As painful as it is for New York Yankees fans to read this, the Boston Red Sox are playing on another level at the moment and in virtually every facet of the game. The Yankees ran into a buzzsaw but also didn’t do themselves any favors in a brutal four-game sweep in Boston. All New York can do now is focus on its own business, start winning ballgames and hope Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Clint Frazier and J.A. Happ get healthy soon.
The Yankees rolled out their stopper, then their holder but the Red Sox offense busted the dam open. Although the Yankees offense contributed its fair share with four home runs the Red Sox were too overpowering in a 15-7 Boston victory.
BRONX BUSTS INTO BEANTOWN
Right off the rip, it looked like the Bronx Bombers were going to send “Red Sox Nation” into a panicked pre-2004 tailspin. With Brian Johnson pitching in place of the injured Chris Sale, New York jumped out to a 3-0 lead on home run No. 19 from Didi Gregorius to right in the first inning.
For whatever reason CC Sabathia couldn’t put away Boston batters. Sabathia walked Mookie Betts with the bases loaded in the second inning. In the third, Sabathia yielded a solo home run to Steve Pearce to left, which cut the New York lead in half. The veteran lefty would only last three innings on 77 pitches.
FIASCO FOURTH OPENS FLOODGATES
The fourth inning was about as bad as it could get for the Yankees. Jonathan Holder did not record an out, allowing seven runs on five hits and a walk. Holder also forgot how to execute a rundown, failing to run Jackie Bradley Jr. back to third base and enabling him to score. Pearce also hit his second home run of the game, a three-run jolt to left-center, giving the Red Sox their first lead at 6-4.
Chad Green didn’t fare much better, only recording two outs during the frame.
Luis Cessa finally recorded the third out but would take himself out of contention for a Saturday start, yielding five runs on seven hits in 3.2 frames, including Pearce’s third home run to left in the sixth.
Chris Britton also endeared himself to fans by failing to cover first base in his 0.2 of an inning outing.
NOT ENOUGH TRAFFIC
As mentioned, the Yankees were able to park four longballs. Gregorius connected again in the fifth for home run No. 20. Giancarlo Stanton swatted a solo bomb to left-center for home run No. 25 in the seventh inning. Unfortunately, aside from Gregorius’ first home run, all of the others were of the solo variety on the evening.
There wasn’t much to write home about as Yankees fans were treated to a poor man’s version of Pedro Martinez’s 1999 one-hitter. It wasn’t a football score but it didn’t make things any better in a 4-1 loss.
WARNING, LIVE WITHOUT WARNING
After Rick Porcello hit Gardner during the first inning, Luis Severino threw up and in on and knocked down Mookie Betts. Following a delayed reaction, both benches were warned and Red Sox skipper Alex Cora was tossed. Interestingly, Gleyber Torres was knocked off the plate by a Porcello pitch in the eighth but somehow that didn’t prompt a reaction from the umpire. Go figure.
Severino seemed to have difficulty locating early and his pitch selection, including another fastball which Pearce whacked above the Green Monster in the first frame for a two-run tater, wasn’t as on point as he would’ve liked. Yet, Severino was able to battle and stabilize enough to get the Yankees through 5.2 frames on 115 pitches. A bloop by Eduardo Nunez to right in the first and a single which barely evaded the glove of Torres in centerfield in the fifth, made for the rest of the damage to Severino.
A night after essentially being thrown under the bus by his manager on the botched rundown play initiated by Holder, Miguel Andujar played the role of Chilli Davis circa 1999. Serving as DH, like Davis did when the 1999 squad was one-hit, Andujar, like Davis, accounted for the Yankees offense with the lone hit and home run in the third inning. Andujar’s home run was No. 14 on the campaign.
A silver lining was the bullpen settling down and the return of Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle’s velocity appeared to be on par, hitting 96-97 mph on the radar gun. Kahnle worked a flawless eighth inning and recorded a strikeout.
In another brisk contest by Yankees-Red Sox standards, New York was unable to work Nathan Eovaldi’s pitch count into the weak underbelly of the Boston bullpen. Aside from a late rally, the Yankees couldn’t muster much in a 4-1 loss.
A FIGHTING CHANCE
Aside from some early hiccups, Chance Adams provided the Yankees with a representative start in his MLB debut on the road and facing the top scoring offense in the game. Adams yielded a two-run homer to right by Mitch Moreland in the first and a solo shot to left by J.D. Martinez in the fourth. Otherwise, Adams tossed five frames, allowing three runs on three hits, walking one and fanning two. Considering the circumstances and lack of support, Adams stood his ground and potentially earned himself a second start.
During the seventh, with A.J. Cole pitching, the Red Sox benefitted from instant replay when a foul ball call was overturned and ruled an RBI ground-rule double down the leftfield line for Sandy Leon.
SIGNS OF LIFE
During the ninth, the Yankees pieced together a bit of a rally against Craig Kimbrel. After Gardner and Walker were squeezed on inside third strike calls, the New York offense stirred. Kimbrel came up and in on Stanton (which garnered no comment by Cora) and the defending NL MVP responded on the next pitch with a double to center. Gregorius traded places by plating Stanton on an RBI-double to right. Following walks to Hicks and Torres, Bird popped out to center to end the game. If nothing else, the Yankees went back to working the count and making Kimbrel throw more pitches.
The Yankees 5-4 loss in 10 innings was about as painstaking as it gets. Not even facing David Price could cure what ails them.
NULL AND VOIT
With Price on the ropes and an opportunity to break the game open in the first frame, Voit tapped back to Price to end a bases-loaded threat. With Voit starting at first base, it makes one wonder why Bird is platooning in a series in Boston in August with a short lineup for a journeyman Triple-A player they just acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals?
Masahiro Tanaka toiled and deserved better for his effort. Tanaka tied a season-high with nine K’s, allowing one run on six hits and one walk in 4.2 frames. Tanaka’s only blemish was a solo shot given up to Betts in the fifth.
During the seventh, the Yankees went to work and found its way into the Boston bullpen. A Gardner base knock and a walk by Romine chased Price from the game.
With Heath Hembree on, Robinson gutted out a walk to load the bases. Hicks was able to reach on a ball hit up the middle and off the glove of Xander Bogaerts. Hicks was awarded an RBI as two runs came around to score on the error and New York took a 2-1 lead.
Later in the frame, a sacrifice fly RBI by Torres against Ryan Brasier increased the Yankees advantage to 4-1.
Coming into this contest, the Yankees were 58-0 when entering the ninth inning with a lead. An erratic Aroldis Chapman and some shoddy defense caused a complete meltdown. After fanning Brock Holt, Chapman somehow walked Sandy Leon. Following a walk to Betts, Chapman whiffed Benintendi. Yet, Chapman would lose Pearce and issue his third free pass of the frame to load the bases.
Facing Martinez, Chapman would yield a two-run single to center. Then things got even dicier. While one could’ve ruled an error in either direction, Bogaerts followed with a bouncer to Andujar, which the rookie third baseman backed up on and bounced to first base, a ball which one could argue Bird should’ve come up with. Regardless, the Red Sox were able to square the game at four. Chapman would strike out Moreland to end the threat but the damage was done.
To say it was a rough series especially for Holder would be a vast understatement. On in the tenth, Holder recorded the first two outs but allowed a single to Leon to open the door for Boston. After a wild pitch and an intentional walk issued to Betts, Holder allowed a walk-off RBI-single to center by Benintendi, plating former Yankee farmhand and pinch-runner Tony Renda for the winning run.