Boola Boola battery: Breslow & Lavarnway

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 18, 2012
Craig Breslow thought about the first all-Yale battery in the major leagues in 125 years and couldn't resist a pun about catcher Ryan Lavarnway. ''I guess Ryan caught like a bulldog,'' he said. It was quite a day for ''Boola Boola'' at Yankee Stadium, when Breslow relieved in the eighth inning for the Boston Red Sox and helped preserve the lead in a 4-1 win over New York. ''We didn't need to put any signs down. We're all on the same wavelength,'' Breslow joked. Rarely has there been this high an IQ at a mound meeting. With the Red Sox leading 2-1 in the eighth, Breslow relieved with one on, threw a ball and then got Robinson Cano to ground a cutter into an inning-ending double play. ''He knew exactly what he wanted to do and executed,'' Lavarnway said. According to STATS LLC and baseballreference.com, the only previous all-Yale battery was in on Sept. 15, 1883, when the Philadelphia Athletics' Jack Jones pitched to Al Hubbard. The Red Sox said they had been talking with Yale in recent days and had not yet been able to confirm that. Breslow, a molecular biophysics and biochemistry major, is a 2002 Yale graduate. Lavarnway, a philosophy major, left after his junior year in 2008 to turn pro. ''I got a lot smarter having them out there,'' Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. ''I don't talk to those guys. Bres is such a competitive kid, you wouldn't think that he carries those kind of degrees around with him.'' Breslow thought of a way to add to the brainy battery and make it a real Mensa matchup. ''I guess if we could have had, I don't know maybe Wil Venable at the plate or something like that, it would have put the finishing touches on the matchup,'' he said, referring to the San Diego outfielder who is a 2005 Princeton graduate. Breslow, 32, was a 26th-round draft pick by Milwaukee and is in his second stint with Boston following stops with San Diego (2005), the Red Sox (2006), Cleveland (2008), Minnesota (2008-09), Oakland (2009-11) and Arizona (2012). He has a 14-17 career record with a 3.00 ERA. Lavarnway, 25, was a sixth-round selection in 2008 and made his major league debut with the Red Sox last year. He has a .179 average with two homers and eight RBIs in 67 career at-bats. ''I've gotten more congratulations about them than I ever got about myself,'' Yale baseball coach John Stuper, a former big league pitcher, said in a telephone interview. ''Ryan will tell you it was because they had black-and-white television back then.'' Not quite. He pitched for St. Louis and Cincinnati from 1982-85, winning a World Series title with the Cardinals. ''I'm gushing. It was a thrill,'' said Stuper, Yale's coach since 1993. ''I'm going to the game tomorrow.'' While in the minors, Breslow remembered traveling from Pawtucket, R.I., to nearby Providence to watch Lavarnway's Yale team play against Brown. Breslow has tried to be a mentor. ''I definitely look at him first as a baseball player, second as a friend and third as a Yale alumni,'' Lavarnway said. ''He's been great to me since before I got drafted, coming back and kind of talking to me, making the transition into pro ball and starting his foundation and stuff.'' Breslow's sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when she was 14 and in 2008 he founded The Strike 3 Foundation to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer research. Stuper said Lavarnway keeps returning to Yale to visit kids he worked with in the Big Brother program. ''Character off the charts. Work ethic off the charts,'' Stuper said. And now, Yalies in the same box score.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Draymond Green is the most efficient defender in the NBA

It’s not even June, but the San Francisco Giants are probably screwed

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker