The Red Sox beat the Yankees 8-5 Thursday Night but that was a secondary event compared to the incident that occurred in the bottom of the eighth. Gary Sheffield was struck in the face by a fan while attempting to field a shot off of the bat of Jason Varitek. While TV replays were inconclusive, it appeared to this eye that the fan slapped Sheffield in the face. Whether or not the fan was attempting to field the ball is impossible to tell. MLB Security is reviewing the incident and any disciplinary action against Sheffield will probably not be announced until Monday. One thing is for sure, fan behavior is getting uglier and steps need to be taken to protect both the players and the fans.

As for the game, Randy Johnson was once again shaky. While he struck out nine batters, he gave up three home runs and could not protect a one-run lead after the Yankees came back from a 4-1 deficit. Johnson is probably still rounding into form, but Yankee fans’ are beginning to get impatient with their sixteen million dollar man.

Tonight, the Yankees will look to Carl Pavano to pitch them out of their doldrums. At 4-5, the team has yet to show the form many expected them to, with the offense and pitching rarely showing up on the same night. Changing that pattern against a strong Orioles lineup will be difficult to say the least.

Image by AP/YES Network via Newsday