On July 26th, James Paxton took the mound at Fenway Park and struggled mightily. He lasted just four innings, having allowed seven runs on nine hits. As a team, the Yankees were in a bit of a tailspin, and Paxton himself had seemingly reached the low point of his season.
In the seven games he started since that day, Paxton has bounced back in a He had put up an ERA under three, while allowing a slugging percentage under .300. His dreaded first inning woes were seemingly going away, and he was back to looking like the guy the Yankees thought they acquired. The Bombers had won all seven of those games he started, and reopened the ground they lost in the AL East race. Now after tonight, things have officially come full circle.
In his first start in Boston since that July game, Paxton was excellent, allowing no runs on four hits and three walks, striking out seven in the process. A Boston runner made it into scoring position with Paxton on the mound just three times all night. The couple of runs of support the Yankees got him were more than he needed, as they downed the Red Sox 5-0.
After four scoreless innings from both sides, the Yankees finally broke through in the fifth. Austin Romine took a Eduardo Rodriguez pitch into the seats in right, finally getting the Yankees on the board following a couple missed chances.
A few innings later, immediately after Paxton worked into and out of one of his only jams all night, the Yankees added an insurance run. Gio Urshela led off the seventh and took a pitch over the Green Monster, adding another solo home run, and doubling the Yankees’ lead.
That wasn’t the only run they picked up in the inning, either. Two batters later, Romine picked up his second hit of the day with a double. DJ LeMahieu then did his thing and recorded another hit with a runner in scoring position, bringing home Romine with a single. An Aaron Judge double and a Gleyber Torres sacrifice fly plated another run, before Jackie Bradley Jr. finally ended things by robbing Edwin Encarnacion of an extra-base hit.
Paxton came out for the seventh and recorded the first two outs before issuing a walk to Bradley. That brought Aaron Boone out of the dugout. He went to the bullpen and called on Zack Britton, who got out of the inning.
Cory Gearrin followed that with a scoreless eighth, while the Yankees’ offense added up another run on a Luke Voit RBI single. Tyler Lyons then finishing things off in a timely manner in the ninth, giving the Yankees a win in the game and the series.
Not that it already wasn’t pretty much assured, but it’s now official that the Yankees will finish ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East. They’ll finish the 2019 season with a very impressive 14-5 record against the reigning World Series champions. Not bad.