Red Sox

Yankees rout Red Sox in season finale, 14-2

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Yankees rout Red Sox in season finale, 14-2

NEW YORK -- In the final game of their worst season in almost a half-century, the Red Sox went down without a fight.
After scoring a run in the top of the first, the Red Sox were blown out by the New York Yankees, who clinched the division in the seventh inning, but left nothing to chance, pasting the Sox, 14-2.
The Yankees launched four homers -- two each from Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson -- and scored in five of their eight innings. Cano and Granderson combined for 10 RBI.
The four homers helped the Yanks set a franchise record with 245 home runs this season.
When the Tampa Bay Rays' 4-1 over the Baltimore Orioles was posted in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Yankee Stadium crowd erupted and several Yankees hugged in the dugout.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, making what was almost certainly his final appearance for the Sox, was chased in the third inning, having given up six runs on five hits.
Six other Red Sox pitchers followed him to the mound and continued to throw batting practice as the Yankees bashed out 15 hits.
Cody Ross singled home the first Red Sox run in the first. A two-out double by Pedro Ciriaco and a run-scoring single from Jose Iglesias in the seventh accounted for the second.

STAR OF THE GAME: Robinson CanoCano finished the season strong and had a huge night in the final game -- four hits (including two homers), six RBI and three runs scored.

HONORABLE MENTION: Curtis GrandersonGranderson smoked two homers, finishing with 43 for the season, and knocked in four runs while scoring two runs.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Daisuke MatsuzakaIn what was almost certainly his final start in a Red Sox uniform, Matsuzaka didn't exactly go out in a blaze of glory. He was belted around for five runs on six hits and couldn't get out of the third inning, finishing the season 1-7.

TURNING POINT: The first of Robinson Cano's homers -- a two-run shot in the third -- pushed the Yankee lead to 5-1. With the momentum from the home crowd and the state of the Sox pitching staff, it was clear that the night was effectively over.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox allowed 43 homeers to the Yankees in 2012, the most ever allowed in one season to any club in franchise history.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I wasn't able to perform to my expectations after the first two years and I'm really disappointed and very apologetic that I wasn't able to perform to my expectations.'' -- Daisuke Matsuzaka.

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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