The Yankees have made it abundantly clear exactly who they are. They are a .500 team that won’t drop too far below or rise too far beyond that mark. A sweep by the Red Sox this weekend might have brought on what feels like an imminent fire sale in the Bronx, but managing to win just one game could delay that decision for a while longer.
Masahiro Tanaka was, as he has been most of this year, extremely strong in his outing. He went six innings and allowed just one run, striking out seven and walking just one along the way. Tanaka kept a potent Red Sox lineup off base most of the night by limiting them to only three hits.
Joe Girardi worked his bullpen trio to perfection once again, even as it seems like these games including Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman working the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings might be coming to an end in the next couple of weeks. For tonight, the formula worked as well as it could have. They collectively allowed no hits and two walks.
Offensively, the Yankees were able to get to David Price. Of course they were. They scored all of their three runs in the fourth inning after falling behind early on a Dustin Pedroia home run in the first inning.
A Starlin Castro double brought home Didi Gregorius from first base to tie the game at 1-1 before Austin Romine drove in Castro with a single. Romine came around to score on a Jacoby Ellsbury single that would complete all the scoring for the night.
The Yankees out-hit the Red Sox 11-3 and only struck out two times. Brett Gardner, Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Gregorius, and Castro each had two hits a piece. Romine rounded out the Yankees’ hit column with his single. Chase Headley was the only batter not to reach via a hit or a walk.
With the win, the Yankees now sit one game under .500 with just about two weeks left to go before the trade deadline on August 1st. Their schedule is the second-hardest in MLB for the remainder of the season, and the next stretch of games features a lot of very good teams. A rough stretch may be enough to force the team to finally admit that selling makes the most sense for them realistically.
It’s weird not to feel super good about wins, but the Yankees front office still being hesitant to admit that they won’t be a contending team this year makes it a very awkward situation. The worst case scenario would be for the team to get hot over the next few weeks, causing ownership to cement their position on Team Buy rather doing what is practical. However, the Yankees have proven that they are a .500 team, so there may not be any actual danger of that happening anyway.