Final: Yankees 2, Red Sox 0 (15 innings)

A-ROD ENDS IT (12:44, END 15, 2-0)
In his major league debut, for which he should feel absolutely no shame, Tazawa came up one out short. Rodriguez slammed a breaking ball into the bullpen in left-center, ending a game that lasted 5 hours, 33 minutes. As the Yankees dog-piled at home plate, Tazawa lingered by the mound, no one around him. He looked almost bemused. Then he walked off the field alone.

After an unforgettable game, the Red Sox fall 4 1/2 games back in the standings and the Sox, no matter how noble their effort tonight, remain in disarray. They have absolutely no bullpen. David Ortiz has a press conference to explain his performance-enhancing substance positive test from 2003 in less than 12 hours. They couldn’t cobble together a run in 15 innings, 7 1/3 of which came against the Yankees bullpen. How do they come back from tonight’s game, especially since it came two nights after a similarly crushing loss?


HIGH HEAT FOR TEX (12:41, BOT 15, 0-0)
Tazawa sat down Teixeira with a 92-mph fastball at his shoulders that he swung through. Rodriguez comes up with two outs. You get the feeling no matter what happens, this will be a season-defining game for the Sox.

Damon tried another bunt, and he lined it foul toward first. Martinez scampered and dove face first on the grass for the inning’s first out. Big play.

JETER SINGLES (12:37, BOT 15, 0-0)
Jeter dropped a single into shallow right, probably the least hard-hit ball Tazawa has allowed. Just a bloop. Damon bunted foul to start his at-bat. 0-1.

TAZAWA, TAKE TWO (12:32, TOP 15, 0-0)
Ellsbury completed a 1-2-3 inning with a chopper to second. Now we’ll see if Tazawa can calm down a little bit in his second inning. He’ll face Jeter and the top of the lineup. Unlike Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tazawa has proven he is NOT afraid to pitch to contact.

TWO DOWN (12:30, TOP 15, 0-0)
Ellsbury is comign up with two outs. Coke struck out Reddick. Woodward flied to right. Papelbon has turned his cap inside-out in the Red Sox dugout.

How the hell are they still playing? After nearly losing the game about 83 different ways, Tazawa threw his third 3-2 pitch to Cabrera. He twirled a nasty, 83-mph curve on the outside corner that broke in the dirt. Cabrera couldn’t check his swing. Here we come 15th inning. Phil Coke is on to pitch for the Yankees, and Jose Molina is the new catcher. Reddick is leading off. What an unreal game.


THAT WAS CLOSE (12:24, BOT 14, 0-0)
Cabrera missed a game-winning hit by an inch. He roped a ball down the rightfield line on 3-2 that went foul less than half a foot. He fouled back the next pitch. One more 3-2 pitch.

DREW SAVES THE GAME (12:19, BOT 14, 0-0)
Shades of Dwight Evans. Hinske crushed a ball — are you seeing a theme? — to right. Drew made a sprinting, striding, snowcone catch running toward the corner. If it fell, the game would have been over. What a play. Here’s Cabrera.

MORE TROUBLE (12:18, BOT 14, 0-0)
Cano rolled a single through the box. Ramiro Pena is on to pinch run at second with Hinske at the plate. His speed makes a double play candidate.

POSADA NAILS ONE (12:15, BOT 14, 0-0)
Posada drilled a ball into the rightfield corner. Drew made a nice play to hold him at first, but both Yankees he faced have teed off on Tazawa.

GOOD RESULT, BAD SIGN (12:13, MID 14, 0-0)
Tazawa retired Matsui, but he absolutely crushed a ball to center. It went right at Ellsbury on a line. Here’s Posada.

WELCOME, JUNICHI (12:11, MID 14, 0-0)
Varitek grounded out to second, ending the inning. Junichi Tazawa, welcome to the big leagues — 14th inning, Yankee Stadium, scoreless game, and he’s facing an icon from his home country on top of it. Terry Francona has said Tazawa seems like a unique person. It’s going to take one to succeed here. How do you “nervous” in Japanese? Matsui leading off.

Tazawa does have a competitive streak. When I spoke to Portland pitching coach Mike Catcher earlier today, he said “When he got runners in scoring position, he became an animal.” Of course, that was at Hadlock Field.


One point about Varitek hitting: Mike Lowell is still on the bench, and pinch hitting him for Varitek would have worked perfectly on defense — Martinez moves behind the plate, Lowell takes third, and Youkilis plays first. However, that would mean Martinez catching Tazawa. They’ve never even met. I wonder if Francona might have tried if he had a different pitcher, or if he was sticking with the captain.

ORtiz crushed a ball on the ground right at Cano. Youkilis was running on the pitch, so he made second. With first base open, Bruney is intentionally walking Drew to pitch to Varitek with two outs.

THIS CLOSE (12:00, TOP 14, 0-0)
Martinez almost made his Sox-Yanks bones. He smashed a high fly to right, and the place went silent. Hairston drifted back, his heels at the fence, and made the catch in the warning track. The Stadium exhaled. It’s nervous again now — Youkilis lined a single into left-center. Here comes Ortiz. He’s got a press conference in 12 1/3 hours.

By the way, this ties the record for a longest scoreless Sox-Yanks. In 1969, they played a game the Sox won, 1-0 in 14.

Saito started Rodriguez with three balls, but he induced a weak fly ball for the third out. Rodriguez swung for the downs on a 3-0 fastball, but it had enough movement at 93 mph that Rodriguez whiffed. Saito came back with a 78-mph fastball low, and Rodriguez popped it to Reddick.

This is an INCREDIBLE job by a Red Sox bullpen running on fumes. The relievers have allowed two hits in six teeth-gnashing, stomach-churning innings when any mistake could be the game’s last pitch. If the Sox score, Tazawa might be the guy who closes it out. Wow.

A-ROD CAN WIN IT (11:51, BOT 13, 0-0)
Saito hurled a collection of offspeed pitches at Teixeira that ranged from slow to slower. Teixeira nearly swung too early on a change on 3-2, but he tipped it foul. He looked at ball on the next pitch. Enter A-Rod.

ONE LEFT FOR SAITO (11:47, BOT 13, 0-0)
Jeter grounded to Woodward at short, and Damon popped to Youkilis. Clutch so far, but here comes Teixeira. Also, Tazawa is warming up in the Red Sox bullpen. He’s wearing 63. Sure’d be nice to have Justin Masterson, no?

SAITO COMES IN (11:41, MID 13, 0-0)
Well, I discounted Takashi Satio. He only threw one inning last night, so he is available and he’s in the game. His arm took a toll Tuesday night when he lost the game in the 13th in Tampa. Could this be a Timlinesque redux? Saito faces the top of the order.

Pedroia ended the Sox’ half with a strikeout.

SOX GOING DOWN FAST (11:37, TOP 13, 0-0)
There’s already two outs, and neither batter had much of a chance. Woodward struck out. Ellsbury popped up the first pitch he saw to Posada. Pedroia’s up.

Delcarmen went 3-0 on Cabrera but never gave. He got strike one over, then threw a gutsy, low, 83-mph changeup. It would have been ball four, but Cabrera popped it to second.

The only pitcher left is Junichi Tazawa. Delcarmen used more than 20 pitches. It would be kind of hard to throw Tazawa in this game, but the Sox might not have a choice. They definitely won’t, eventually, if they can’t score in the 13th.

Brian Bruney is on for the Yankees. Woodward is leading off, with the top of the order to follow.

TWO ON FOR CABRERA (11:28, BOT 12, 0-0)
Delcarmen walked Posada with one out. Cano flared a foul ball toward the tarp along the leftflied line seats. Youkilis hustled over and made a tricky catch just shy of the tarp. Hinske walked, too, and now the winning run is on second.

Delcarmen broke Matsui’s bat. The head went flying into the first past first base. The ball went to Youkilis at third for a pop out. It’s 2-1 on Posada.

After 12 innings, the Red Sox have a cool three hits, all singles. Manny Delcarmen is in to pitch the 12th. He’ll face Matsui, Posada, and Cano.

DOWN TO REDDICK (11:14, TOP 12, 0-0)
This is looking like it could be another quick inning for Aceves. Drew stuck out lunging at that outside changeup, which is a great pitch for Aceves against lefthanded batters. Varitek tried to bunt the first pitch to catch Rodriguez napping, but he pushed it foul. Three pitches later, he struck out. Reddick is the last chance this inning.

PAPELBON GETS A-ROD (11:10, END 11, 0-0)
Rodriguez swung through a 95-mph fastball to end the inning. What a compelling game. This is going to really hurt whoever loses, especially if it’s the Sox.

How could these lineups, in this park, play for 11 innings without scoring a run?

ONE TO GO (11:07, BOT 11, 0-0)
Teixeira hit a long fly ball to center and Ellsbury sprinted amid some racuous overreaction from The Stadium faithful. The ball didn’t even make the warning track.

Papelbon is one out away from the 12th inning — Rodriguez.

ONE DOWN (11:05, BOT 11, 0-0)
Damon grounded to second. He’s now 0 for 13 against Papelbon.

STILL SCORELESS (10:59, MID 11, 0-0)
Aceves pretty much sucked any drama out of that inning. Martinez struck out lunging at an outside changeup. Youkilis flied to shallow right. Ortiz ripped a grounder down the first base line. Teiexeira, shifted over, smothered it on one knee and stepped on the bag himself.

Papelbon remains in the game. He’ll fac Damon, Teixeira, and Rodriguez. Power on power here.

PAPELBON GETS JETER (10:55, BOT 10, 0-0)
In the biggest at-bat of the game, Papelbon was going to make Jeter beat him on his best pitch. Papelbon pumped 96-mph fastball at Jeter, and he kept fouling them off. On 1-2, Beckett blazed a 97-mph fastball above the belt. Jeter swung through it for the strike out.

For a game with no runs, there’s been some great action. In the 11th, it’ll be Martinez, Youkilis, and Ortiz for the Sox.

Terry Francona is not messing around He’s going to Jonathan Papelbon for a potential four-out save. (Actually, it’d be a four-out win.) He’ll face Jeter with a runner on third.

After Hinske walked, Ramirez uncorked a wild pitch. He had some odd command troubles — to Hinske, he threw one pitch about 50 feet. Cabrera, who has five walk-off hits since the 2006 All-Star break, grounded to second, which pushed Hinske to third.

Papelbon is warming. Here comes Jeter.

HINSKE IN A PINCH (10:40, BOT 10, 0-0)
Cano flied to left, and now Eric Hinske will pinch hit for Hairston.

THREAT OVER (10:35, MID 10, 0-0)
Pedroia flied high to left, a can of corn that Damon hardly had to move for.

Ramon Ramirez is in to pitch. He’ll face Cano, Hairston, and Cabrera.

TWO ON FOR PEDROIA (10:33, TOP 10, 0-0)
Ellsbury singled to right. The Sox have three hits tonight, and he’s got two of them. Pedroia has chance to be the hero and complete a two-out rally.

WOODWARD WALKS (10:31, TOP 10, 0-0)
In his first Sox at-bat, Woodward walked. He’s the go-ahead run with Ellsbury batting.

ACEVES IN FOR THE 10TH (10:28, TOP 10, 0-0)
Alfredo Aceves will pitch the first frame of extra innings. He already got Varitek on a dribbler to first and Reddick on a grounder to second. Woodward is up. Francona has Mike Lowell left on the bench.

BARD GETS IT DONE (10:24, BOT 9, 0-0)
Posada missed by a mile on a curve in the dirt, striking out to end the inning. Bard delivered in a huge spot in his first appearance in Yankee Stadium.

In the 10th, it’ll be Varitek, Reddick, and Woodward. That just looks funny. Is that who you were hoping for?

BARD BALKS (10:22, BOT 9, 0-0)
Bard was called for a balk, putting runners on second and third. He’ll have to make sure it doesn’t rattle him. The only difference, really, is they lose the force.

POSADA COMES UP (10:21, BOT 9, 0-0)
Rodriguez reached when Woodward knocked down his hard grounder in the hole but couldn’t gather the ball to make a throw. On a 2-2 pitch in the dirt, Rodriguez stole second. On 3-2, Bard threw an 82-mph curveball and just missed outside. Interesting pitch call. Here comes Posada after a visit from John Farrell.

BARD BLOWS AWAY TEX (10:14, TOP 9, 0-0)
Fascinating at-bat from Bard. He started with curve for a strike, threw a high fastball for ball one, and another curve for strike two. Teixeira looked at each pitch. Bard came back with a high and outside, 98-mph fastball on 1-2, and Teixeira flailed, swinging late and missing by quite a bit. Really impressive and interesting sequence.

A-Rod is 2-1 after swinging at a 98-mph heater.

BARD ENTERS (10:11, TOP 9, 0-0)
Okajima did his job, getting Damon to fly to left and retiring all four hitters he faced. Now Daniel Bard, fireballer rookie, gets to face Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, All-World sluggers, with the game on the line. This is pretty great.

After Rivera struck out Martinez swinging at a high cutter and Youkilis looking, Ortiz drilled a single into right. The single snapped an 0-for-19 slump and put the go-ahead run on base. Rivera jammed Drew, who fisted a weak flare to Rodriguez at third.

Okajima stays in the game. He’ll face Damon, Teixeira, and Rodriguez. Scary stuff.

TO THE NINTH (9:53, END 8, 0-0)
Swisher squibbed a ball back at Okajima for an easy out. He struck out Cabrera swinging waaay ahead of a changeup. Jeter popped a fly ball into right-center, where Ellsbury made the catch.

They’re playing “Enter Sandman” now. Mariano Rivera will pitch the ninth. And Jerry Hairson Jr. will play leftfield. The music is only playing for one of them.

TO THE TRACK (9:42, MID 8, 0-0)
With Beckett exiting after seven innings, the Sox remain scoreless. Pedroia swatted a high fly to left-center, pushing Cabrera to the warning track. The ball died in his glove, though. Okajima is in to pitch. He’s due to face Swisher, Cabrera, and Jeter.

Beckett, obviously, was outstandings. He allowed four hits, no runs, and two walks to go with seven strikeouts. He threw 115 pitches and lowered his ERA to 3.12, which would be the best of his career over a full season.

Hughes pitched out on the first pitch. It didn’t matter. Ellsbury sped to second and slid safely headfirst. Go-ahead run is on second for Pedroia.

Reddick missed a home run by about five feet, hooking a ball down the rightfield line that barely went foul. Reddick fouled off several more balls on 2-2, then grounded a changeup to Jeter. He busted hard down the line, making Jeter’s throw just a split second early.

After Reddick, Casey Kotchman pinch hit for Green. He struck out looking at a nasty pitch from Burnett, a two-seamer broke away from his hands at the last moment. We’re going to see Chris Woodward make his Sox debut. Ellsbury walked, bringing Burnett’s night to end. He tipped his cap as the crowd gave him a massive ovation. Now they’re saying, “Huuuughes.” Phil Hughes, the Yankees’ eighth-inning weapon, is in to face Pedroia with the go-ahead run on first. Big spot for an Ellsbury steal. Good stuff to come.

Hideki Okajima started warming up that inning, but do you really think Beckett is going leave this game? Matsui rolled a single through the right side to begin the inning. Beckett struck out Posada chasing a curve in the dirt. He struck out Cano swinging, and Varitek gunned down Matsui trying to take second.

BURNETT’S TURN (9:09, MID 7, 0-0)
The Red Sox have needed every bit of Beckett’s brilliance, because they have one hit, and that came on the first batter of the game. Burnett retired them 1-2-3 in the seventh. Ortiz struck out taking a feeble half-swing, upping his draught to 19 at-bats without a hit. Brutal. Vartiek struck out as well.

THE DUEL IS ON (9:00, END 6, 0-0)
Beckett continued his dominance, setting down the Yankes in order. Damon popped to Youkilis. Pedroia made a great diving stop and threw out Teixeira. Rodriguez grounded a 2-1 curveball to Youkilis, who made the play. In this park and against this lineup, what a performance.

SOX CAN’T DELIVER (8:54, MID 6, 0-0)
The Sox put runners on first and second with no outs, but they never moved anywhere. Martinez popped to the infield, and Youkilis struck out when he was unable to check his swing on a ball outside and on the dirt. It’s Beckett’s turn.

SOX THREATENING (8:47, TOP 6, 0-0)
After Nick Green drewa leadoff walk, Ellsbury chopped back to Burnett. As he ran out of the box, he pointed at Posada — his bat and nicked Posada’s glove on the swing. With men on first and second and no outs, Pedroia flied to left. Here comes Martinez with a chance to make a big impression in his first Sox-Yanks series.

Beckett came through in the biggest, most tense, most riveting moment of the night. After he walked Melky Cabrera to load the bases with two outs, Jeter came to the plate. The entrie stadium rose to its feet. Parts chanted “De-Rek Je-Ter.” Beckett glowered toward the plate and threw a nasty, 94-mph, two-seamer; it moved like sinker, down and toward Jeter’s feet. Jeter chopped it to third. Youkilis charged and made an excellent running throw to get Jeter by several steps.

You could feel the intensity of the at-bat. As he walked into the Red Sox dugout, Beckett turned toward his teammates running off the field and yelled something, judging by the movement of his lips, that you can’t publish.

Before Cabrera walked, Swisher struck out looking at a two-seamer that darted away from him at the knees. Beckett’s been getting a lot of movement away from lefthanders on that pitch tonight, a good way to keep them from hooking balls over the short porch in right.

CATCHING UP (8:33, BOT 5, 0-0)
Beckett and Burnett are controlling the game. The Red Sox have just one hit, Ellsbury’s single to lead off the game, while the Yankees have three. With one, the Yankees have runners on first and second with Nick Swisher at the plate.

YANKS GET FIRST HIT (7:53, BOT 3, 0-0)
Robinson Cano led off the thrid by hooking a double into the rightfield. Cano entered the game hitting .342 and slugging .605 against Beckett in 38 career at-bats.

Burnett got through another scoreless. The final out came when Posada threw out Pedroia trying to steal second.

BECKETT LOCKED IN (7:40, END 2, 0-0)
Add two more Ks to Beckett’s total. He struck out Alex Rodriguez looking at a 96-mph fastball down the pipe. Hideki Matsui grounded to second, and Jorge Posada struck out swinging. Some filthy stuff from Beckett so far.

QUIET SECOND (7:30, END 1, 0-0)
Burnett retired the Sox in order. J.D. Drew grounded out, Jason Varitek struck out, and Josh Reddick flied to left.

From today’s squalor, Josh Beckett emerged and took the mound, a more-than-welcome sight. Beckett shut down the Yankees 1-2-3 in the first. Derek Jeter lined to right, Johnny Damon struck out swinging, and Mark Teixeira tapped to first.

A BOBBLE, AN OUT (7:18, MID 1, 0-0)
Ortiz grounded sharply to Robinson Cano, shifted into shallow right. Cano played himself into a tough hop, and he bobbled the ball. Ortiz sprinted for first, but Cano recovered and made a snap sidearm throw to nab Ortiz, stranding a pair of runners. That makes 17 straight at-bats with no hits for Ortiz.

BURNETT A BIT WILD (7:16, TOP 1, 0-0)
By the way, the Sox are playing a baseball game tonight. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a bloop single to right-center off of A.J. Burnett. Dustin Pedroia walked, but Victor Martinez crushed the rally by bouncing into a 4-6-3 double play. Kevin Youkilis walked, and David Ortiz, after more boos, is batting now.

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