Yankees enjoy big payback in blowout win over the Red Sox

They didn't want a pitchers' duel Thursday night at the new Yankee Stadium, they didn't want to see Mo Rivera, didn't want any drama. They wanted a beatdown and they wanted payback and that is exactly what they got, first off a shell of a once-great pitcher named John Smoltz and then against Billy Traber, who was in the minors a few days ago. The Yankees didn't make 0-8 against the Red Sox completely go away Thursday night. It just seemed that way after they went into the bottom of the fourth trailing 3-1 and came out of it winning 9-3, after the Yanks hung an eight on them. The Yankees didn't just beat the Red Sox Thursday night, they threw them through a window.

That is the headline for the night, the night when the Yankees finally got a game off the Red Sox, taking until the first Thursday in August to do that, an all-time world's record for this rivalry. That is the headline even though six more home runs were hit at the $1.5 billion Homer Depot on the other side of 161st St., a place that sometimes seems to have the same exact home-run dimensions as the skating rink at Rockefeller Plaza, that makes even Fenway Park seem as big as Central Park.

Dustin Pedroia went deep for the Red Sox, and so did Casey Kotchman. Old John Damon hit his 20th for the Yankees, and his 13th at the Homer Depot. Jorge Posada hit one between the ambulance entrance and Monument Park. Melky Cabrera went deep, so did Mark Teixeira, who hit his 28th, and his 18th at the Homer Depot. It is supposed to be the grandest address in baseball and all of sports, 161st and River Ave. And balls fly out of this place the way they do at the Little League park in your town.

And you know something? Yankee fans, who showed up in big enough numbers to provide the second sellout of the season - it didn't take until the first Thursday in August to get the second sellout of the season across the street, just two home games the first week of the season - didn't care about any of that. Don't care. Won't care if the Yankees keep winning. Their team is in first, and getting better. Their team has gone 15-5 since the All-Star break. The Red Sox are 8-11. The Red Sox don't get to think about passing the Yankees right now, not the way they've been playing. They have to worry about getting passed by the Tampa Bay Rays.

All of a sudden, the Red Sox look as if they needed Roy Halladay more than the Yankees did, even more than they needed the extra stick Victor Martinez gives them. All of a sudden, the last three guys in their rotation are Clay Buchholz, who sometimes looks like the most over-evaluated pitching prospect Boston has, and Brad Penny, and Smoltz, whose earned-run average is now 8.32. Thursday night the lefthanded hitters in the Yankee batting order were 9-for-13 against Smoltz before Terry Francona came to get him. He looked old and he looked washed up, and you wonder how much longer Boston stays with him.


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