Today on Rubber game at Fenway

When both starting pitchers need 94 pitches to get through five innings of four-run ball and the eventual winning run scores on a bases-loaded walk that forces Nick Johnson to jump out of the way of a Hideki Okajima pitch, you have an idea of what kind of game you’re watching. That’s how Red Sox-Yankees baseball gets played — the most patient team usually has the better chance of coming away with the victory. Edge of your seat action, it’s not, bordering on four more hours to play nine innings. But the long night at the office paid off, because the Yankees are back to .500.

I love the anecdote about Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada riding to Yankee Stadium together during the 1995 season in a rented Dodge Neon, from their New Jersey hotel. Can you imagine the two of those future stars, tucked into the cheapest rental car they could get, scrounging for change to pay the George Washington Bridge toll? Sounds like a buddy comedy in the making.

And Alfredo Aceves still has the answer – jump in and vulture the victory! ‘Ace’ (or ‘El Paton,’ as one of our avid Twitter readers from Mexico points out) is picking up right where he left off in ’09.

Know what else Andy is ready for? A record-setting day in Boston that is looking like it’ll spend most of the afternoon in the 80s … and no rain!

The last time we saw John Smoltz at Fenway Park, he was serving up baseballs to the Yankees’ lineup. Now, he’s offering advice to someone who can really use his input on starting-vs.-relieving. As Joba said, if he can’t take something from Smoltz, he won’t listen to anyone.

That’s why the Yankees got him, and it will be interesting to see how many starts Brett Gardner gets this year against left-handers. It’s not really that the Yankees don’t think Gardner can hit lefties; he did it decently during his Minor League career. It’s just that Thames has a proven track record that they think they can bank on. Now, his left field play … wasn’t outstanding last night.

Lucky Phil, getting to fire a bullpen at Fenway Park before returning to his ‘office’ on the Himes Avenue complex in Tampa. Hope he at least found somewhere nice to eat with this little paid vacation!

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