Every pitcher has an off day now and then, but David Price had his in the worst possible regular season game, against Boston’s key challenger for the AL East, the New York Yankees. He was hammered from the start, and his pitches seemed to either hit their spots, or clear the fence. By the time Alex Cora came to fetch Price with 1 out in the 4th, David had surrendered 8 runs on 9 hits, including home runs by Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Kyle Higashioka, and two by Aaron Hicks (who hit a third dinger off Hector Velázquez later on), and a double by Didi Gregorius. When all was said and done, the Yanks went 16-for-38 for 11 runs. Giancarlo Stanton also doubled in the game. New York starter Luis Severino sailed through his start, going 6 2/3rds shutout innings while giving up 2 hits and 3 walks, with 6 punch-outs. The lone Sox run came in the 9th inning when Sandy Leon doubled off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, reached 3rd on a Blake Swihart single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. The quest for a division title just got a little harder. New York beat Boston, 11-1, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 56-29. Game 85/77.
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While Chris Sale was holding the Yankees scoreless, Red Sox hitters got back at the Bronx Bombers for their thorough drubbing the previous night. The beating began in the very first inning, when JD Martinez and Xander Bogaerts singled, and Mitch Moreland walked, to set up a bases loaded situation for Rafael Devers. Raffy has a tendency to swing and miss at high pitches, but he’s been showing great plate discipline lately, and, ohhh my goodness!! Grand slam!! It was a rough start for Sonny Gray, whose record against the Red Sox has been sketchy through the years. The Sox scored two more off him in the second on 2 hits, including a Sandy Leon double, and a walk. In the end, the Sox went 17-for-42, including a 2 run bomb in the 7th by Leon, and doubles by Devers and Mookie Betts, in addition to Leon’s 2-bagger. Chris Sale pitched 7 shutout innings against the Yanks, giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk, while punching out 11. Heath Hembree and Hector Velázquez completed the whitewash in the last 2 innings. Now, the Olde Towne Team looks to David Price to secure the series win. Boston beat New York, 11-0, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 56-28. Game 84/78.
So, the Red Sox had a few high scoring games, took first place, and you thought they were all that, right? Well, reality reared its ugly head tonight in the Bronx, and it’s now time to come to earth. Eduardo Rodriguez struggled mightily against the Yankees, but got battered around, largely in the 4th. In the 2nd inning, Gleyber Torres tripled off Rodriguez, and scored on a single by Miguel Andujar. The main damage came in the 4th, when after Giancarlo Stanton walked and Didi Gregorius doubled, Andujar drove both in with an 3 run blast to left. Greg Bird also homered, to score New York’s 5th run. In the 7th, with Justin Haley pitching, Aaron Hicks singled, and Aaron Judge homered, to boost the Yankees total to 7. Bird hit another dinger in the 8th, just to rub salt in the wound. CC Sabathia had another solid night for the Yanks, going 7 innings, and giving up just 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk while whiffing 5. Steve Pearce (recently acquired from Toronto), Mookie Betts, and Andrew Benintendi all doubled off CC. The only Boston run came in the 5th on back-to-back Betts and Benny doubles. It was a disappointing day for E-Rod, who went 7 innings, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 2 punch-outs. Not a good start, time to step it up. New York beat Boston, 8-1, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 55-28. Game 83/79.
The Red Sox avoided a sweep by the Yankees when JD Martinez hit a solo bomb in the 8th inning to provide the game winner in this one. The Sox scored first, when Mookie Betts led off the game with a ground-rule double off our old nemesis, CC Sabathia, in the first inning, moved to 2nd on an Andrew Benintendi single, and scored on a fielder’s choice. In the 3rd, Betts singled again, moved to 3rd on a Benny double, and scored on a double by Hanley Ramirez. Benintendi subsequently scored on a force play. In the 5th, Hanley Ramirez hit a solo jack to make the score 4-0. Boston starter Eduardo Rodriguez had an excellent start, going 5 innings, giving up no runs on 1 hit and 3 walks, while punching out 8. Matt Barnes similarly held the line in the 6th, and then came the 7th, when Heath Hembree gave up 2 singles and a walk before yielding to Joe Kelly. Joe then walked in a run, gave up a RBI single to Aaron Judge, and another run in a force play. His wild pitch then tied the score at 4. Interestingly enough, Joe remained in the game for the 8th, in which he walked one and gave up one single, but no runs. It was good thing, too, because in the top of the 8th, JD took Dellin Betances deep for what proved to be the winning run for Boston. Once again, the starters proved themselves to be solid, but the bullpen was a bit wanting. Still, a win is a win. Boston beat New York, 5-4, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 26-11. Game 37/125.
The Red Sox and Yankees battled in a game that resembled a prize fight, with haymakers on one side matched by the other, when New York suddenly broke this game open in the 8th and the Sox had no response. Boston starter Rick Porcello and New York starter Masahiro Tanaka both struggled in this one, with Rick going 5 1/3rd innings, giving up 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks with 3 whiffs. The hits included doubles by Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. Gardner’s first double converted to a run when he scored on a single by Aaron Judge in the 1st inning. His second came in the 3rd, and helped set up Stanton’s double to drive in 2 runs. The Yanks scored again in the 5th when Aaron Judge singled and scored on a sac fly. The Red Sox kept pace, with a 2 run dinger by Mitch Moreland in the 2nd, a solo blast by Andrew Benintendi in the 5th, a run scored by Xander Bogaerts, who doubled and scored on a sac fly, and a 2 run monster blast to the second deck in right by Hanley Ramirez in the 7th to take the lead, 6-5. But it all came to naught in the 8th, as Neil Walker doubled off Matt Barnes, and after Gleyber Torres walked, on came Craig Kimbrel, charged to get 5 outs, which he had not done before for Boston. Brett Gardner tripled to score Walker and Torres, and Aaron Judge hit a 2 run bomb to center, to put the game away. New York beat Boston, 9-6, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 25-11. Game 36/126. In first place no more.
According to my friend Steve, it was a gorgeous day in the Bronx yesterday, made more beautiful for Yankees fans by seeing their team defeat the Red Sox and gain a tie in the AL East. Boston starter Drew Pomeranz was excellent in this one, going 6 innings and giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks with 6 Ks. He made only a couple of mistakes, but unfortunately, both were to Giancarlo Stanto, who slammed them out over different parts of the outfield for solo dingers, one in the 2nd and one in the 4th inning. New York starter Luis Severino was also very tough, allowing 6 hits and not walks in 6 innings, while fanning 11. The Sox managed one run off him; that came in the 5th inning when Eduardo Núñez struck out but reached on a wild pitch, reached 2nd on a Mookie Betts single, and scored on a line drive single by Andrew Benintendi. The Sox struck again in the 7th, when Núñez singled and scored on a Betts triple off reliever David Robertson. But the Yanks won the day in the bottom of the 7th, when Neil Walker doubled off Heath Hembree and scored on a single by Aaron Judge off Joe Kelly. JD Martinez also doubled in the game, but did not score. We knew it would be like this; every game a knock-down, drag-out battle. New York beat Boston, 3-2, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 25-10. Game 35/127.
Rick Porcello pitched a magnificent game, going 7 shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits (one of which was a double by Aaron Judge) and walking none, while striking out 6 Yankees. The Sox, meanwhile, gathered 6 runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings. In the 2nd, Eduardo Núñez singled off New York starter Sonny Gray, reached 2nd on a walk to Jackie Bradley, Jr., and scored on a Sandy León single. JBJ scored on a sac fly, and a throwing error by Tyler Wade allowed León to reach the plate. Mitch Moreland drove in a 4th run with a single. In the 3rd, back-to-back doubles by Núñez and JBJ resulted in a 5th run, and JBJ scored the 6th on a fielder’s choice. For Boston, reliever Marcus Walden was problematic to say the least, allowing a double to Rondal Torreyes (he did not score) in the 8th, then walking two while a third (Giancarlo Stanton) reached on an error, resulting in a bases loaded situation for Gary Sanchez, who doubled in all 3, forcing Alex Cora to bring on Craig Kimbrel to save the game, which he did. Still, this is a really good start, and give credibility to the Sox as a big game team. Boston beat New York ,6-3, at Fenway Park. Record: 10-2. Game 12/150.
This game was a slugfest in more ways than one. The Sox and Yanks were getting hits and runs throughout this game, but what everyone is talking about is the brawl. The pretext was set in the 3rd inning when Tyler Austin, sliding into 2nd on a bunt play, elevated his spikes to catch 2nd baseman Brock Holt on the calf. The move was completely unnecessary, as there was not double play opportunity, and Brock took exception, expressing himself in explicit terms that can’t be repeated. Both benches emptied, but nothing happened except for some yelling at that time. In the 7th, Joe Kelly drilled Austin in the side with a 98 MPH fastball, in an apparent retaliation for the slide. Austin charged the mound, the benches and bullpens emptied, and it was just like old times. In the end, both Kelly and Austin were ejected; Kelly was subsequently suspended for 6 games, and Austin for 5. As for the game itself, the Yankees jumped all over David Price in the first inning, scoring 4 runs on 3 hits, including a 2 run homer by Gary Sanchez and a triple by Giancarlo Stanton. Price’s struggle may have been due to a nerve problem in his hand; he left the game after that inning complaining that his fingers were numb. New York maintained control over this game, with 12 hits overall, including, in addition to the first inning fireworks, a double and 3 run dinger by Sanchez (his second). The Sox got one back in the first on a solo blast by Hanley Ramirez off Yankee starter Masahiro Tanaka. They staged a decent rally in the 5th, when after 2 singles, Mookie Betts doubled to bring in one run, and after Hanley walked to load the bases, JD Martinez crushed a grand slam to center. In the 9th, they attempted another rally with 2 no out hits, including a double by Christian Vazquez. Jackie Bradley, Jr., who had singled, then scored on a wild pitch. But that was all she wrote. New York beat Boston, 10-7, at Fenway Park. Record: 9-2. Game 11/151.
The Red Sox scored early and often, including a brutal 9 run 6th, in their inaugural of this year’s rivalry series against the New York Yankees. Chris Sale was crisp and clean, giving up 1 run on 8 hits with no walks and 8 strikeouts over 6 innings. The one run came on a solo blast by Aaron Judge in the 5th. Joe Kelly and Brian Johnson gave up 3 hits between them, including a double by Giancarlo Stanton off Johnson in the 8th. For Boston, the scoring started right away, when Mookie Betts doubled off New York starter Luis Severino, and scored on a Hanley Ramirez single in the 1st. In the 2nd, Christian Vazquez and Mookie Betts singled, and both scored on a triple by Andrew Benintendi. Then Hanley singled to drive in Benny with the 4th Boston run. In the 4th, Betts singled, reached 3rd on a Benny Baseball double, and scored on a sac fly. In the amazing 6th, Betts doubled with one out, and Yankee reliever Tommy Kahnle walked the bases loaded for JD Martinez, who doubled to drive in 2. A third run came on a sac fly, and after another walk, on came Chasen Shreve for the Yanks. He promptly hit Jackie Bradley, Jr. to load the bases, and another run scored on fielding error that still left the bases loaded for Brock Holt. He also walked to force in another run. This set up the coupe de grace for Mookie Betts, who crushed a mammoth grand slam to seal the deal. Boston beat New York, 14-1, at Fenway Park. Record: 9-1. Game 10/152.
#RedSox Game Summary (September 3) Out of gas. The Sox could do very little against these Yankees, either in the field or at the plate. Chris Sale seems to have settled into a schedule in which he pitches one game that’s crap, and another in which he is dominant. His last game was dominant. This one was crap. He managed just 4 1/3rd innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 6 Ks, while throwing a total of 109 pitches. In just over 4 innings. Not good. The three runs came on solo dingers, one by Chase Headley in the 3rd, one one by Matt Holliday in the 4th, and the 3rd by Todd Frazier, also in the 4th. Still, with a 3-0 lead, the game seemed salvageable, even more so after Eduardo Núñez, who had reached on an error, managed to get to third, aided by another error, and scored on a passed ball by Gary Sanchez. Yankee starter Luis Severino had kept the Sox at bay to this point, and finished with just 1 run, but none earned, over 6 innings, on just 2 hits, no walks, and gaining 9 whiffs. The Yanks crushed Sox fans’ hopes in the bottom of the 6th when, after loading the bases on 2 walks and a single, scored on a Gary Sanchez single, then got 3 more on a Starlin Castro double, and 2 more on an Aaron Judge homer, all off Robby Scott. There was a brief moment of excitement in the 9th when the Sox got 2 on, and Sandy León drove in a run with a single, but that was all. Maybe these guys need a David Ortiz motivational speech. They seem to need something. New York beat Boston, 9-2, at Yankee Stadium. Record: 77-60. Game 137/25.