While tonight’s 4-1 Yankees loss to the Red Sox went slightly better than Thursday night’s 15-7 debacle, it was another snoozer of a loss to a red-hot Boston team that carved its way through the Yankees for the second straight night.
Although the Yankees didn’t score in the first inning, there were at least some fireworks. Rick Porcello drilled Brett Gardner to lead off the game, and Gardner stared down Porcello as he walked to first base. Then, to lead off the home half, Luis Severino buzzed the dome of Mookie Betts with a 96 mph brushback pitch. Manager Alex Cora was livid, and got ejected for the first time as a manager. It looked like the Yankees were about to assert themselves, and remind the Red Sox that they came to compete and weren’t going to be run out of town.
And then Andrew Benintendi blooped a double. And then Steve Pearce, a hot hitter but one who historically struggles against righties, ripped a line drive home run over the Green Monster to put the Red Sox up 2-0. It was Pearce’s fourth home run in two days. Just when it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, Ian Kinsler walked, stole a base and scored on an Eduardo Nunez single to make it 3-0 Red Sox. By the time the inning was over, Severino, the staff ace, had thrown 33 pitches and any little bit of swagger that the Yankees had was gone.
After a 1-2-3 second inning, Miguel Andujar showed some signs of life leading off the third, smacking a sky-high home run that soared over the seats and crashed onto Lansdowne Street. Severino settled down a little bit, throwing three scoreless innings, but his pitch count stood in the mid-90s after five innings, which was not ideal for a Yankees team with a depleted bullpen. By comparison, Porcello had thrown just 51 pitches over five innings (including a nifty 42-9 ball-to-strike ratio).
The Red Sox continued their timely hitting in the fifth, as a tired Severino allowed a J.D. Martinez double and a Mitch Moreland single that just skittered under the glove of Gleyber Torres, making it a 4-1 ballgame after five. After yet another three-up, three-down inning, the Yankees had accumulated just two total baserunners (the Gardner HBP and the Andujar HR) through six innings. It would remain that way for the rest of the night.
Severino was mercifully pulled after he threw 115 pitches over 5.2 four-run innings. He struck out just two batters and walked three, and while the team was only down 4-1 at his exit, Severino should be the first to say that he did not do his job tonight either.
Porcello was in control from the very beginning, and finished with a complete-game one-hit victory. While he pounded the strike zone, the Yankees had bad at-bats all night which ranged from completely overmatched to simply flailing at three pitches. Offensively, it was a total embarrassment for the “Bombers.” The Red Sox had it all going on tonight – hitting, pitching, running, fielding and clutch. A team like that sure is tough to beat, but the Yankees didn’t put up much of a fight, either. New York is now 7.5 games back in the AL East standings.
The Yankees will try and avoid reaching a four-game losing streak tomorrow at 4:00. The Red Sox will send old friend Nathan Eovaldi to the mound, while the Yankees will call up prospect Chance Adams for his big-league debut. No pressure, kid.