We have now seen the Red Sox, and it was good. A 5-3 victory over the Yankees good, to be exact.
And it wasn't even the Major League players getting the job done, which makes it somehow even better.
It did begin with a Major Leaguer, however, as Clay Buchholz got the call against the Yanks. The first inning went well, with Clay commanding the strike zone and retiring the side in order. While Buchholz would add on two more scoreless innings, they were not quite so neat. He seemed to lose control of his location, and had to fight out of some jams.
Unfortunately, if Buchholz looked shakey, Bartolo Colon of all people looked anything but. Matching Buchholz' three scoreless innings, Colon racked up five strikeouts in short order as the Sox went fishing for an impressive changeup. Only Drew Sutton got any good wood on one of his pitches, lacing a line drive single past third before Jose Iglesias beat out an infield single, accounting for the second baserunner Colon allowed.
Where the Red Sox took advantage was in the battle of the pens. While highly regarded New York minor leaguer Manny Banuelos came as advertised, a Jed Lowrie double helped the Sox score one off the newly acquired Pedro Feliciano. But it was Boone Logan who really failed to live up to his 2.93 ERA from 2010. With two outs in the inning, Jose Iglesias singled, Darnell McDonald walked, and Juan Carlos Linares singled to make the score 2-1 (the Yankees had grabbed a run off of Brandon Duckworth in the bottom of the fifth). Oscar Tejeda stepped into the batters box, and quickly made it 4-1, knocking a triple into right field.
From there, it was mostly a matter of survivng Tony Pena Junior's ninth inning meltdown. Pena allowed two hits, two walks, and hit a batter before being yanked from the game with one out to go with the lead down to two runs and the bases loaded. But Eammon Portice came in and got Ramiro Pena to bounce one where a ranging Oscar Tejeda could just barely grab it. The second baseman fired to first, and at least according to the umpire, picked up the final out.
Jose Iglesias: With his defensive plays--including one diving, spinning gem in the seventh--Jose showed us exactly what we expected. With three trips around the basepaths, however, Jose surprised with a combination of discipline, contact, and speed.
Juan Carlos Linares: All Linares seems to do is hit. The plate appearance might not look particularly good, but it will end up with the ball in play and Linares standing safely at one base or another. Chalk up two more knocks in two tries for the Cuban outfielder.
Oscar Tejeda: Tejeda also picked up a pair of hits in a pair of appearances, but his big triple and game saving play to record the final out deserve extra attention.
Luis Exposito: An 0-2 night isn't particularly remarkable, but it was his frequent discomfort behind the plate that really made Expo difficult to watch tonight.
Bartolo Colon: By which I mean the team's performance against him. One hopes that the Yankees don't luck out on Colon in very much the same way we didn't.
Tony Pena Jr.: Talk about a wreck of an outing. But only this really needs to be said: He walked in a run with Gustavo Molina at the plate.