If you missed the fireworks on the fourth of July you could have seen them last night at Fenway Park. Josh Beckett and his counterpart for the Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda, both gave up five runs in the first inning. They both had control problems early on and when they had to throw pitches over the plate they both saw balls flying all over the field. Some balls went to the fences, some went off the fences, and others went over the fences, while others could have gone through the fences. All this happened in the first inning. Both teams also scored in the second and the game was tied 6-6.

Both pitchers settled down somewhat for a few innings to their credit. You would think that maybe one run by either team would win the game but it wasn’t to be. Kuroda featured a puny fastball all evening and a decent splitter. That’s the only pitch that kept him in the game. Beckett came back after the Sox tied the game and had good third and fourth innings. He was saved by a nice play in the fifth by Nick Punto who threw out A-Rod at home trying to score on a grounder to second base. Beckett came out after five innings giving up eight hits and six runs. Not a very good outing for him.

Bobby Valentine had to go to his bullpen to call in five different pitchers but the Yanks kept banging out base hits. Using three relievers in the seventh inning alone, they couldn’t put out the fire. The Yankees put up four more runs to put the game away. Lefthander Andrew Miller gave up a walk and a hit with no outs and Bobby Valentine decided to bring in Vicente Padilla to put out the fireworks but he gave up a two run triple to Mark Texiera that hopped to the 420 ft. sign in right center. Raul Ibanez then doubled to score Texiera from third and finally Eric Chavez added the tenth run with a single that brought in Ibanez.

The Red Sox pounded out fourteen hits themselves but couldn’t keep up with the Yankee barrage. Saltalamacchia belted a three home run in the first inning to right field to tie the game. Cody Ross homered and Big Papi and Adrian Gonzalez each got three hits apiece.

This was the type of game you’ve seen at Fenway in July and August over the years. It’s warm, the wind usually blows out, the ball carries well and the hitters are at their peak. Most of the pitchers, whether starters or bullpen, have thrown a lot of pitches since opening day and many of them lose something off their fastballs. Hitters also have a lot of at-bats by this time of the year and have seen just about every pitcher in the league. Their timing has gotten a lot better and they don’t miss as many pitches. Obviously, not all of the summer games will be high scoring but you can expect teams to do a lot of scoring in July and August. Red Sox fans just hope it will be the Red Sox who score more than their opponents and not the other way around.

I’ll do a mid-season Report Card on the Red Sox Players and Manager on Wednesday July 11th



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