Creating more separation in the AL East standings, the New York Yankees took two of three contests from the Boston Red Sox. For the Yankees, it was their ninth consecutive series victory overall. While the series ended on a sour note, the Yankees did their job and continue pushing forward.
When there’s a BP Crew, the Yanks come through! Doesn’t that sound like a Freddy Sez (R.I.P.) sign? The commercials hyped a “rivalry game” but if we’re being real it felt more like a first-place team on a roll handling a pedestrian third-place club. New York scored nearly as many runs as Boston had hits in a 4-1 victory.
I guess it’s only Trey Mancini and the lowly Baltimore Orioles that give J.A. Happ fits. Aside from a solo second-inning home run to right-center by Rafael Devers, Happ was solid. The 2018 ALDS notwithstanding, Happ was a Red Sox killer last season and looked the part Friday evening. The southpaw was dealing with the four-seam fastball on three of his five K’s. The veteran lefty yielded one run on two walks and three hits in five frames. Capping off the night for Happ, Gary Sanchez caught Eduardo Nunez napping at second base to squelch the threat.
Chris Sale recorded 10-strikeouts but that didn’t phase the pinstripes one iota. During the third inning, Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner picked up a pair of singles. DJ LeMahieu busted out an RBI-double to center to plate Urshela and knot the game at one.
With two down, Aaron Hicks laced a two-run single to left, providing the Yankees a 3-1 advantage.
In line with a perfect formula, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman fashioned four scoreless frames. Ottavino had the two-seam fastball and slider working. Kahnle was dropping 92 mph changeups. Britton’s sinker yielded a groundout and a double-play ball. Chapman finished it out with triple digits on the radar gun.
In a seesaw affair which neither starting pitcher made it out of the fifth inning, the Yankees rode a Sanchez homer and a stalwart bullpen to a 5-3 victory.
YOU DOWN WITH RISP? YEAH, YOU KNOW ME!
Trailing 1-0 in the second, the Yankees made nearly a carbon copy response from the night before against Rick Porcello. Gleyber Torres and Kendrys Morales put the pinstripes in business with consecutive singles. With one down Urshela sliced an RBI-single to right for the equalizer. The ensuing batter Brett Gardner singled to right to load the bases. LeMahieu would follow with a two-run single up the middle, giving New York a 3-1 advantage.
Domingo German toiled mixing his curveball and four-seam fastball for eight K’s. Yet, would only last 3.2 innings with 87-pitches. Around striking out the side in the second, German allowed three soft singles including an RBI-single to light-hitting catcher Sany Leon. In the fourth, Xander Bogaerts touched up German with a solo home run to left. A Brock Holt single, followed by a Michael Chavis walk, set the table for Leon to tie the contest with a one-out RBI-single to center.
With one out in the fifth, Luke Voit reached on a lined single to center. Sanchez would come up with one down and cranked a Porcello slider, keeping his hands back and extending the barrel of his bat for a two-run bomb to right-center. The Bronx Bombers took a 5-3 lead as Sanchez equaled his home run output from 2018 with 18 home runs.
At the conclusion of this game, the Bosox lineup was 2-for-22 with RISP. A big part of that was the bullpen, which extended its scoreless streak to 24.1 consecutive innings. Chad Green pitched out of, into and out of trouble with 1.1 frames of work with two K’s. Kahnle and Ottavino teamed up in the sixth with each recording a strikeout. Jonathan Holder registered a 1-2-3 seventh. Britton worked his sinker for a strikeout and a double-play in the eighth. Chapman was in the squeezebox in the ninth but recorded a double-play and a groundout to extinguish the Red Sox.
In an odd twist of events, it felt like whenever the Yankees were ready to kick down the door they kicked themselves instead. The pinstripes had David Price and a sketchy bullpen on the ropes but the hole was too big to dig out of with an 8-5 loss.
DUB STEPS BACK
CC Sabathia was back in the fold and overall wasn’t too bad. The big lefty provided six innings of length, mixing his cutter and slider to the tune of eight K’s. Unfortunately, the veteran southpaw didn’t quite have the bite early, yielding a solo home run to J.D. Martinez in the first, an RBI-single to Nunez in the second and a solo home run to Bogaerts in the fourth. Sabathia got stronger as the game progressed but the offense was playing catchup all night.
Three consecutive singles by Sanchez, Hicks, and Torres, loaded the bases. Urshela’s sacrifice fly pulled New York within one.
With Price on the ropes and Frazier at the plate, in what appeared to be a delayed steal to steal a run, Torres was caught in a rundown until Hicks broke for the plate and was ultimately thrown out to squelch the threat.
I don’t understand why with a day off and the Toronto Blue Jays ahead and a chance to bury Boston, the Yankees decided to go with Luis Cessa and David Hale to finish this one off? Trailing by one at home against a spotty Red Sox bullpen is nothing.
Oh, and the seventh inning was a debacle for Frazier in right-field as well.
Frazier had a ball get by him and tried maybe too hard to make up for it on a sprawling dive where the ball landed short of his glove.
Plus there was a ball in the eighth which Frazier played into a Michael Chavis triple.