The Red Sox moved to 3-1 against the Yankees this year behind a strong effort from Clay Buchholz and homers from Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis in a 5-4 win.
Buchholz, who carried in a 6.25 ERA in six career starts against the Bombers and who took the loss in Boston’s lone defeat at Fenway Park in the rivals’ first series last month, allowed two runs over seven innings and struck out seven. Russell Martin’s homer in the fifth over the outstretched glove of a leaping Jacoby Ellsbury accounted for the only damage.
It was a 2-2 game after six when Yankees manager Joe Girardi made the surprising call to bring Bartolo Colon back out for the seventh. Colon was effective, having allowed just four hits, but he had already matched his season-high 99 pitches.
As it turned out, he threw just four more. Girardi let him give up a line-drive single to Jarrod Saltalamacchia to start the frame and then pulled him in favor of Joba Chamberlain. After a fielder’s choice exchanged Salty for Jacoby Ellsbury at first base, the Red Sox put on the hit and run and Dustin Pedroia singled past a covering Robinson Cano. Gonzalez followed with a long sac fly to break the tie and then Youkilis homered to give Boston a 5-2 lead.
The Yankees came back against a wild Daniel Bard in the eighth, scoring one run on a wild pitch and putting the tying run on second with one out. However, Nick Swisher struck out and Jorge Posada grounded out to end the threat.
In the ninth, singles from Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson against Jonathan Papelbon, with a defensive indifference thrown in, brought the Bombers to within one run before Mark Teixeira popped out to end it.
Girardi will take some fire in this one for leaving Colon in. It always looks bad when a manager pulls his starter one batter into an inning. The Yankees were on the opposite end of one of those Sunday, when the Rangers sent Dave Bush out for the fifth, watched Derek Jeter homer and then removed him. If the pitcher is just one mistake away from exiting the game, why send him back out to make the mistake?
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.