All of the good vibes and momentum were trending for the New York Yankees. Yet, reality hit as the Boston Red Sox were not the New York Mets and the club lost ground in the standings. The offense stopped hitting at inopportune times, the bullpen melted down and other than defeating Chris Sale, the Yankees missed opportunities to make gains on the Red Sox.
The opening game was ripe for the taking but the Yankees left the door open, allowing the Red Sox to barge back in for a 9-6 victory.
It was a bit of a bumpy outing for Jordan Montgomery. From hitting his head on the dugout overhang meant for five-foot tall players to yielding home runs to Rafael Devers and Christian Vazquez, the five frames weren’t the smoothest for the rookie lefty.
Chase Headley and Todd Frazier must’ve seen Greg Bird and his neon uniform hitting home runs all the way from Boston. Facing reliever Matt Barnes in the sixth, Headley got the Yanks going with a one-out single to right. The ensuing batter Frazier clocked a two-run homer to left-center, pulling New York within a run.
A Didi Gregorius walk, followed by a Headley hit forced Boston to call on Heath Hembree. Following a walk to Frazier, Ronald Torreyes gave the Yankees a two-run advantage by ripping a single off the Green Monster.
After Austin Romine whiffed, the Red Sox brought on Robby Scott, who issued a free pass to Brett Gardner and hit Aaron Hicks to force in a run.
LEAVING THE DOOR OPEN
While the Yankees took a three-run lead, unfortunately, they couldn’t blow the doors off with one out and the bases loaded against Addison Reed.
I don’t know who calls the pitches from the Yankees bench but the pitch selection was brutal and New York relievers had zero control.
After Chad Green yielded a single to Vazquez and a walk to Jackie Bradley Jr., manager Joe Girardi called on Tommy Kahnle. Eduardo Nunez loaded the bases with an infield single. Mookie Betts followed with a RBI sacrifice fly to center. Andrew Benintendi followed with an RBI-single to right. After Hanley Ramirez coaxed a free pass, pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland regained the lead for Boston with a two-run single to center.
Aroldis Chapman was back to being terrible in the eighth. Chapman gave up a single to Devers and a walk to Vazquez. Inexplicably the now $86 million dollar “match up reliever” let both runners essentially walk into scoring position on a double steal, then he failed to backup Romine, following a two-run single to Bradley Jr.
You can’t predict baseball Suzyn! Although CC Sabathia showing up as the stopper and beating the Red Sox, coupled with the Yankees’ winning games started by Sale seem to be a common theme this season. The trend continued in the Yanks 4-3 victory.
AUSTIN? AUSTIN, MASSACHUSETTS?
There were no city limits for Austin in the Hub. With Gregorius and Frazier on, the rookie designated hitter took Sale over the Monster and gave New York a 3-0 advantage in the second.
Left for dead, zombie stopper CC was up to the task. Crafting a clutch outing, Sabathia improved to 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA following a Yankee loss this season and moved to 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA against the BoSox. Hurling six mostly effortless innings, Sabathia scattered four hits, registered four strikeouts and recorded his first 10-win campaign since 2013. Sabathia also set the AL record for most career strikeouts by a lefty.
While Warren surrendered a solo homer to Devers, who is practically unstoppable at this point, the new “formula” got the Yankees bullpen back on track. David Robertson was clutch with the hook, fanning three across 1.1 frames. Dellin Betances laid down the hammer in the ninth with two K’s and a cannon throw from Sanchez for his ninth save.
The pace of the game was brutal and the Yankees looked as flat as the parquet floor at old Boston Garden. The sleepy Sunday 5-1 loss left New York five games back of Boston.
SONNY GRAY HUMAN RAIN DELAY
Sonny Gray wasn’t chasing any clouds away nor was he getting any BoSox batters to chase, recording zero strikeouts on the afternoon. Gray wasn’t awful but he wasn’t dominant either, he was basically Ivan Nova. A two-run triple by Bradley Jr. in the second was all the damage Gray would yield but all the Red Sox would need.
The Bronx Bombers climbed back in the fifth when Gardner clocked a solo shot around the Pesky Pole in right, off Rick Porcello. This marked the first time in the longest tenured Yankees’ career in which he recorded 20 home runs in a single season.
Unfortunately, Gardner accounted for the only offense at the matinee meeting of the dead bat society. So, while he certainly wasn’t alone, it’s evident Judge needs a day or two of rest. Seeing as how Girardi rests fresh players at random in April, there’s no reason he can’t give Judge a mental day in August. Judge’s 0-for-4 day included mental lapses in the field, not charging a ball hit to right in one instance and lobbing the ball back into Gregorius as Betts tagged up and went to third.