Was that the best game of the season? It just may be. Sure, I love all the come-from-behind games and walk-off wins, but this was much needed. The Red Sox came to town and the Yankees were in control the entire game. The Bombers got a strong and lengthy pitching performance, plus terriffic hitting. Sign me up all day. The Yankees took game one by the score of 8 - 1.
It’s a scorching hot night at Yankee Stadium as CC Sabathia takes the mound. He’s looking for his third strong start in a row.
Mookie Betts dug in and lofted a fly ball to center field for an easy first out. Yankee-killer Andrew Benintendi jumped ahead 2 - 1, but Sabathia evened the count. He struck Benintendi out on a 91 mph fastball up and in. That brought JD Martinez — the subject of much fascination around these parts lately — to the plate. He unspectacularly grounded out to third base. Great first inning for the big guy!
Newly-minted leadoff man Aaron Hicks took ball one to start the bottom half. He then launched a fly ball to deep center field. The ball kept carrying — I thought it might drift out — but Jackie Bradley Jr. hauled it in. Aaron Judge followed and hit a ball to the same spot. Eduardo Rodriguez got two outs on four pitches. That’s not ideal. The red-hot Giancarlo Stanton continued to see the ball well, working a two-out walk. Didi Gregorius popped up to shallow left field to end the inning. Bummer.
Former Yankees legend Steve Pearce kicked off the second inning by lining a double past a diving Miguel Andujar. The ball just stayed fair and found a spot in left field. Xander Bogaerts scared me for a second with a fly ball to deep right field. Aaron Judge made the play and fired a strike to third base, which the tagging Pearce beat out. Eduardo Nunez, oh my God, Eduardo Nunez is a Yankees sleeper agent. He tapped a weak popup into foul territory that Greg Bird improbably reeled in. Nunez looked shocked as he walked back to the dugout. Rafael Devers then flew out to center and Sabathia escaped the jam. Well done!
Gleyber Torres led the inning off with a triple! He hit a shot to center field and Bradley couldn’t catch up to it. Let’s see if the Yankees can cash in an early run. Andujar gets the job done blooping a single into no-man’s land, giving the Bombers a 1 - 0 lead.
Bird went down looking on a ball way off the plate. Yikes. Then Austin Romine banged into a double play. Ah well, I’ll take the lead.
Sabathia jumped ahead of Christian Vazquez before forcing him to ground out to third. Bradley, on the other hand, started off with a 2 - 0 count before CC threw three consecutive strikes. That brought Betts up, who got nothing to hit. Sabathia worked the corners but stayed away from the heart of the plate. It didn’t matter, though, because Betts tapped a weak groundball that looked like it was rolling foul. It never did, and he found himself a base hit. A stolen base from Betts and a walk to Benintendi brought Martinez up with two on and two out. That’s annoying. The stress went for naught, as he flew out on the first pitch.
The bottom of the inning was a lot less eventful. Rodriguez retired the side on a pair of groundouts and a fly ball to center field. At least Brett Gardner and Judge worked the count a little bit?
I’m over Pearce being on the Red Sox already. He started the inning with a single. That didn’t matter though as Sabathia forced Bogaerts to ground into a double play! Good thing, too, because Nunez collected a single. I was kind of hoping he would find a new hilarious way to get himself out. There’s always next time. For now, Devers grounded up the middle to end the half. Sabathia looks great so far.
The bottom of the fourth started off with a bang! Stanton worked a walk before Gregorius crushed a ball to right field. Sounded great, but it was just off the end of Didi’s bat. It went for a long double, setting up the Bombers at second and third with no outs. What came next was a delight to all those small-ball aficionados. Torres lifted a sacrifice fly plate Stanton, giving the Yankees a 2 - 0 lead.
That’s not all, though! Andujar crushed a two-run homer to put the Yankees up 4 - 0. The Bombers, however, still weren’t done. Bird hit a shot of his own, a solo homer, to extend the lead to five. That was fun!
The outfield defense giveth, and the outfield defense taketh away. Sabathia got two quick outs thanks to the fine gloves of Gardner and Hicks. Then Betts laced a double in-between them. Benintendi drove a Sabathia two-seamer to the corner in right field, allowing Betts to score. That’s all they would manage, though. It’s 5 - 1, Yankees.
On a side-note, the YES Network aired footage of Sabathia’s celebrity softball game. That looked like a ton of fun. I am also amused that MIchael Kay and Paul O’Neill seemed to not know who Action Bronson is.
The Yankees sadly didn’t pile on Rodriguez in the bottom half of the inning. Judge struck out, followed by a Stanton groundout. Devers then absolutely robbed Gregorius. The Yankees shortstop laced a pitch down the line, but the 21-year-old hauled it in. For shame.
Sabathia just retired the side in order. He’s through six innings on an efficient pitch count. Give the man extra rest any chance you can, Boone. He’s a stud. As for the offense, I have no idea how, but Bogaerts completely missed a liner off the bat of Torres. It looks like the ball just moved out of the way of the glove. They couldn’t capitalize, but that could spell the end of the line for Rodriguez.
CC is back out for the seventh. Chad Green is warming up just in case. So far so good, however, as Sabathia struck Devers out. Make that two in a row as Vazquez goes down swinging. He just plunked Bradley with a two-seamer on the elbow. Oops. Boone is letting Sabathia work through it, though. Good thing, too, as Sabathia fields a Betts’ groundball himself for the final out. He is amped, and so am I! CC is just the best.
Justin Haley takes over for Rodriguez. He makes quick work of Gardner before allowing a single to Hicks. The Yankees center fielder took a ball against the shift. It’s a banner day for our small-ball loving readers. And just as I typed that, Judge launched a two-run homer. It’s 7-1, Yankees. This game is fun.
Green takes over for Sabathia, and he has a six-run lead. He drew the heart of the order for the Red Sox, and handled it well. Green struck out Benintendi, then forced Martinez and Pearce to fly out. The Yankees are three defensive outs away from a win.
In the bottom of the inning, Haley quickly retired Torres before allowing a hit to Andujar. The Yankees third baseman tried to stretch a single into a double, but Bradley threw him out at second. Never fear, though, because Bird just hit ANOTHER home run! His second solo shot of the night gives the Yankees an 8 - 1 lead. The Bombers will try to close this one out.
If you told me Chasen Shreve would get in this game, I would have figured the Red Sox pummeled Sabathia. Go to find out he’s sparing the bullpen for tomorrow’s game in a good way. Due to some act of providence, Shreve retired the side in order. The Yankees win and I absolutely love this team.
Game two will feature Chris Sale against Sonny Gray. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 PM. If you’re in the New York City area, you can grab tickets on StubHub by clicking here.