Yankees-Red Sox games may be long, but they’re never boring. This game had everything from a seven-run Yankees lead to a Boston grand slam, two instances of the benches clearing, and a brawl. The Yankees got the win, but it wasn’t easy, and the suspensions that are coming won’t have been worth it.
After last night’s 14-1 blowout, the offense wasted no time getting to David Price. Brett Gardner started the game with an infield hit, Aaron Judge walked, and Giancarlo Stanton hit a bases-clearing triple deep into the 420 triangle. Gary Sanchez followed with a home run over the left field wall to put the Yankees up 4-0. That was the end of Price’s 0.00 ERA, and the end of his outing tonight. The Red Sox pulled Price from the game for precautionary reasons, and later announced that he was experiencing a tingling sensation in his left hand.
Boston got on the board in the bottom of the first thanks to a Hanley Ramirez home run. The second inning was uneventful, but things got interesting in the top of the third. Sanchez hit a leadoff double, Neil Walker singled, then Tyler Austin hit an RBI. Tyler Wade grounded into a force out at second base. Austin slid, and his leg clipped Brock Holt. The two exchanged words, and benches cleared. The umpires did a rule check and went to the headsets to verify that the slide was not reviewable because there was no double play attempt.
In the fourth inning, a John Lackey look-alike named Heath Hembree surrendered three runs. The Yankees took an 8-1 lead after Gardner and Judge hit back-to-back singles, Didi Gregorius hit a sac fly, and Sanchez sent another ball over the Monster.
Masahiro Tanaka settled down after that first inning home run, but the game got away from him in the fifth. He gave up a leadoff single to Jackie Bradley Jr., then Brock Holt hit a line drive, and Mookie Betts slapped an RBI double to left field. With two outs, Tanaka walked Hanley Ramirez to load the bases. Tanaka offered a fastball up the middle to J.D. Martinez, and he put it in the stands to narrow the Yankees’ lead to 8-6.
The Yankees tacked on a couple more runs in the sixth, then the game spiraled out of control. Joe Kelly started the seventh, and threw inside at Tyler Austin twice before he finally hit him in the back. Austin slammed his bat down, Kelly mouthed “come on,” and Austin charged the mound. Benches cleared for the second time, and a brawl erupted.
Benches clear, punches thrown in Yankees-Red Sox after Tyler Austin is hit by a pitch from Joe Kelly. pic.twitter.com/wvqoak8QMV— MLB (@MLB) April 12, 2018
When the brawl was finally broken up, Kelly and Austin were both ejected, along with third base coach Phil Nevin (and Tommy Kahnle). It’s tough to tell who all got in on the action, but there are definitely going to be some suspensions handed out. CC Sabathia, who is currently on the disabled list with a hip strain, was clearly seen pushing the pile. Given all the injuries, the Yankees aren’t in a good place to deal with suspensions. This fight was not worth it.
The umpires issued warnings to both sides following the brawl, and the next two innings passed without incident. It looked like we would finally see a scoreless effort by the Yankees’ bullpen, then Aroldis Chapman happened. He gave up a leadoff single to Jackie Bradley Jr., then Christian Vazquez doubled. With two outs, Bradley Jr. scored on a wild pitch. Chapman struck out Rafael Devers to end the game.
This three-game set will wrap up tomorrow at 7:10 ET. There was the possibility that Luis Cessa (or Domingo German, or someone else) would pitch in CC Sabathia’s spot tomorrow. Thanks to Monday’s off day, the Yankees have decided to send Sonny Gray out there instead. At least there’s that.