After a brief lull, the Legend of Grady Sizemore is growing in earnest once more after the resurgent outfielder provided a game-winning three-run shot to give the Red Sox a 4-2 victory over CC Sabathia and the Yankees.
It's not hard to find a parallel for this game. One need look back only as far as Wednesday, to the game where David Ortiz pulled a lifeless Red Sox team out of the fire with a three-run homer of his own. Playing the role of Jake Peavy--the starting pitcher providing an excellent start but receiving no support--was Jon Lester. As with Peavy, Lester was really guilty only of the one bad pitch: a fastball that stayed up and over the plate to Alfonso Soriano, who wrapped it around the pole in left for a solo shot in the second inning. Otherwise, at least until the seventh, Lester was as stingy as can be, really only once facing trouble after allowing a pair of baserunners in the third on an infield single and a walk.
Matching Lester 0-for-0, however, was CC Sabathia. The Red Sox could have used a visit from the Sabathia who had allowed six runs to the Astros in his debut. Instead, they got something akin to the Sabathia of old, racking up strikeout after strikeout as he stifled the Red Sox offensively.
Then, in the sixth...he vanished. With just the second pitch of the inning, he offered a flat 89 MPH homer to Jonny Gomes. All it took was one swing of the bat to tie the game. Sabathia would manage to strike out Dustin Pedroia on a slider--but that pitch, too, would desert him. With David Ortiz and Mike Napoli on base (the former due to an infield single which should probably cost Derek Jeter his spot in the Hall of Fame just by existing), it was a slider that got CC Sabathia his first strike against Grady Sizemore. And then another in the exact same place that did him in. Sizemore was not to be fooled twice, launching a three-run shot into the right field stands, not at all unlike the solo homer he'd produced on Opening Day.
With the Sox now ahead 4-1, there was still some dangerous water to be crossed. Koji Uehara was unavailable after experiencing shoulder stiffness earlier in the day, and the Yankees managed to get one run back from a fading Jon Lester in the bottom half of the inning. Junichi Tazawa, however, was up to the task of cleaning up in the seventh, and Edward Mujica filled Uehara's role admirably with a 13-pitch 1-2-3 ninth inning to end the game.