Everybody loves college. I spent four wonderful years at Providence College in Rhode Island. I gave PC all I had those four years, and spent every weekend with my crazy roommates, bar hopping, sipping kegged beer and talking to people from all walks of life. But the day I graduated, I left town and had no desire to go back, ever. I simply lost the fight to keep partying. This last Saturday was my ten year reunion, and I finally dropped my guard and took the hour and a half drive back to Providence. Immediately, the smells, sights and sounds brought me back to 2003, and many of my 8 roommates met me in the quad to catch up. I realized how much I had missed by not keeping in touch with them, and I laughed at how many of them were reverting back to how they acted in 2003. Of course, that meant that something crazy was going to happen. Keg party in the quad? Check. Schmoozing it up with bartenders? Got it. Yelling random things at other alumni as they pass by? Always. Admiring how some girls look better now than how they looked ten years ago? Yep. Breaking an ankle by stepping on a table? Uh huh. Yes, sometimes we take the comedy too far, but we always enjoy the time we have.
The Yankees and Red Sox series are just like that, because when they get together, crazy things can happen. Yes, everyone enjoys the series, but all rules are off the table. Games can go four or more hours, each at bat is analyzed by millions, and while the teams may be evenly matched, not every game appears that way when you look at the score at the end of the night. Tonight, the game was delayed 45 minutes but NOT A DROP OF RAIN hit the field. When it ended, the teams only played six innings and Clay Buchholz left with a 2-hitter.
Hopefully, you weren't too upset when you looked for your daily "Four Real?" article on Saturday night, because truthfully, I was at the hospital picking up my old college buddy who had tried to show off by stepping on a folding table. He may have won the humor battle, but his ankle lost the war and he broke it in three places. I wasn't able to get home until 3am. Not cool, but it makes for a great story.
Sunday's rubber match between Boston and New York was not much like game one, with a good Yankee pitching performance and small ball winning the game. It was not at all like game 2, where Boston pounded out 18 hits and 11 runs, crushing a shocked Yankee team. Nope, game three featured two of the best pitchers of the year so far, Huroki Kuroda and Clay Buchholz, and although the game was close, it never really looked like New York had a chance. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:
1) Double Play, all the way. Bottom of the third inning, and the Yankees have something going. It's not much, but there were not many runners on base for New York Sunday. Austin Romine singles through the hole. With one out and the dangerous Robinson Cano batting, Buchholz throws a cutter that Cano hits hard, but right near the vacuum Inglesias, who quickly throws to second and the clean double play in completed to get Cano by a step.
2)Red Sox hit and run. Top of the fourth inning, and Dustin Pedroia is on first base with a seven pitch single. David Ortiz faces Kuroda, and with the count full, Huroki throws Papi a low splitter. Pedroia is off of the pitch, and the movement opens a hole for the ball. By the time the ball gets into the outfield, Dustin is on third base and Papi is at first with no outs. All four hits for Boston have come with two strikes, and Kuroda just can't put away Boston's elite hitters tonight. Next up, Mike Napoli. He grounds out to short, and Pedey scores. But the hit and run put on my manager Jon Farrell gives the Sox the lead 1-0.
3)Power from unexpected places. Jose Iglesias led off the inning versus Kuroda and received a giant gift of a pitch over the heart of the plate. The high fastball was pulled to left field and made it over the wall in no time. The homerun was Iggy's first of the year and for some reason, he continues to hit major league pitching this year. 2-0 Red Sox.
4) Power from the Yankee Killer. When David Ortiz led off the top of the sixth inning, the rain really started to come down hard. Ortiz called for time, took a step out of the box, and adjusted his focus. Kuroda threw a flat 92 mile an hour sinker and Papi hit it a ton into the right center field seats. 3-0 Red Sox, and a Rain Delay is called because the rain is just too much.
The game really never resumed, and Boston walks away taking two of three from New York. Monday night, Boston receives the night off. They will continue on Tuesday night at Fenway when Justin Grimm and the Texas Rangers face Ryan Dempster at 7:10pm.