Chien-Ming Wang went into the seventh inning with a no-hitter and Robinson Cano contributed two solo home runs, as the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox by winning 5-0 yesterday. The win brings the Yankees to within five games of the AL East lead and with a Seattle loss also gave them a full one game lead in the Wild Card.
Yankees rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain entered the game in the eighth and quickly dispensed of the Red Sox by only giving up one hit. After the Yankees tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the eighth off of Rookie of the Year candidate Hideki Okajima, thanks to an RBI double from Bobby Abreu and a two-run error by Jason Varitek following a double steal by Abreu and Alex Rodriguez, Chamberlain went back out in the ninth to close out the game. After getting David Ortiz to fly out to left, things got interesting.
Chamberlain unleashed a high fastball, which sailed over Kevin Youkilis’ head and slammed against the backstop. No warning was giving to Chamberlain, which made the following move a little surprising. Chamberlain’s next pitch also sailed over Youkilis’ head and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez immediately tossed the rookie from the game. After a brief discussion between Joe Torre and Hernandez, Chamberlain took a slow walk towards the dugout to a standing ovation from the Bronx faithful. Said Red Sox manager Terry Francona, “If that young man is trying to get our attention, he did a very good job.”
Edwar Ramirez followed Chamberlain for the last two outs of the game, including a strikeout.
The Yankees made a solid declaration that they are not out of the AL East hunt by beating the Red Sox three best pitchers in Daisuke Matsuzaka (Dice-K for New Englanders), Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling. Beckett has often been mentioned as a Cy Young candidate, but if he is to be included, so should Wang. They have the same record at this point at 16-6 and both have ERAs under 4. Beckett’s overall numbers are better at this point, but Wang is right behind him.
The Red Sox go back to Boston for a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, which will be without lefty ace Erik Bedard, who was scratched from his Saturday start because of a strained muscle in his right side. The Yankees will host the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who will see Yankees rookie pitcher Ian Kennedy make his first Major League start on Saturday.