Short of a sweep, one couldn’t have asked for a much better performance by the New York Yankees, as they took three out of four from the Boston Red Sox. Plus, of added importance, the Bronx Bombers captured the season series 11-8, giving them the tiebreaker advantage should the two clubs end the season knotted atop the AL East.
To me, this series served to show, when the Yankees are clicking, look out!
Even after coming off a sweep, there are times when I watch the Yankees play the Red Sox and wonder how there’s as much separation as there is in the AL East standings. There were some bloops, blasts and bullpen sweats but in the end, the Bronx Bombers prevailed 6-2.
On the final evening of August, CC Sabathia made Yankee Stadium feel like 2009. Sabathia improved his mark to 8-0 following a Yankee loss and 4-0 against the Red Sox on the campaign. Boston could only scratch out one run, as Sabathia fanned six across six frames.
SANCHEZ STEPS UP
Gary Sanchez will be sad to see August go. The Yankees backstop tied the game with a home run to right against Eduardo Rodriguez in the third and un-tied it in the fifth with a RBI-single to right.
Greg Bird’s garbage time home run against Cleveland was hardly meaningless for him. Bird is heating up at the right time and looks every bit the player he was in 2015 and in spring training. New York’s first baseman cranked a two-run homer to right in the sixth, making it a 4-1 contest.
After a Didi Gregorius RBI-single made it 5-1 later in the inning, Bird came back for more in the seventh.
Bird collected a RBI-single to left, increasing the Yankees lead to 6-1.
On the evening umpires were forced to go to replay review four times and were wrong on three counts. Even the call they got correct was debatable depending on the angle. One wonders how much longer this can persist.
David Robertson and Dellin Betances worked their way into and out of trouble but were able to nail down the victory.
The Yanks looked to be carrying some momentum with them into Friday’s game but fell flat in a 4-1 loss.
In the first, the Bronx Bombers played trading spaces, as consecutive doubles from Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge provided New York with a 1-0 advantage.
Otherwise, the Fairfield, CT Little League team in attendance probably could’ve taken it from there against Doug Fister and would’ve been no worse.
SON OF A GUN
Sonny Gray’s outing essentially mirrored Luis Severino’s against the Cleveland Indians. Nine K’s across seven frames but home runs to Eduardo Rodriguez, Andrew Benintendi and Hanley Ramirez were his undoing. It reminded me of a 2005 Mike Mussina start. In Gray’s defense, it’s hard to win when your team only scores one run.
CHAPMAN UNDER THE RADAR
With the pressure and spotlight off, perhaps a not so small footnote was the eighth inning work of Aroldis Chapman. Chapman fanned three in his scoreless inning. Chapman’s velocity was touching 105 on the gun, which is a positive sign.
Almost at full strength, the Bronx Bombers reverted back to their Thursday night form in a 5-1 victory.
Facing the both parts crafty and frustrating junk balling Drew Pomeranz, the Yankees finally found their timing. Batting from the right side in the second, Chase Headley opened the scoring with a solo homer to left. With Headley’s tenth round tripper, the Bronx Bombers now feature a lineup with eight players with double digit home runs.
Stay 🔥🔥🔥, Chase!
The veteran's 10th HR of the season gets us on the board first! pic.twitter.com/Jw4a12mXiF
When you watch Masahiro Tanaka pitch as well as he did Saturday afternoon, your mind can’t help but wonder and wander to potentially how solid the Yankees quartet of starters could be if they reach the ALCS or World Series. Aside from a wild pitch in the sixth which allowed Nunez to score, which could’ve been smothered by Sanchez, depending on whom you ask, Tanaka was stellar through seven innings of work. The victory also marked career win No. 50 for Tanaka in pinstripes.
Masa gets a well-deserved standing ovation from the Stadium! 👏👏👏
His final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K. pic.twitter.com/0CDeJnjOAs
Before anyone on Twitter had time to stew or lose their collective minds, the pinstripes put together a rally. A Gregorius walk and a Headley single set the table for Matt Holliday’s triumphant return. Holliday found his timing and deposited an offering from Pomeranz into the left field seats.
Starting the Holliday weekend the right way. 💪 pic.twitter.com/iabUCf5fNQ
NEXT MAN UP
Right when you wonder how all of these guys are going to fill out and fit on the roster, something happens to sort it all out. In this case, it was Jacoby Ellsbury taking over for an injured Aaron Hicks in the seventh. Ellsbury cracked a triple against Brandon Workman and scored on an infield single by Sanchez. Somewhere, the Yankee executive who thought Ellsbury would be a great signing because it would burn Boston was smiling.
As it was in the first game, the duo of Robertson and Betances was flawless again. It’s encouraging to see Betances pick up steam late in a season for a change.
Chris Sale doesn’t come to New York to make friends, he goes there to lose games. Ending their series with a 9-2 exclamation point, the Bronx Bombers sent the Red Sox home with their tails between their legs.
Severino was locked in and flat out nasty. Aside from a passed ball by Sanchez which allowed Nunez to score in the sixth, it was smooth sailing in a bounce back start. The outing marked his league leading total of 14 starts allowing one run or fewer. In striking out nine across six frames, Severino became the second Yankees hurler under 23 to record 200 K’s in a season, joining Al Downing in 1964. His pinpoint control only yielded two hits and zero walks.
HOLLIDAY WEEKEND SALE
The Bronx Bombers made Sale labor Sunday night, of the 109 pitches he threw without making it out of the fifth inning, Holliday, Frazier and Ellsbury saw 40 of them.
Rewarded for their patience the Bronx Bombers boppers slammed Sale. Headley connected with a solo shot to left in the third. The ensuing inning saw Holliday and Frazier clock consecutive blasts, running the lead to 3-0.
SIX IN THE SIXTH, WOWZA!
Breaking into the bullpen, the Yanks busted open this one in the sixth.
Facing Joe Kelly, Holliday set the table with a walk. After Frazier struck out, the Red Sox called on Robby Scott. Ellsbury wasn’t impressed with the match up game and knocked a single for one of his three hits on the evening. After Gardner walked, Boston called on Addison Reed.
Following a Headley strikeout, Sanchez reached first on an infield hit to third and plated Holliday, thank you instant replay. With the umpires in their heads, Starlin Castro gave the Red Sox a root canal of their own with a bases clearing double, one of his three hits in the contest.
The capper was Judge, who smoked an absolute bomb to left. It was bedlam in the Bronx and a 9-1 Yankees lead.
At 73-63, the Yankees head to Baltimore for a three-game set against the Baltimore Orioles starting Monday afternoon.
Pitching probables Jaime Garcia vs. Dylan Bundy, CC Sabathia vs. Ubaldo Jimenez, Sonny Gray vs. Jeremy Hellickson.