The sign of a good baseball team is not just being able to compete with the elite of Major League Baseball, it’s also having the work ethic and focus to beat the teams that you are supposed to beat.
The injury ravaged 2013 New York Yankees are anything but elite, and the Red Sox should be able to beat them.
But they haven’t been beating them. What they’ve been doing is stomping them like big pinstriped grapes – and that has to be encouraging to Sox fans and manager John Farrell.
Clay Buchholz pitched seven strong innings and his Red Sox teammates hammered out 13 hits for the second game in a row as Boston beat the New York Yankees 7-4 in The Bronx on Wednesday night.
Buchholz allowed one run on six hits while striking out four and walking two in his 2013 debut. Vernon Wells’ three-run homer off Sox reliever Alfredo Aceves in the eighth made things interesting, but new Sox closer Joel Hanrahan pitched the ninth to secure the victory and for his first save of the season.
Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda tried to barehand a Shane Victorino line-drive to lead off the second inning, bruising the middle finger on his pitching hand. He tried to work through the injury, but his control suffered, hitting Jackie Bradley, Jr. in the calf, walking Jacoby Ellsbury then drilling Designated Hitter Daniel Nava to force in Boston’s first run.
Kuroda was lifted for releiver Cody Eppley, who finished out the second then got peppered in the third as the Red Sox manufactured runs, using an RBI single by Victorino, an RBI single by Bradley that was his first major league hit, a double by Short Stop Jose Iglesias, and a two-run single by Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Sox also got a Dustin Pedroia ground out RBI, plating Ellsbury in the 6th before Wells parked the Aceves offering in the eighth to end the scoring.
Boston looks for the season opening sweep over the Yankees on Thursday night at 7:05, with Ryan Dempster going for the Sox and Andy Petitte taking the mound for New York. The Red Sox then head for Toronto to start a weekend series on Friday night.
Farrell has to be pleased with the aggressiveness that his charges have maintain thus far, and that they shouldn’t look at these games with the Yankees as a contest against a wounded opponent, rather, that they beat a team they were supposed to beat – and did it in dominating fashion…
…but also that it gets tougher from here. But so far, so good for the 2013 Red Sox.