I’m not sure what to make of the London Series but I do know what to make of the results. The New York Yankees took advantage of playing a road series at a neutral site and swept the Boston Red Sox. In doing so, the Yankees increased their lead over the Red Sox to 11 overall and 12 in the loss column. There’s a lot more baseball yet to be played between these two clubs but that’s a pretty nice cushion as we near the All-Star break.
I’m still trying to comprehend what happened in this game. Were the Yankees playing in London or on the moon? DJ LeMahieu called it a, “beyond Coors Field,” game. It was a home game for the Red Sox, not Fenway Park but still, no lead felt safe. Both squads batted around twice and neither starter made it out of the first inning. The 17-13 football score victory was surreal but satisfying for the Yankees.
FIRST FRAME FRENZY
The first inning was like opposing football teams matching each other on their respective first drives of the game. Both teams tossed up a six spot and neither Rick Porcello nor Masahiro Tanaka would see the second stanza.
Luke Voit, who recorded four hits in five innings, doubled home the first run. A two-run double by Didi Gregorius increased the New York lead to 3-0. Edwin Encarnacion (you guessed it) followed with an RBI-double of his own to make it 4-0.
Capping off the scoring was Aaron Hicks with a two-run blast to right-center, sending Porcello to the shower.
During the third inning, Brett Gardner said get your nonsense knuckleball out of here, trashing a two-run tater to right off Steven Wright. The two-point conversion was good and the Yanks had an 8-6 advantage.
Paying homage to you Pink Floyd fans out there, LeMahieu and the pinstripes were back for more in the fifth.
After an RBI-single by Gregorius made it 15-6, later in the inning, LeMahieu, who had a four-hit game, collected his fifth RBI with a two-run single to left off Josh Taylor, providing the pinstripes with a 17-6 advantage.
The bridge to Aroldis Chapman didn’t quite collapse but it was a lot dicier than expected. Given the big lead, the Yankees also lifted Voit due to injury and got Judge and Gary Sanchez some rest, which added to the anxiety.
Nestor Cortes Jr. surrendered a solo homer to Jackie Bradley Jr. in a matchup of junior on junior crime in the sixth. Cortes Jr. would be victimized by Chavis, who launched his second three-run homer of the game in the seventh.
It’s not how you start but how you finish. Once again the Bronx Bombers displayed why they’re truly never out of any game. Bolstered by a nine-run seventh, the Yankees fended off the Red Sox with a 12-8 victory.
ROLL OUT THE TARP
Stephen Tarpley was given the ball and it was a brutal first frame. Tarpley yielded three home runs and the Yankees found themselves in a 4-0 hole.
KEEPING WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE
Aaron Boone did, however, make some good calls out of the pen from that point to keep the Yankees in the game.
With the Yankees having chipped back with two against Eduardo Rodriguez in the second, Boone wisely went to Adam Ottavino against the heart of the Boston order in the sixth, allowing the offense more time to go off.
Adam Ottavino, 95mph Two Seamer and 82mph Slider, Overlay.
Facing Walden in the seventh, the pinstripes went to work.
LeMahieu doubled to right. Judge walked. Hicks lined an RBI-double to right. A two-run single to left by Sanchez provided the pinstripes with their first lead at 5-4.
With Matt Barnes on, Encarnacion coaxed a free pass. Torres reached with a one-out single. Urshela knocked in two more with a single to center.
The ensuing pitcher Taylor, walked Gardner. LeMahieu plated two with a ground-rule double to right. After Judge was intentionally walked, Hicks added to the lead with a sac fly and an error by Chavis on a ball hit by Sanchez allowed LeMahieu to score.
Like Fenway Park, no lead was too big at London Stadium. On the international stage, Chance Adams pitched his way back to the International League, allowing four runs on five hits in his 0.2 outing. Britton nearly found more trouble but finally got Rafael Devers to ground out to end the eighth.
After a leadoff double by Marco Hernandez in the ninth, Chapman, named an All-Star after the game, struck out the side to lock down the victory.