Red Sox Promise Revenge for Joba Hitting Jason Bay

Red Sox win game but still find a chip on their shoulder

The Red Sox may have left the Bronx with a fifth straight win against the Red Sox, but they weren't all smiles on their way out of town. Jason Bay, who has slaughtered Yankee pitching this season, got hit by Joba Chamberlain in the fifth inning. Given the aforementioned slaughtering, including a three-run homer off Joba in the first inning, and the way that Chamberlain was pitching, Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell smelled a rat.

"[Chamberlain] strikes out 12 guys, doesn't seem to have too many command issues, and if there was a purpose or intent to throw up and in, or if the intent was even further than that, to send a clear-cut message, you can disguise it a little bit more than with a first-pitch pitch in the middle of the back to Jason Bay. So, those things aren't forgotten. We know that there's a history there between the pitcher in New York and our guys here, so, not to say that he was specifically out to do that, but I think history speaks for itself. And we've got a number of games left with these guys."

At first it just sounds like the normal baseball chatter, especially from a team employing sometime headhunter Josh Beckett, but maybe there's something more here. Maybe part of the reason why the Red Sox have pulled ahead of the Yankees is because they take slights like this and hold onto them, filing them away for future reference.

They certainly play with more edge than the Yankees. That was proven during the five games the teams have played this season. The Red Sox came back twice in Boston to win games that the Yankees had in hand, while the Yankees couldn't have looked any meeker during the last three innings of Tuesday night's game.

Chamberlain's performance, the 12 strikeouts and hitting Bay, was the only sign that the Yankees weren't content to roll over and take their beating, and it remains to be seen if the rest of the team will take their beating as a sign to kick things into a higher gear.

They're .500, which could be a lot worse, but there's not much enjoyable about watching the Yankees this season. When they get down, you don't have much confidence that they're coming back and the atmosphere is a lifeless one more often than not. A little more fight from the players won't make up for all of what's missing, but it's worth a shot.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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