Foshizzle we can. Boy can we ever. No, you didn't stutter, we can hear you knocking, but it feels more like pounding. The Orioles defeated the Bombers 3-1 in the Bronx while the Sox shut-out the Rangers 2-zip at Fenway Park. The Yankee lead is now down to two-and-a-half games, two in the loss column. When the Yanks were surging late in the 1978 season, they humbled the Sox in a four-game sweep in Boston which became popularly known as "The Boston Massacre." NBC announcer, and former Yankee infielder Tony Kubeck commented at the time that "This is the first time I've ever seen a first-place team trying to chase a second-place team." Though the Boston lead was seven games when Kubeck said this in 78, it kind of feels that way in reverse for New Yorkers right now.
Pedro Martinez continued to pitch brilliantly tonight as Boston won their tenth straight game. Meanwhile, Derek Jeter hit a solo home run off of Rodrigo Lopez in the bottom of the first; that was the only run the Yankees would score. They managed to load the bases after Jeter's dinger, but Jorge Posada grounded sharply into a double play to end the inning. And that was as close to a threat as the offense would mount all evening. Simply put, Lopez was outstanding. He pitched into eighth and left the game with a runner on second and one out.
Erstwhile Yankee Jason Grimsley replaced him. Emily, the self-appointed "Big O"--Big Optimist--around these parts was uncharacteristically terse. "OK, enough of this shit already, let's fucking go. I'm tired, I'm cranky, and I've had enough of these guys not being able to hit tonight. Let's go." I could hardly believe my ears. Grimsley faced Jeter and Sheffield and retired them on two pitches. Rodriguez, Matsui and Posada all went down swinging in the ninth. Kevin Brown pitched reasonably well, John Olerud made two nifty defensive plays at first, but Lopez was the star of the game.
It's down to two. Mussina vs. Ponson tomorrow afternoon.