Centennial Day: A Tragedy In Five Home Runs

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 20: Russell Martin #55 of the New York Yankees rounds first base after he hit a home run against Clay Buchholz #11 of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park April 20, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The Red Sox celebrated Fenway in style Friday, and then began the second hundred years the same way they finished the the first: lifelessly.

Clay Buchholz took the mound after providing six strong innings in his last outing (the first inning was not so impressive with it's four earned runs). Hopes that perhaps Buchholz was going to maintain that momentum did last through the first despite an earned run--Derek Jeter only reached base by virtue of a dropped pop fly from Dustin Pedroia as he ventured deep into the outfield--but could not survive the second. On a pair of two-strike pitches, Clay Buchholz left balls up in the zone to Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez, and they knocked them both out of the park to put the Yankees up 3-0.

The Sox would get one back in the bottom of the second, as David Ortiz hit a ball off the narrow ledge on top of the Monster. It would originally be ruled a double, but after review the umpires got the call right and the Sox had their run.

The run would quickly be matched by the Yankees, however, much in the same way they scored their last two. Clay Buchholz left a pitch up, and Eric Chavez (again!) took it out. The lead rose to 5-1 when Alex Rodriguez made it four home runs in the fifth, shrunk to 5-2 when Nick Swisher gifted them a run by losing a ball in the sun, and then climbed back up to 6-2 as Russell Martin made it an even five.

The Red Sox had some chances to score runs, but just never really managed to sustain a rally. Kevin Youkilis doubled with nobody out after David Ortiz' homer, but Cody Ross failed to bring him in from third with one down. Two men reached with one down in a later inning, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounded into a double play. The catcher would leave three men stranded, as would the combined forces of Jason Repko, Nate Spears, and Nick Punto in the ninth spot.

The one bright spot was the rare scoreless appearance from the bullpen, with Scott Atchison throwing a scoreless inning and Junichi Tazawa managing five outs without allowing so much as a baserunner.

On the whole, though, a dreadful way to start the second century in Fenway Park.

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