Wow, okay. Well, that surely was something, wasn’t it? Congratulations to all of you that watched that entire marathon. If you didn’t, you certainly missed a lot. In the first game of the London Series, there were plenty of hits and runs but not a lot of pitching. Ultimately, the Yankees won with a score of 17-13.
It didn’t take long for fans to see many offensive firsts for the MLB in London. The first hit in London came off the bat of DJ LeMahieu and the first RBI from Luke Voit. Aaron Hicks also had the first home run, which knocked Rick Porcello out of the game necessitating the first pitching change in Europe.
As all the firsts indicate, it was an avalanche of offense in the first inning. On just the second pitch of the game, LeMahieu knocked a single into right field. Gary Sanchez moved him up into scoring position after taking a walk, then Voit brought the first run into score on a double to left field. With runners at second and third, Didi Gregorius brought them both home with a double of his own. Edwin Encarnacion joined the doubles party in the next at-bat, scoring Gregorius. Hicks took things a step further, knocking a home run into the right-center field seats. It brought the game to 6-0 and chased Porcello from the game. It took nearly a half hour to complete the top of the first.
The Sox got some early offense of their own going in the bottom of the first. Mookie Betts led things off with a single, and Rafael Devers had an RBI double down the first base line. After back-to-back walks loaded the bases, Tanaka found himself in a world of trouble. A sac fly off the bat of Christian Vazquez brought in the second Boston run, and Brock Holt delivered the third run with a single.
With two out and two runners on, Michael Chavis tied the game with a home run to center field. It’s only 385 feet to center in London Stadium, but Chavis would have put that one in probably every MLB stadium too. It was 110 mph off the bat and traveled 425 feet. The homer officially ended Tanaka’s day, and neither starter made it out of the first inning. Mercifully, Chad Green came in and got an out before any more runs could cross the plate. The first inning took nearly an hour to complete. Yeesh.
After a quiet second inning, the Yankees broke the tie in the third. With two outs, Gleyber Torres pulled a single to left, and then Brett Gardner made it an 8-6 game with a 393-foot homer over the right field fence.
Gardner helped to plate the Yankees’ ninth run of the game too. Voit led off the fourth inning with a double. A Gregorius walk, and a single from Torres loaded the bases, bringing Gardner to the plate. Six pitches later, Gardner had drawn a walk and Voit came into score.
The Yankees took another six-run lead after The Mahieu doubled in the remaining base runners in the fourth. However, that lead didn’t stick for long because Aaron Judge made it a 14-6 game with a two-run homer to right.
The fifth inning brought some more Yankee offense. Voit led-off the inning with a double, his fourth hit of the day. He appeared to suffer some kind of core injury as he pulled into second base and left the game. Gio Ursehla came in to replace Voit and came around to score on a Gregorius RBI-single.
The Yankees’ offensive march, however, continued. Hicks and Torres both reached, once again loading up the bags for LeMahieu, who singled in another two runs. It was The Mahieu’s fourth hit of the day and brought the score to 17-6.
As disastrous as the first inning was for Yankee pitching, the bullpen really calmed things down for most of the game. Chad Green had just a single strikeout and gave up four hits, but he held the Red Sox scoreless for his two innings of work. David Hale also kept the Red Sox in check for an inning’s worth of work, striking out a batter along the way.
Nestor Cortes Jr. ran into a bit of trouble during his outing though. He allowed a solo shot to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the bottom of the sixth, which brought the score to 17-7. After recording two outs in the seventh, things started to unravel a bit. Two Red Sox reached base before Chavis hit his second three-run homer of the day to make it a 17-10 game.
Following the homer, Jackie Bradley Jr. added another hit, and Tommy Kahnle entered the game. A four-pitch walk to Mookie Betts and a wild pitch allowed both runners to move into scoring position. An infield single up the middle from Marco Hernandez brought in another Boston runner to score. Another wild pitch plated Betts and put the game at 17-12, which ended Kahnle’s day.
Adam Ottavino entered the game and quickly allowed more runs to score. J.D. Martinez doubled on the second pitch he saw and brought the Sox’ 13th run to the plate. Another run would have scored had not Xander Bogaerts started cramping up on the basepaths. Fortunately, the Red Sox didn’t produce any more runs that inning.
Following Ottavino came Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman who mercifully did not allow any more runs to cross the board. At one point, the Red Sox brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning, but that was the last time they threatened the Yankee lead. After four hours and 42 minutes, the game finally ended.
We’ll be back tomorrow at 10:10 AM for the final game of this London Series. It’ll probably be a 1-0 shutout.