Saturday, July 11, 2015

ARod Has Angry Sex With Green Monster As Pineda, Pen Ice Red Sox Bats In 5-1 Win

By Barry Millman

Alex Rodriguez had angry sex with the Green Monster, Michael Pineda surrendered a single run over 6.2 innings and the bullpen was perfect. Throw in the Red Sox's ace walking off the mound after getting hit hard complaining of a tight elbow, a hapless Boston infield gifting a couple of runs, Jacoby Ellsbury tacking on a welcome back RBI and that was your Yankees' series-opening 5-1 win at Fenway. 

Alex blasted Boston starter Clay Buchholz's changeup clear out of Fenway to Lansdowne Street before Big Mike even set foot on the mound for his 671st unmarketable career home run and 17th of the season  -- the first given up by Buchholz since May 21st, a span of 61 2/3 innings, and the third he's surrendered to Alex in 28 at bats facing him. It was his 26th home run at Fenway -- more than any other opposing hitter now playing in MLB -- and 54th against the Red Sox. According to Home Run Tracker the shot traveled 376 feet and would have left more than half of MLB ballparks.

A tragicomic fourth inning saw the Yankees score three runs when Sox starter Clay Buchholz put two men on base before leaving the game with what was later described by the team as elbow tightness; and reliever Robert Ross could only look on helplessly as both runners went on to score on an infield single and an infield error before contributing a third run of his own with a bases-loaded walk.

The Yankees added a fifth run in the eighth on an RBI single by visiting Boston alumnus Jacoby Ellsbury. 

Pineda's final line was six strikeouts, no walks and one run -- a dinger to Mookie Betts, who put a good swing on a decent pitch -- over 6.2 innings. Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller held Boston hitless the rest of the way.

It was the first run Pineda's given up in two games and only the third in his last three games-- a span of 21.2 innings during which he's struck out 24 and walked just one. 

With Baltimore and the Rays both winning their games, the Yankees victory meant they maintained their division lead of 3 and 4.5 games over them, respectively.  The Blue Jays loss dropped them into a tie with the Rays and Boston's loss dropped them to 6 back.

Tonight's second game of the three-game Fenway series will be nationally televised on Fox with first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. and will feature New York's RHP Ivan Nova (1-2, 2.65 ERA) vs Boston's  LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 3.69 ERA). 

Ivan's coming off a five-inning appearance in which he gave up three earned runs and didn't receive a single run in support in what was an eventual 8-1 Yankee loss, his second start in a row he's received one run or less of support. Over three starts and 17 innings since returning from TJ surgery, he's only surrendered five runs. 

Fun fact: Ivan's .656 career winning percentage (40-21) is third best among all MLB pitchers with at least 50 starts.

The game will also feature the debut of Rob Refsnyder, the Yankees' homegrown second baseman who's been hitting a blue streak down on the farm and is everyone's hope to replace the anemic-hitting Stephen Drew -- who has never met Mendoza at any time in almost a year of at-bats as a Yankee -- although manager Joe Girardi has said there's no guarantee his stay will last any longer than this series.

You can email Barry Millman at and follow him on Twitter @nyyankeefanfore.