Here’s a weird stat for you: Curtis Granderson’s two home runs off Jonathan Papelbon are the most the Red Sox closer has given up to any one player in his career.
Papelbon has allowed only 22 home runs in his six years. But outside of Granderson, they are by 20 other players.
A few other items to send you off into the night:
* The Sox were 6 of 27 (.222) with runners in scoring position in the series and their pitchers issued 16 walks. Those kind of things will come back to bite you against a team like the Yankees.
* Both sides thought home plate umpire Paul Schrieber gave an unnecessary warning when John Lackey hit Derek Jeter with a pitch in the sixth inning.
It certainly looked intentional because Andy Pettitte had hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch in the previous half-inning. But why would Lackey purposely hit Jeter with a 2-2 pitch in a 1-0 game? Even Joe Girardi opined that it wasn’t intentional.
True, Youkilis was hit in the head. But it was a pitch at his head, it was a pitch that got away from Pettitte and Youkilis accidentally ducked into it.
When Jeter got to first base, he playfully shoved Youkilis, his WBC teammate. Youkilis was laughing.
* Mark Teixeira is 0 for 12. Wonder if Yankee fans want him replaced? I suspect not.
* Chan Ho Park’s three scoreless innings won this game for the Yankees as much as Granderson’s home run. The Red Sox lack that type of reliever in their bullpen, but it’s the type of job Boof Bonser could do once he comes off the disabled list.
* All six starting pitchers in the series did not get decisions.
* The Yankees are 20-19 against the Red Sox over the last three seasons, outscoring them 210-206. It’s amazing that two teams could play 39 games and the difference is four runs.
* John Lackey threw six scoreless innings in his Red Sox debut. The last time that happened was in 2001 when Hideo Nomo no-hit the Orioles on April 1. The last Red Sox pitcher to debut with six scoreless innings against the Yankees was Zane Smith way back in 1995, Vaunted Vaughn Eshelman also did it earlier that season.
* Kevin Youkilis has been hit by a pitch 12 times by the Yankees, the most by any team. It could be worse, they hit Minnie Minoso 27 times.
Finally, there’s this:
Given his experience and standing in the game, Mariano Rivera seemed like a good person to ask about the David Ortiz situation. I spoke to him for a few minutes before the game and filled him in on the ruckus.
“Really?” Rivera said. “After two games? Two games? I don’t understand that. If you’re trying to decide on a player after two games, you don’t understand baseball.”
According to Rivera, Ortiz remains a dangerous hitter and has his respect.
“The way the defense plays hurts him. Teams figured that out,” he said. “But he’s still somebody who is going to win a lot of games for them. David is dangerous. He’s a proud guy.”
Off to Kansas City later on today. Thanks for reading the blog.