Of all the games for John Sterling and Susan Waldman to be your eyes, it had to be this one! It’s hard to really know what happened in a game when listening to the Yankees on the radio, but luckily Chad Jennings has done an excellent job at LoHud wrapping up what was a very busy day.
Amid all the action, however, what really stood out was one pitch thrown by C.C. Sabathia in the third inning. On Friday night, Robinson Cano was hit in the left knee by a Josh Beckett fastball. Tim McCarver’s protestations aside, it seemed very clear that Beckett hit Cano on purpose. For whatever reason, the Yankees decided not to retaliate in that game, but this afternoon, C.C. Sabathia finally settled the score.
I am usually not one to advocate bean ball wars, but in this instance, Beckett’s insolent behavior required a response. Not only did Sabathia defend his teammates, but he did it in the right way: a fastball to the side of Dustin Pedroia. The point wasn’t to hurt Pedroia, but to send the Red Sox a message that if Beckett is going to act irresponsibly on the mound, their hitters will face repercussions. To his credit, Pedroia took his lumps and ran to first. I am sure he expected a response and understood why it was necessary.
Predictably, Fox broadcasters Joe Buck and McCarver expressed their usual righteous indignation over Sabathia’s retaliation because, after all, Beckett would never think of purposely hitting a Yankee batter. After Victor Martinez’ HR, Buck even crowed that the Yankees misguided attempt at settling the score may have “awakened the Red Sox”. Well, 12 runs for the Yankees later, the Red Sox were still sleeping, and the Fox duo seemed to be fuming over another Yankee victory.
During the Joe Torre years, the Yankees never seemed to have each other’s back. Under Girardi, however, that attitude has definitely changed. For all the legitimate criticisms of Girardi’s game strategy, he deserves credit for fostering a team chemistry centered on togetherness. It not only has helped make the Yankees a better team, but also made it even more fun to root for them.