Sunday, September 19, 2004

Rumble in the Bronx

This weekend, the Red Sox and Yankees renewed their legendary rivalry. At one point this summer, the Yankees had built up a 10.5 game lead in the AL East. Since then, the Red Sox have gone on a run for the ages. The Sox had clawed back within 3.5 games. This weekend they had a chance to draw nearly even with the Yanks thanks to a three game set in the Bronx.

Optimism was high in Red Sox nation. And, it got even higher after the Sox battled back against the Yankees' dominant closer, Mariano Rivera, to steal the first game away from the Yankees in the ninth inning on Friday night. Some even began to talk about the Yankee mystique being a thing of the past. But, as Friday night turned to Saturday morning, the world righted itself. On Saturday afternoon, the Yanks pounded the Sox by a score 14-4. Then came Sunday's rubber match. The Sox were sending their ace, Pedro Martinez, to the mound to face the injury plagued Mike Mussina. But, it was Mussina who pitched a masterpiece, allowing only 1 run in 7 innings. Pedro could not make it out of the 6th inning before giving up 8 runs. The final score was 11-1 in favor of the Yankees.

The Yankees lead in the division is now a substantial 4.5 games with only 13 games left to play. The Red Sox do get three more chances at the Yankees in Fenway Park before the year ends. But, Sox fans and Yankee haters need to be reminded of one of life's undeniable truths: The Red Sox do not sweep the Yankees in September to steal a pennant.

Most likely, these two teams will not play another meaningful game against each other until the ALCS in October.