The Washington Times - August 7, 2009, 09:00AM

The Yankees beat the Red Sox for the first time in nine games this season, 13-6, Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.

But here’s all you really need to know about this game.

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Billy Traber pitched for Boston.

When Billy Traber is in your bullpen, you are in some serious trouble.

Traber, the former Washington National whose lack of talent was matched by his lack of personality, came in relief when Boston was only down 5-3. That became mop up duty when Traber, in 3 2/3 innings, allowed five runs on nine hits and one walk.

It was a Traber-like performance. I can only imagine what it was like for reporters around his locker after the game.

Nationals lefty reliever Ron Villone would have been a far better option than Traber. Fellow Washington lefthanded reliever Sean Burnett might have also fared better than Traber.

That speaks volumes about the remarkable job Nationals acting general manager Mike Rizzo has done in finally cobbling together a bullpen that can hold a lead, which of course has led to Washington’s resurgence — a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins and a five-game winning streak.

Picking up the pieces from the Jim Bowden debacle and putting together a bullpen on the fly during the season has proven that Rizzo, under the toughest of circumstances, is up to the task of being this franchise’s general manager in the future.

The Lerners and Stan Kasten may want to wait to see the menu of choices out there, but I doubt there is a GM who could have done better than Rizzo in these conditions.

Radio

Listen to “The Sports Fix” with myself and co-host Kevin Sheehan from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN 980 AM Washington and espn980.com.

For more information about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com