Alex Rodriguez Cora = Clutch

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Who would’ve thought? A shaky Schilling, a strong Pettitte, a four-run lead for the vaunted New York bullpen — all leading to an exhilerating Sox win capped by clutch hits from Coco Crisp and Alex Cora off Mariano Rivera. We’ve said it before; we’ll say it again. When the Sox and Yanks play, anything can happen.

What else did we learn?

  • One should not criticize the quality of an opponent’s opponent unless one is willing to take the crap when the opponent hits two home runs off your ace pitcher (or when the opponent takes out your ace closer before slamming the door in the ninth).
  • That game was probably still not competitive enough for Bob Ryan to consider this a real rivalry.
  • Even if he goes 0 for the rest of the season, Coco Crisp shouldn’t ever be booed at Fenway. He plays the game exactly right, and he risked everything — including reinjury — to keep Rodriguez from hitting that second home run. It was more than gratifying to see his reaction after breaking through with the game-tying triple.
  • Jason Varitek (3 for 4, HR, 3 RBI) might not be so well done after all. Maybe more medium-well. We noticed a certain Tek-hating commenter was awfully quiet last night.
  • ESPN’s "analysis" of Alex Rodriguez the past two seasons has been some of the most specious, hypocritical, two-faced horsecrap to be broadcast on TV since the Monica Lewinsky scandal. From wondering aloud whether he was turning nto Chuck Knoblauch to hailing him as the reincarnation of Babe Ruth, it’s been the type of lurching, hysterical, hyperventilating fanboyism you’d expect from the New York Post, not the alleged "Worldwide Leader in Sports."

A serious question for YFs: Whose performance was worse last night — Mariano Rivera’s or Joe Torre’s?

26 comments… add one
  • Joe made several guffaws tonight, but for better or for worse, this one is squarely on Mo. He is pitching too up in the zone right now. He is a mid-zone to lower-mid zone pitcher. Look at where ‘Tek’s pitch was (or more ridiculously, where Scutaro’s was on Sunday).

    BenB April 21, 2007, 2:34 am
  • Game 1 was fucking EPIC.
    That’s all I’ve got to say.

    Steve April 21, 2007, 2:37 am
  • Mo never should have had to come into the 8th inning, and according to many accounts I’ve read, wasn’t given proper time to warm up. There was zero reason for Vizcaino to be in that game after throwing so many pitches–and getting bombed–last night. Hell, even Farnsworth made more sense if Torre was worried about not overusing Bruney. (Ha, when has he ever worried about not overusing someone?)
    I for one am happy things turned out the way they did, but feel that essentially every move Torre made served only to make Boston’s comeback that much easier. Sure, hindsight’s 20/20, but this is his job, after all, and tonight he was pretty damn bad at it.
    And not to sound like a gusher or homer, and I know that it’s only been two weeks…but Tito’s been near-perfect to this point in every move he’s made. Besides throwing Romero in a close game with A-Rod leading off, he couldn’t have handled tonight any better; even if Pena’s PH appearance itself didn’t bear fruit, leaving Coco and Cora in certainly did. And it was also pretty damn cool to see Coco’s face at third after the triple, and to watch Tito and the rest of the team’s reactions as he walked down the dugout steps after scoring the winning run.
    Further, and this is the most important thing, it’s only been two weeks and he’s already recognized who his second best reliever is: Hideki Okajima. Sure, statistically there’s no contest, but occasionally that loyalty he shows towards his players, especially veterans, can get in the way a bit. Not this time, though, and that’s pretty impressive.

    desturbd1 April 21, 2007, 2:44 am
  • Agree completely, d1. There’s very little to fault Francona for this season. He’s been incredible.

    Paul SF April 21, 2007, 3:04 am
  • By the way, Pete Abraham reports Posada is essentially out the rest of the series. That much-ballyhooed lineup is down to 1-6, with Nieves, Cabrera and Minky rounding it out. That’s not much different than the Sox’ — (1-6 with Tek, Crisp and Pedroia at the bottom).

    Paul SF April 21, 2007, 3:18 am
  • Phelps will probably play for Minky in one of the last two, right?
    That sucks about Posada if it’s true, he’s very valuable to the MFY.

    Steve April 21, 2007, 3:21 am
  • Just a hunch, but I would guess Phelps sees the start on Sunday. Give the “extra”-rookie some more offensive support.
    It does suck for YFs about Posada. I must say, though, Nieves acquitted himself quite well on the defensive side. Drew had a horrid jump (it was supposed to be a hit and run, maybe?), and while perhaps being a bit overzealous and off-target, he was certainly quick enough with the release to get Cora (who got a decent jump, I thought).
    This is where having someone younger (i.e. Not a Stinnett/Fasano) might end up being a much better option for the Yanks.

    QuoSF April 21, 2007, 3:31 am
  • Somewhere, during the eighth inning last night, Dave Roberts and Kevin Millar were grinning like idiots.

    Hudson April 21, 2007, 8:20 am
  • Man, that sucked. It felt a like a punch to the gut. The turn-around was so sudden and fast. Oh well, hopefully the Yanks can win one of two here, but I’m not too encouraged considering the match-ups. Last night’s game was the one I thought the Yanks would win.

    Nick-YF April 21, 2007, 8:49 am
  • Tito was making all the right moves, huh?
    Nobody but me remembers the two runners caught stealing?
    If Drew had still been on base for Tek’s home run, we would have had the lead going into the fifth. Instead, he took a leadless, jumpless steal attempt and was thrown out by a mile. The NESN guys thought the signs might have gotten mixed up, but seriously, that was killing me early on.
    Then Cora made the second out at 2nd after the rally in the 8th. If Youk had gotten a chance to come up, we might have had a chance to get some insurance, including an appearance by Big Papi. Wishful thinking, to be sure, but outs by baserunners can really stifle an inning.
    Anyway.
    Anyone know why Posada was taken out of the game? If they talked about it, I missed it.

    Kazz April 21, 2007, 9:27 am
  • I believe it was a thumb injury, Kazz; Posada probably out for rest of Boston series.

    Hudson April 21, 2007, 9:44 am
  • they said he bruised his thumb on a pettitte pitch

    TJ April 21, 2007, 9:48 am
  • Kazz, good point, but we don’t know for certain that those were Tito’s calls.
    Remember: When you win, you have a much better margin for error. People tend to forget what didn’t work.
    And someone will always argue that it was a situation set up by an earlier miscue that aligned the stars just right for a comeback.
    Or, simply, when you win, you’re a genius.
    Really, the best thing Tito did last night was to not get in his own way. He didn’t outguess himself. And that can be very tough.
    First pitch is in 6 hours. Time is running out on last night’s euphoria/disappointment.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 21, 2007, 10:11 am
  • One more: I’ve seen the highlights a dozen times now, and I have say this: You look at what Rodriguez is swinging at and hitting and you would almost swear he knows what pitch is coming. It is pretty amazing.

    I'm Bill McNeal April 21, 2007, 10:20 am
  • “Tito was making all the right moves, huh?”
    I thought for sure he should have brought in Papelbon in the 9th. Okajima was great, but he had a very small margin of error. If things hadn’t worked out, we’d all (or at least I) would be cursing Titio.
    But of course, winning makes everyone look good. Even moreso, winning against the “best bullpen in the majors.”
    = )

    Tyrel SF April 21, 2007, 10:39 am
  • Hello Boys!
    Man, what a game.
    And on that note, A-Rod should be getting walked every single time he comes up. When one player is carrying a team, stop giving him reason to do so.
    What a great game, though. It was a friggin blast!

    Brad April 21, 2007, 10:45 am
  • In answer to Paul’s question: this falls on Mo, if you have to pick only one person to shoulder the blame. Myers and Vizcaino certainly didn’t help the situation, but Mo had a bad day, and the Sox batters made good contact. He gets the loss, and he’ll take the blame. He’ll also do so with class.

    attackgerbil April 21, 2007, 11:46 am
  • It’s all on Mo, just like the Oakland game. Actually, it’s partially on Vizcaino, but giving up a triple to Coco Crisp, especially when he’s hitting this badly, is inexcusable.
    Honestly, Torre should have stuck with Proctor. Using a LOOGY for one batter to start out the inning is not a good decision. And then, when he went to a tired-out Vizcaino who had pitched 30+ pitches the night before, that’s when the game started to really go downhill. Brian Bruney should have been the man there, and even though Rivera might’ve given up some runs in the 9th, the Yankees still most likely would have won.
    It’s like A-Rod and Rivera switched places this season: two A-Rod walkoffs, two Rivera blown saves. Heh, I guess it’s even now :)

    Andrew April 21, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • I can’t wait to see A-Rod’s new contract.

    Brad April 21, 2007, 12:15 pm
  • Paul – I actually only caught the first four innings – the horror, I know. Thank God, actually.
    But Varitek still sucks – big time. To expect anything else is expect to get let down – big time. He’s cooked. Shit, if Doug Mirorefdvcedf can run into a pitch once a week, so can Varitek.
    Sort of like how the Yanks started last 1-4 against the Sox. Didn’t turn out so well, did it?
    No worries – great win last night SF’s. Your guys just better sweep after that – anything less is a huge letdown.
    But as they say – that’s why they play the games.

    jim - YF April 21, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • I refuse to let YFs determine what is and is not a huge letdown. I went into this series hoping for two wins. If they don’t win two, I’ll be disappointed. Not getting a series sweep of the Yankees is never a huge letdown, no matter how many crazy LoHud and Bronx Banter commenters (who really tore into Torre last night) may wish it to be so.

    Paul SF April 21, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • Blame Mo, blame Joe, blame me, it’s a loss regardless. BUT…….
    Joe over manages, has done so for quite some time. There is ZERO reason to pinch run for Giambi. The only situation where it’s even slightly acceptable is if we are in a tie game or down a run and Giambi is on second base.
    I was FLOORED to see Mo in the game in the 8th. Don’t tell me it’s because he hasn’t pitched since Sunday, I don’t want to hear it. Torre has said over and over and over how Mo is a 3 out/ 1 Inning guy, that’s all. Show some confidence in Bruney, show confidence in someone, anyone other then Mo every single God forsaken time. Like I said last night this reeked of desperation and that’s awful for such a confident, capable team. Great win, congrats Sox fans.
    That being said today is a new day, let us see what that brings. Should be another gem regardless. Enjoy the game everyone.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 21, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • He still sucks?
    Really? That’s what you’re coming with?
    Well, sticks and stones, man. At least our guy did what he had to, when he had to.

    Brad April 21, 2007, 1:14 pm
  • Two things: One, if Papelbon had been brought into that game, whether Boston won or not I’d be extraordinarily pissed off. Three games in a row = not cool.
    Two, I’m not forgetting about the two caught stealings. The first one was clearly a f*cked up hit and run, and the second was an attempt to take advantage of a frazzled Mo. Not like Lugo and Youk were both going to hit the ball to score the run; they had to try something. That’s why it came on the first pitch of the ab, and that’s probably why Cora didn’t get the best jump ever.
    I was mostly talking about the moves that may have looked questionable at the time, but which ended up working perfectly. Okajima pitching all the way through the ninth, Snyder bailing out Romero in the 8th, leaving Crisp in the game.

    desturbd1 April 21, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • Boston won last night against a great closer, when their ace pitched poorly, and Manny and Ortiz had done next to nothing the entire game. And they didn’t even have to use their tired closer, making him available for the other two Yankee games.
    Sox fans have got to feel good about that.

    Andrew April 21, 2007, 2:08 pm
  • Our “ace” didn’t exactly pitch poorly. Outside of the A-Rod at bats, he matched (or bested) Pettitte. That’s why he was able to go 7.
    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an excuse. 5 runs is 5 runs. Still, Schill wasn’t getting railed by the entire team, A-Rod just took advantage of two outside fastballs. Schill should’ve never given him anything but sliders and curves.

    Steve April 21, 2007, 3:13 pm

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