Man, that was a horrid game. There were many, many cases where the Yankees, a good team, could have busted this game open against the Red Sox, a bad team. The pitching could have been a hair better, and the defense made a mistake or two, but this game came down to being unable to cash in on big opportunities. And boy, there was just a whole lot of bad luck.
The Yankees, as they have done so much this season, got ahead in the first inning, as Carlos Beltran drove in one on a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. But, for the first of many times this evening, they could have had more. Brian McCann flew out, and Chase Headley struck out, and that was that.
The Red Sox then seized the lead in the bottom of the third, as Mookie Betts crushed a two-run home run against Ivan Nova. The Yankees were able to tie the game in the next inning on an RBI single from Didi Gregorius, which should have been the start of a big rally as the bases were loaded with nobody out, but then Brendan Ryan grounded out to force an out at home to start the rally's demise. With one out, a fly ball could have given them the lead, and that's what Jacoby Ellsbury gave them, but it was too shallow. Joe Espada sent Greg Bird to the plate only to be gunned down by Jackie Bradley Jr.. It was a poor send, and it spoiled what could have been a bigger inning.
Instead of holding the score even right after this series of events, Ivan Nova allowed a solo home run to David Ortiz, and the Red Sox took the lead for good. Nova finished the night with six innings, and he allowed three earned runs on seven hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. It was a decent night for him, and the offense failed him this time around.
Adam Warren came in to relieve Nova in the seventh, and he allowed a double to Bradley, and then a single to Mookie Betts while retiring just one batter. Chasen Shreve came in to stop it there, and he allowed a run on a ground out, as a botched play by Greg Bird prevented the chance of a double play.
In the eighth, the Yankees once again came close to a rally. Junichi Tazawa came in as the setup man, and he, after retiring Bird, allowed a single to Gregorius and a single to Brett Gardner. Ellsbury then laced a ball up the middle for what could have been a single, but Tazawa nabbed the ball and recorded the double play. That's just bad, bad luck.
Jean Machi came in to the ninth as the "closer", and he was/is really bad. He allowed a single to Stephen Drew, a walk to Alex Rodriguez, and then only struck out Carlos Beltran after the zone was expanded by a few inches. He then walked Brian McCann, walked Chase Headley (and a run in!), and then struck out Greg Bird on another horrendous call. And with two outs, he allowed a booming fly ball from Gregorius, but it just fell shy of the warning track to end the game.
There are certain games where you just have to tip your cap. If you get schooled by an ace starter, or an opposing offense is firing on all cylinders, one can concede that defeat was inevitable. But when playing a team of this poor caliber, and when a team has so many opportunities, it is really difficult to swallow defeat. It is even harder when the Blue Jays, a team that has five losses in the past month, loses a game to the Indians when David Price is on the mound. A win here would have put them within a half-game of first place, and certainly within striking distance.
Luckily, though, the Yankees get to play two more games against this poor team. Hopefully their bats wake up, and hopefully these games go at a regular pace. Who am I kidding? I know tomorrow's game will be even longer. The Yankees will take on the Red Sox once again tomorrow at 7 PM EST, as Michael "Big Mike" Pineda will take on Rick "$85 million" Porcello. You can catch the game on YES, MLB Network, and MLB.tv.