Well, that sure was a much-needed laugher. Entering the night one game behind the Boston Red Sox, and coming off of an uneven performance in this imperative series, the Yankees coasted their way to an 11-1 win over their archrivals. They regained control of the season series and the division.
Boston fans were understandably anxious with David Price starting versus the Yankees, a team he had gone 2-5 against with a 7.50 ERA as a member of the Red Sox. Those numbers got even uglier tonight as Aaron Judge started things off in a big way with a mammoth home run to dead center, setting the tone early at just 11 pitches in.
The Yankees continued to pound Price in the first inning, as Giancarlo Stanton singled and Didi Gregorius doubled before Gleyber Torres jumped the yard on the first pitch he saw. The rookie deposited a a 93-mph heater deep to right, giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead with just one out into the first.
The Yankees weren’t done, though! In the second inning, Brett Gardner hustled a one-out infield single, giving Aaron Hicks the spotlight. He delivered the Yankees’ third home run of the night, an opposite field two-run shot to extend the lead to 6-0. The Yankees repeatedly got in good hitter’s counts, Price continued to pepper the zone with hittable fastballs, and the Yankees pounced.
Despite a scoreless third inning, the Yankees wouldn’t let Price go gently into the good night. Kyle Higashioka notched his first big-league hit with authority, tomahawking a cutter deep into the night. Just two batters later, Hicks left the yard for the second time on a drive to center, making it an 8-0 ballgame. Price surrendered a career-high five home runs, and none of them were cheap shots either. The Yankees squared him up all night.
Justin Haley put Price out of his misery midway through the fourth, and promptly gave up two more hits and a run. Not even halfway through the ballgame, the Yankees were cruising, up 9-0.
Meanwhile, Luis Severino continued his stellar run of pitching. Severino’s improved changeup was his big story of the night. He threw it in all counts, keeping hitters on their toes. A big strikeout of J.D. Martinez in the third inning came on that changeup, and Severino left the mound leaping in celebration.
He finished with 6.2 innings of two-hit, shutout baseball to improve his record to 13-2 and dropping his ERA below 2.00. Severino pitched with confidence in the Yankees’ biggest game of the season, and he delivered a win. Severino is a quintessential ace, and every bit of a Cy Young candidate.
The Yankees tacked on even more before the game ended. Hicks blasted his third dinger of the night in the eighth inning and Neil Walker added a RBI to stretch the lead to an incredible 11-0 figure. After not pitching for five days, Aaron Boone brought in David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman for some work. Chapman allowed a garbage time run, but there’s not much to be upset about after tonight’s win.
Almost everyone in the starting lineup had a real case for game MVP. Everyone except Greg Bird reached base, Hicks had three home runs and four RBI, and Severino was lights-out on the mound. The real MVP of the game may have been Price though, who allowed eight runs over 3.2 innings and struck out only three. For whatever the reason, Price continues to struggle against the Bombers.
After a much-needed series win over the Red Sox, the first-place Yankees will host the first-place Atlanta Braves for three games. Jonathan Loaisiga will toe the rubber for the Yankees; he’ll be opposed by veteran righty Anibal Sanchez. Game time is set for 7:05 PM.