This one hurts. It’s hard to blame a loss on one person, but I really want to blame this loss on one person. For 8 ½ innings, I thought the Yankees looked like the team we all saw back in early June. It certainly wasn’t a perfect 8 1/2, but the Yankees played good team baseball and clawed out a small lead in a game without a ton of offense. For four innings, the bullpen looked very strong
Jordan Montgomery really labored tonight. His command clearly wasn’t there, so he was never really able to settle in at any point during his four innings pitched. Montgomery threw first-pitch strikes to just six of the 21 batters he faced and consistently found himself in deep counts against a dangerous Red Sox lineup.
Despite not having his best stuff, Montgomery was able to limit the damage. Outside of the Hanley Ramirez home run, he didn’t really get hit very hard. Overall, Monty was mostly able to scatter the six hits and three walks he surrendered. He kept the Yankees within two runs at the end of four innings.
Chase Headley and Gary Sanchez made up for Montgomery’s start with their bats. Headley led off the third with a bloop single into right. Running on a 2-0 pitch to Ronald Torreyes allowed Headley to reach third on Torreyes’ single up the middle. Sanchez later knocked in Headley on a single off the glove of Bogaerts, giving the Yankees the first run of the game.
After surrendering the lead in the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees retook the lead in the fifth. Headley started the inning with a double and came around to score on Brett Gardner’s single into right-center field. Gary Sanchez followed Gardner with a two-run blast over the Green Monster.
Where Jordan Montgomery struggled, Chad Green excelled. Green worked a perfect fifth and sixth inning tonight in relief. After getting Hanley Ramirez to line out to begin the fifth, Green struck out the next five Red Sox. He used his fastball-slider combination and recorded strikeouts with both his pitches.
Green really showed something tonight. He had swing-and-miss stuff and certainly made his case for more high leverage opportunities. Watching Green thrive is really exciting. I think the combination of his upper-90’s fastball and ability to go more than just an inning could be a real difference maker down the stretch this season.
Dellin Betances looked like he hit the reset button tonight too. He struck out three batters in the eighth inning, and his command looked much better than it has in the last few weeks. He did plunk Mitch Moreland with a fastball, but Betances stayed out of deep counts and threw strikes with both his pitches.
The bullpen looked great for four innings, then Aroldis Chapman took the mound. It looks like Chapman’s struggles followed him into the second half of the season. He lacked command again tonight and continued to struggle generating swings-and-misses. He loaded the bases, assisted by Ronald Torreyes’ second error of the night, then walked in the game-winning run. In eight post-injury innings, Chapman has a 5.63 ERA and a .294 opponent batting average. This was the Yankees’ 18th blown save this season.
A rather disappointing game for Ronald Torreyes, Matt Holliday and Garrett Cooper too. Torreyes added a hit but also committed two errors. His defense has been notably shaky, and it cost the Yankees runs tonight. Holliday didn’t have a great return off the DL. He struck out three times and grounded into an inning-ending, bases-loaded double play in the third inning. If it weren’t for his MLB debut, Garrett Cooper might want to forget this night. The new first baseman went 0-4 with three strikeouts. Making your big league debut in Fenway Park as a member of the Yankees can’t be easy. With the Yankees scheduled to face two more lefties this weekend, he’s bound to get a few more chances.
The Yankees are back at it tomorrow at 4:05 pm. Luis Severino faces off against Chris Sale.