If there are good things to say about that game, it’s that it was short. Total time was less than three hours, which is pretty remarkable for a Sox-Yankees matchup, especially one with playoff implications. If there are bad things to say about that game, it’s simply: that was ugly. In a near carbon-copy of Doug Fister’s last start, he ran into trouble in the first inning, then cruised, doing enough to shut down the Yankees’ offense and deliver the 4-1 Red Sox win. Meanwhile, Sonny Gray couldn’t quite keep up his streak of excellence.
Back to back doubles from Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge to open the bottom of the first had everyone feeling good about the Bronx Bombers’ chances, but after plating the first run of the game, the rest of the Yankee lineup went quietly into the night. The team lodged just three hits after the first, despite a modicum of deep chances and deep fly balls. Jacoby Ellsbury had one of them, leading some credence to the recent fan theory that he is not dead after all.
Sonny’s performance was…odd. He only surrendered five hits while striking out nine in seven innings of work. The problem was that three of his five hits allowed left the park, as Eduardo Nunez, Andrew Benintendi, and Hanley Ramirez all went yard to provide the Red Sox offense. Nunez’s was of the two-run variety, for those doing their own math.
The bullpen, predictably, was excellent. Aroldis Chapman, seeing his first action in I don’t even know how long, struck out the side around a single hit with the best velocity we’ve seen all season. Like him or not, the team’s going to need Chapman to get going down the stretch and into the playoffs. Games are going to be too tight to have an unreliable bullpen piece like him. Adam Warren also pitched a clean inning with a punchout.
The Yankees had their fair share of lucky breaks in Friday’s win, but none came tonight. Twice, a hard line drive was flubbed by Mitch Moreland only to be turned into an out by Dustin Pedroia. Add that to a brilliant play by Rafael Devers to nail Brett Gardner at first, and a nice running catch by Brock Holt, and you take four hits off the board, and maybe the game ends differently. Such is life.
The Yankees look to get back to their winning ways tomorrow, facing Drew Pomeranz. Masahiro Tanaka, he of the second-half quiet resurgence, will counter for the Bombers. The game starts at 1:05 pm ET.