Saturday, May 8, 2010

Bigger Than A Win

In a few months, and we hope a few years, when the details of Friday's 10-3 New York Yankees' victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway back fades into the recesses of our memories, it will be remembered vividly by one special kid.

Earlier in the day Nick Swisher visiting the Boston Children's Hospital -- a place that can be described only as special, as Dave can attest to. Swisher told YES' Kim Jones on the postgame show that he was there to brighten the day of a young fan.

Swisher is one of the good guys in sports. Actually, most athletes are like Swisher in this way, willing to take time out their days to do some good for some worthy cause. That's easy to forget when the headlines go to those athletes, such as Ben Roethlisberger and Lawrence Taylor, who manage to get themselves in trouble.

But as much as Swisher's visit likely helped lift that kid's spirits, it's what he did in the game that made that kid's day.

Swisher broke open a scoreless game with a three-run homer off Josh Beckett in the fourth inning. The blast turned what had been shaping up as a pitchers' duel between Beckett and Phil Hughes into a Yankees route.

Beckett started out by striking out five of the first six batters he faced and was looking to be on top of his game. Fortunately for the Yankees, Hughes (4-0, 1.69 ERA) continued his brilliant start to the season, matching zeros with the Red Sox's ace through the first three innings.

But that all changed in the fourth. With one out, Mark Teixeira drew a walk after falling behind 0-and-2, and moved to second on Alex Rodriguez's single. Beckett bounced back to strike out Robinson Cano and jumped ahead of Swisher 0-and-2. Swisher managed to get the count back to 2-and-2 before delivering the big blow to center give the Yankees a 3-0 lead. It was Swisher's sixth homer of the year.

New York Daily News
And with the way Hughes was dealing, you sensed the Sox wouldn't be able to get back into the game, despite scoring a run in the bottom of the inning on David Ortiz's sacrifice fly.

But what was surprising was how the Beckett and the Red Sox fell apart. Beckett lost his control and surrendered six runs in the sixth, meanwhile the Red Sox seemed to lose all interest.

Beckett ended up allowing nine runs on nine hits, three walks and two hit batters in 5-1/3 innings in one of the worst starts of his career against the Yankees.

Hughes, meanwhile, passed his latest test in his maturation as a major league pitcher, allowing two runs on seven hits and one walk in seven innings. He struck out seven an threw 70 of 101 pitches for strikes.

But the hero on this night was Nick Swisher.

Just ask that kid at Boston Children's Hospital.

No comments: