7:50 P.M. - We're about 20 minutes away from game time. Nice night for a game; there's a pretty cool breeze blowing around and it's not nearly as hot so far in August as it was in July--though that likely just jinxed things.
Keys for tonight: Lance Berkman needs to get a hit. I'm not even saying a huge RISP hit or a home run or even a double. But he's got to show he can be a more productive designated hitter than Colin Curtis. There's really no doubt he IS, but at some point you have to show it.
Also, how does A-Rod respond? He had the scare yesterday after getting hit by a ball in batting practice (one of the few things Berkman has hit) and you have to wonder just how great his leg feels. We'll see by his early fielding.
Finally, though he's been much better lately, Josh Beckett is 0-1, 10.43 ERA against the Yankees this year. After facing Seattle, LA and Cleveland--three teams that are not playoff bound--this will be his first real test since coming back from a lower back strain.
8:25 p.m. - A 1-2-3 first inning for replacement starter Dustin Moseley, who makes a nice play on Jacoby Ellsbury's infield grounder to start the inning. Moseley immediately jumped off the mound and grabbed the ball, along the third base line, and flung it to first to get the out on the speedy Ellsbury. He struck out Scutaro and got Ortiz to ground out on a curve. Beckett allowed a pair of one out singles, but struck out Alex Rodriguez on an 88-mph curveball and then got Cano to pop out to end it.
But remember, with these games -- especially ones's started by Beckett -- it's not about the first few innings. It's about the fifth onward.
8:42 p.m. - Who's that with a double?? Lance Berkman? Did he read my pre-game keys to the game? Either way, his one-out double off Beckett in the second makes him 3-for-23 as a Yankee. It looked like he might not even make second on the hit, but Drew's throw wasn't anything special from right field and it wasn't close at the bag....Good things apparently come in bunches for the Yankees -- after Granderson flies out, Gardner hits an inflied single that Bill Hall throws away, allowing Berkman to score. Gardner steals second and Jeter singled him home. 2-0 Yankees in the second.
Jeter now has 2,874 hits, passing Babe Ruth for sole possession of the 39th spot on the all-time hits list.
Moseley works another 1-2-3 in the top of the inning, though Swisher made a nice catch against the wall in right to end the frame and deny Adrian Beltre a hit.
8:58 p.m. - Defying my cynicism, Moseley has been everything the Yankees could have wanted. Another quick inning with only a single to Ortiz. Odd moment when Tex could have executed a double play easily by stepping on first and throwing to second--he opted to go 3-6-3, which only got the lead runner--but Moseley didn't seem too bothered and worked around it.
9:10 p.m. - Really? A two-out INFIELD single for Lance Berkman? This guy's a speedster. Anyway, even though it didn't lead to a run, Beckett's pitch count is already over 60 after three innings and Berkman is finally having a night to be proud of in a Yankees uniform.
9:23 p.m. - Moseley walks the tight-rope, loading the bases with two-outs in the fourth, but he gets Kalish to ground to first to end the inning.
9:32 p.m. - Beckett pitching much better as of late. The first two innings seemed like the time to get to him. Last inning was his best so far.
10:32 p.m. - Sorry about the delay folks, working on some newspaper stuff. Anyway, the Yankees scored five runs in the fifth inning to chase Josh Beckett from the game. Lance Berkman had three hits against the Red Sox starter and Derek Jeter capped scoring in the frame with a two-run double that ended Beckett's night after seven earned runs and just 4 2/3 innings.
On the Yankee side of things, you couldn't have asked more from Dustin Moseley who didn't know he was starting until about 2 hours before the game. Joba Chamberlain came on in relief with one out in the seventh and allowed a run-scoring single to Mike Lowell and then after getting an out, walked Marco Scutaro to load the bases for David Ortiz. Boone Logan in to pitch now.
10:40 p.m. - Logan does the job, getting Ortiz to ground out to end the inning.
10:48 p.m. - Tim Wakefield with only one hit through two innings in relief. Maybe he should have started?