It was a thing of beauty on an otherwise ugly night.
Chien-Ming Wang was brilliant, Jason Giambi put on his hitting shoes for the first time this season and Wang was brilliant (yeah, I'm going to repeat it) as the Yanks turned back the Red Sox 4-1
on a dreary night in Boston. Clay Buchholz kept the BoSox even through his six innings of work, but the Bombers broke through against the bullpen, scoring three runs in the final three innings to secure victory. The Yanks also executed two sacrifice bunts (courtesy of Alberto Gonzalez and Melky Cabrera) that led to two runs. And it's the little things that win ballgames.The Good:
Chien-Ming Wang. The Taiwanese Tornado set the tone early when he struck out David Ortiz to end the bottom of the first and then Manny Ramirez to lead off the second inning. Wang had everything working and did a fantastic job of moving the ball around. His only troublesome inning came in the fifth when he gave up his only run of the game. J.D. Drew homered to right on a ball that actually could/should have been caught by Bobby Abreu. The Red Sox hit four balls hard in that frame, but only came away with one run. But Wang was a strike-throwing machine Friday night and allowed only two hits -- the homer and a bunt single in the ninth -- en route to a dominating performance. The Wanger improved to 3-0 with this gem: 9 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Jason Giambi. The big guy has been in funk-town, but he blasted his first round-tripper of the year in the seventh to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. It was only Giambi's second hit of the season (unbelievable), but it was a big one. I don't know how much The Giambino has left in the tank, but he can't be this bad so it should just be a matter of time before the hits start coming in bunches. If he can stay healthy, that is. Giambi finished 1 for 3 with a run scored, a walk and an RBI.
Jose Molina. The guy sure isn't playing like a backup. Molina continued to sparkle behind the plate and at the dish for the Yanks. The husky catcher smacked two more doubles Friday night and leads the Yanks with six on the season. His two-base hit in the fifth gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead and he came around to score on a double in the seventh. He also guided Wang through a surgical-like performance. Molina finished 2 for 4 with a run scored and 1 run batted in.The Bad:
Robinson Cano. Cano hit the ball well a few times, but he came away with another collar Friday night and is batting a paltry .159 so far this year. He was the only Yank who didn't either collect a hit or drive in a run. C'mon Robbie, you're better than this. Canu finished 0 for 5 with 2 strikeouts.The Ugly:
Rain, rain, go away! The Yanks have played four games on the road this season and it has rained in all four of them. I thought Friday's game was heading for a rainout after Brian's weather report
, but the teams were able to play through it. The weather for Saturday's tilt is supposed to be better, but rain is still in the forecast. I know April showers bring May flowers, but c'mon!
Mike Mussina (1-1) tries to keep the good vibes going on Saturday for the Yanks and will oppose Josh Beckett (0-1). The Moose looked great in his last start against Tampa and has pitched well in Fenway Park. In 25 career starts in Boston, Mussina is 10-7 with a 3.73 ERA -- including a near perfect game
in September 2001. Beckett was shaky in his first start last week against the Blue Jays en route to a loss. The Texan lasted 4.2 innings and gave up 5 runs on 3 hits and walked 4. The Yanks have had success against Beckett in the past (not so much in the postseason, however). In eight career regular season starts against the Bombers, Beckett is 4-3 with a chubby 6.56 ERA.
Let's see if the Yanks can climb two games over .500 for the first time this year.