As the sun sets on my beloved Minnesota Twins and their incredibly lame starting rotation (Carl Pavano as the savior–really!?) after their latest losing road trip (2 – 4 combined against “Let’s have a fire sale” Cleveland and 1st place Detroit), I must admit to a great deal of satisfaction in the Yankees dismantling of the Red Sox this weekend. The only contest of the 4-game series not to be televised down here was the 15-inning scoreless epic (of course), but even the updates on MLB and ESPN were exciting until A-Rod ended the 0-0 deadlock with that 2-run blast.
For New York fans or Boston haters, this series had a bit of everything. Yankee pitching held Boston scoreless for an unbelievable 31 innings, the longest such streak for the Sox in at least 35 years. The Yankees ended up outscoring Boston 25 – 8, with 6 of those coming in Game 1. A-Rod came through in the clutch (for real) and all of the high priced free agent acquisitions (Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett) delivered. Teixeira even homered two pitches after Johnny Damon did in the bottom of the 8th to put NY up for good in Sunday’s finale, the sixth time this season that the two of them have gone back-to-back–incredibly the most ever for the same pair of players in one season in Yankee history. Now that’s a piece of trivia that’s hard to believe, especially when you consider how many years Maris and Mantle played together.
While I’m not optimistic, I still hold out a little faith that the Twins may eventually go on some kind of tear and challenge the Tigers and White Sox. But knowing the Red Sox are 6 1/2 back in the AL East and fighting for their Wild Card lives with Tampa Bay and Texas makes these final 50 games or so just a bit sweeter.