Another series with a hated rival, and another series win. This time, the Yankees faced off against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and took 2 out of 3, but not with their usual explosive offense. Instead, they used some unlikely success from starting pitchers to send the Sox home unhappy. While the Yankees continue to win, the Blue Jays continue to climb in the AL East standings. Now down by only 4.5 games, Toronto is quickly beginning to catch the first-place pinstripes.
Each game of this series featured a rookie starting pitcher, with two games showcasing MLB debuts. The first game was the debut of Red Sox prospect Henry Owens. He went toe-to-toe with Masahiro Tanaka for 5 innings, with each of them giving up 5 hits and 3 runs. Boston’s bullpen imploded, however, giving up a total of 10 runs, including a 9-run 7th inning for the Yankees. Brian McCann and Chris Young each hit 3-run homers to propel the Yankees to a mighty 13-3 win. Young, batting 2nd in the lineup, had 3 hits and those 3 RBI, and McCann had 4 RBI total. The team hit over .500 with runners in scoring position.
Boston managed only 2 hits against the Yankees’ bullpen, a stark contrast from what their arms did in the same game. They took a brief 2-1 lead in the 5th inning, thanks to a Blake Swihart single and a Jackie Bradley sac fly. The only other run produced by the Red Sox was a Pablo Sandoval homer in the 7th, just a half-inning before the game was put out of reach. Rusney Castillo came in as a substitution for Alejandro De Aza and had 2 hits, as did Mike Napoli.
The rookie to debut in the middle game was Luis Severino, the highly touted Yankees prospect. He pitched incredibly well, striking out 7 in 5 innings, but the homer he gave up off the bat of David Ortiz proved to be the difference in a 2-1 Boston win. Severino gave up 2 hits, and the bullpen only gave up 2 as well, but it was not enough as the final blow was already dealt in the 4th inning. Sandoval had 1/2 of his team’s hits in the contest.
If the Red Sox offense was dismal, the Yankees attack was even worse. Knuckleballer Steven Wright held them to 4 hits over 8 innings, and struck out 9. Carlos Beltran homered in the 7th to do the only damage that the Yankees could manage. 2 of the Yankees’ 5 hits were by John Ryan Murphy, who is 5-11 in his last 7 days and has raised his average 40 points in his last 10 games.
The rubber game featured rookie Eduardo Rodriguez, who has a 2.84 ERA against the Yankees. He pitched well again, allowing 2 runs in 7 innings, but the second run would do his team in and give the Yankees a 2-1 win. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a tiebreaking dinger in the 7th inning, one of only 6 hits for his club. Their only other run was an Alex Rodriguez RBI double. A-Rod also had 2 hits.
A rare solid start by CC Sabathia helped the Yanks win the series. He allowed just 3 hits in 6 innings after back-to-back starts of 5 runs allowed. The only real blemish for Sabathia was an RBI single by Castillo in the 5th. Only Ryan Hanigan had a multi-hit game for the Red Sox, who left 9 men on base in the game and mustered only 6 hits as well.
While their lead is shrinking, the Yankees are still playing well. Let’s see who had the best and worst individual performances of the series.
Offensive MVP: Alex Rodriguez- Didn’t get the big hit, but set the table nicely; 4-10 series.
Cold Streak: Didi Gregorius– Cooled down from his hot 2 weeks with a 1-9 series.
Pitcher of the Series: Luis Severino- Bad luck loser in his impressive debut (2 hits, 0 walks, 7 K).
Mound Misery: No pitcher deserves this “award” this series, as the Red Sox could score no more than 3 runs in any game.