performance was an aberration for Garcia, not a sign of things to come.
First baseman Mark Teixeira is day-to-day after leaving Tuesday's game when he got drilled in the right kneecap by a Jon Lester fastball. The Yankees are breathing a sigh of relief that the injury wasn't worse.
"There are certain guys you can’t go without and Tex is one of those guys," A-Rod said. "He’s in the middle of our lineup and he produces day-in and day-out on both sides. I had a little bit of a flashback to the postseason when he got hurt running down the bases. You talk about him or Robbie, there are some guys that are irreplaceable."
Yankee manager Joe Girardi was not pleased by David Ortiz' bat flip following his two-run home run off rookie right-hander Hector Noesi in the fifth inning Tuesday night. He said he "didn't really care for it." Big Papi's response? "Big deal."
So, what was the deal? To be honest, I didn't care for it much, either. Ortiz can deny it, but there's little doubt he was showing up Noesi. The young man dared to throw an inside pitch that made Ortiz move his feet, then follow it by trying to come inside for a strike. Ortiz hit the second pitch over the right field wall, then defiantly flipped the bat. On Ruocco and Lundberg today, Yankee broadcaster Al Leiter refused to criticize Ortiz based on his career and the fact that he does not habitually showboat.
You know what impressed me, though? Noesi went right back to pitching after that and put up four more scoreless innings. The home run was the only blemish on a six-inning, three-hit relief effort by the 24-year-old, who seems to impress every time he gets the ball.
Red Sox lead the series 1-0
WP: Jon Lester (8 - 2)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon
LP: Freddy Garcia (4 - 5)
|4 - 6 loss|
Boston Red Sox
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011, 7:05 PM EDT
Tim Wakefield vs A.J. Burnett
Clear. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 90.
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|Thu 06/09||7:05 PM EDT|