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Yankees play home-run derby, sweep the Red Sox with 6-3 victory

I feel bad for the Red Sox, but this is tremendous content.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s tough to find anything more enjoyable than a four-game sweep of the Red Sox. Doing it with plenty of home runs, and with a chance to steal the best record in the AL in the process, might top the list. With a 6-3 win over Boston, the Yankees move to 16-6 on the year. This team, it is so much fun.

(Not) The Full Monty

Shout out to Matt Ferenchick for the subheading suggestion. Jordan Montgomery had his night cut short due to a rainstorm, and for shame, because he had his good stuff working. Probably the best stuff he’s thrown all season.

Montgomery used his whole arsenal, with each pitch quite effective. He threw 15 changeups and got three swings-and-misses; he threw ten fourseamers and got three swings-and-misses; he threw nine curveballs and got three swings-and-misses. Even his sinker, which didn’t generate any whiffs, got plenty of called strikes—six of them in 14 tries. After the first batter of the game reached on an error, Montgomery retired the next ten men he faced. It looked like he had no-hit stuff for a minute.

The only run he allowed came in the fourth inning. After striking out Kevin Pillar and forcing Rafael Devers to pop out, he allowed three straight singles. One of them banged off Gleyber Torres’ glove, too. The final line on Montgomery: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 K. He looked better than that indicates, too.

The 27-year-old has been sneaky good this season, with three strong starts outweighing a clunker in Philadelphia. He now has a 4.66 ERA (4.33 FIP) on the year, and expect that to drop steadily if he continues to pitch this well. There’s a lot to like about the left-hander.

Luke Hops

Can the Yankees play the Red Sox every day? Boston appears to have taken on the mantle of doormat AL East team from the 2019 Orioles, and you just love to see it. For the fourth consecutive night, Aaron Boone’s lineup pummeled Ron Roenicke’s pitching staff. They did their scoring with a mix of speed and power, making for an entertaining, albeit interrupted evening.

The Yankees made Martín Pérez work hard in the first inning, forcing the veteran southpaw to throw 24 pitches. With two outs and the bases loaded, Miguel Andújar nearly delivered a knockout blow, sending a hanging sinker all the way to the left-field wall for a long and loud out. At 381 feet, it would have been a grand slam in 14 other ballparks (Mike Petriello). Better luck next time, Miggy.

The Bombers regrouped the next inning, though, after Tyler Wade was hit by a pitch. Allowing Wade, the number nine hitter, to take first base will almost always come back to haunt you. The 25-year-old has wheels, and he’ll find a way to score. He did just that, as Aaron Hicks doubled to right center, sending Wade off to the races, where he scored standing up.

That brought Luke Voit to the plate, who made sure Hicks could enjoy a casual jog home. The first baseman demolished a 2-2 changeup that hung right over the plate. Check this out:

He naturally sent that pitch 428 feet to center field, traveling at 107.5 mph.

Voit wasn’t done there, though, because he homered again in the bottom of the fifth, this time against Josh Osich. This one came off the bat at 101.4 mph, and it went 380 feet to left field. Know what’s the only thing better than one of Luke’s signature home-run hops in a night? Two of them.

With two bombs on Monday night, that makes seven on the season for the Yankees’ first baseman, who’s hitting .281/.343/.625 (158 wRC+). A healthy Voit gives the Bombers another fearsome batter in the middle of the lineup, and it’s kind of wild how much he flies under the radar. He’s so good.

More Derpfense

If there’s one area the juggernaut Yankees can improve on in 2020, it’s their defense. Torres in particular, has been an adventure at shortstop. He had two throwing errors tonight, one in the first, and another in the fifth, plus a ball banged off his glove in the fourth. The 23-year-old has six errors on the season so far, the second-worst mark in the league, only behind Devers.

No matter the measurement you choose, he has struggled at the position this summer. For example, his -10.8 UZR/150 ranks 23rd out of 26 qualified shortstops. By DRS, his -2 is 22nd out of 26. He’s in the lowest tier of shortstops, and that’s a little concerning! Now I don’t think he’s actually this bad, and as long as he hits, the Yankees will take the so-so defense. Right now, with his below-average bat, it stands out as even more of a sore spot.

Andújar, meanwhile, has a lot to learn in left field. He got turned around in the top of the sixth, on what turned out to be a ground-rule double off the bat of Alex Verdugo. The 25-year-old spun around and around, trying to get a read on the ball, but he came up short at the wall. It’s a new position for Andújar, and this experiment was always going to take time. Can’t blame him for learning on the go, but you sure can be glad that the Yankees opted to use Mike Tauchman as a defensive replacement.


Because the #NextManUp energy has returned, Thairo Estrada naturally went deep in the bottom of the fourth. The backup infielder homered off Osich, and it wasn’t a cheapie either—411 feet! Aaron Hicks also homered, with his a solo shot off Heath Hembree in the seventh inning. Hit all the dingers, you guys.

The Yankees’ bullpen had a strong night, as Luis Avilán, Mike King, and Aroldis Chapman (welcome back!) combined to throw 5.1 innings of two-run ball. Both King and Chapman allowed runs, but the lead was never in doubt. Chapman also appears in mid-season form, reaching 101.3 mph on his fastball.

And lastly, the Yankees sat through an hour and 23 minute rain delay in the fourth inning. That’s the team’s fourth rain delay this season. I love baseball, and seeing any baseball this season is a treat. But with the pandemic, and the concerns the league has enforcing social distancing inside the clubhouses, these long delays don’t seem worth it.

Up next, the Yankees welcome the Rays for a three-game series in the Bronx. Masahiro Tanaka will take on Blake Snell tomorrow night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 PM. Thankfully there’s no rain in the forecast, so we won’t have to worry about sitting through another lengthy delay.

Box Score