[picappgallerysingle id="8835168"]With the way things started between the Yankees and Red Sox, none of the 47,000+ fans at Yankee Stadium could have ever predicted a walk off win.
The Yanks scored early and often, and appeared to be en route to a blowout victory of the archrival Red Sox.
New York had starter Phil Hughes and his 5-0 record on the mound, and after his Yankees gave him an early five run lead, it seemed like New York would walk to a win, not walk-off. Ah it’s amazing how a rivalry game works. The Yankees needed ninth inning heroics to beat the Red Sox, 11-9.
Marcus Thames came through with a walk off home run off of Jonathon Papelbon, which won the game in the ninth.
Hughes pitched just give innings, while surrendering five runs, and earning a no decision.
The Yankees got off to a quick start. Derek Jeter led off with a single, Brett Gardner followed with the same, and Mark Teixeira walked to load up the bases for Alex Rodriguez.
A-Rod started the first inning scoring spree with an RBI single, which drove in Jeter and Gardner. Robinson Cano followed Rodriguez with an RBI single of his own, and Francisco Cervelli doubled to drive in two more runs. Cano was out at the plate, but the Yankees owned a 5-0 lead with just one out in the first.
Adrian Beltre would cut the lead to 3-5 with an RBI single, but the Yankees responded with an RBI double from Teixeira, which scored Brett Gardner. The Yankees still owned a comfortable 6-1 lead with Hughes on the mound, who had been the Yanks most consistent pitcher.
Hughes had been masterful entering Monday’s game, but things just weren’t the same. David Ortiz hit a fourth inning homer to right. In the fifth inning, the New York lead was cut to one, when J.D. Drew hit a three run home run. The score was 6-5 after that.
Marcus Thames added a run back in the bottom of the fifth inning, when he hit a double over the head of center fielder Darnell McDonald. Francisco Cervelli scored on that.
However, the Red Sox would not back down. Victor Martinez sparked another rally with a solo homer to left field off of Boone Logan, and the Yankee lead was then 7-6.
In the eighth inning, Joe Girardi stuck to his word by not pitching set-up man Joba Chamberlain. After both Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera struggled on Sunday, Girardi refused to say which reliever would pitch on Monday.
Girardi opted to leave long reliever Chan Ho Park in the game, who was just taken off the disabled list. Park surrendered back-to-back homers to Kevin Youkillis (two run homer) and Victor Martinez, and the Red Sox took a 9-7 lead, their first of the game.
Yankee Stadium was full of stunned and silence fans, who were wondering where the back end of the bullpen was.
Starter Javier Vazquez worked a scoreless ninth inning in a rare relief appearance, and then the bottom of the ninth began.
The Yankees trailed by two runs as they entered the bottom of the inning, and they desperately seeked a rally. If they wanted to win the game, they’d have to rally against Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon.
Brett Gardner doubled to left field to spark up the rally. Mark Teixeira flew out to deep right field, and with one away, Alex Rodriguez came to the plate. A-Rod delivered with a game-tying two run home run, and the game was tied at nine.
The Yankees didn’t stop after that. With two outs, Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch. After a brief delay, he was left in the game to run. He didn’t need to run.
Marcus Thames was given the start over usual starter Nick Swisher because Swisher was sidelined with an injury. That worked out alright for the Yanks.
Thames delivered with a walk off two run home run to left field, and the Yankees beat the Red Sox.
Vazquez earned his second victory of the season, and the first of his career coming in relief.
After a wild walk off win, the two teams return to the stadium for the second game of the two game series. CC Sabathia will take on Boston’s ace, Josh Beckett.