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August 21, 2006

How Sweep It Is!
by SG

The Yankees did something I never would have expected, by heading into Fenway Park for a five game series and winning all five games. Each game presented a different story, but the end result of each one was just as satisfying. This doesn't mean the Yankees clinched the AL East, as they still have a rough stretch of games coming up, but they sure made their lives easier.

If the Yankees go 20-19 over their remaining 39 games, Boston would have to go 26-12 to tie them.

Game 1:12-4

Wang beats Jason Johnson, and Johnny Damon led the Yankee offense to a fairly easy win in the opener.

Game 2:14-11

Sidney Ponson tanks and gets DFA, but Brian Bruney? and the rest of the pen save the day, keeping the game close while the Yankees rallied.

Game 3:13-5

The Yankees draw 13 walks off Boston pitching. A shaky Randy Johnson lasts seven innings and lets his offense get him the W.

Game 4:8-5

The best game of the series for me, as the Yankees entered the 8th trailing 5-3, loaded the bases with no outs, but only managed to get one run. Jon Papelbon got within one out of the save in the ninth, but Derek Jeter blooped in the tying run and probably picked up a few more MVP votes, Mariano Rivera did his typical outstanding work, and Jason Giambi's second HR of the day ended up being the margin of difference.

Game 5:2-1

Cory Lidle pitched very well today, and Scott Proctor continued his heroic work in this series. Proctor pitched four games and six innings, allowing just one run and saving the Yankees in the late innings on several occasions. The offense managed only six hits, but got the two runs they needed to win.

There's plenty of credit to go around in this series, but the guy who most impressed me was Bobby Abreu. His approach at the plate is incredible. Whether or not he recovers his lost power, he's an extremely valuable player in the middle of the lineup, wearing pitchers down until they make mistakes, getting on base at a .400+ clip, and playing adequate defense.

I'm heading home from work so apologies for the thinness of this piece. I think Larry will be back later tonight with more.