Erik Kratz was probably the Yankees’ second-best pitcher Sunday afternoon. Yeah, it was that kind of day.
The Yankees saw their 10-game winning streak snapped emphatically at Fenway Park as they fell to the Red Sox 10-2. In losing, the Yankees missed out on an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth and will await the outcome of the Mariners-Padres game later in the evening; a Seattle loss will punch the Yankees’ ticket for October. If not, there’s always tomorrow as the Yanks begin a four-game road series against the Blue Jays.
Deivi García got the start but struggled mightily, getting tagged for six runs (all earned) in just three innings of work. The rookie right-hander had been looking forward to pitching off the mound that Pedro Martínez, his idol and fellow countryman, once called home, but he struggled commanding his pitches inside the strike zone. Of the eight hits he conceded, four were for extra bases, including two loud homers by Michael Chavis that accounted for five runs. Eight of the batted balls García gave up exceeded 100-mph exit velocity.
Luis Cessa momentarily stanched the bleeding in the fourth and fifth innings, but Jonathan Holder allowed three more runs in his two innings of work, effectively ending any designs the Yanks may have had on a comeback.
A dramatic late-inning run didn’t appear to be in the cards anyway. After pounding out 85 runs over the length of their 10-win streak, the Yankees’ bats were held in check by Red Sox rookie Tanner Houck, whose deceptive three-quarters delivery bedeviled New York hitters for six innings. The team didn’t register its first hit until Tyler Wade lashed a double to right-center in Houck’s final inning of work.
Wade scored that inning and Luke Voit added a consolation run in the ninth with his 21st home run of the season.
The game was delayed for several bizarre minutes in the top of the eighth inning after a man in a Red Sox jersey appeared in the center field camera position, shouting and tossing items — a foam football and a blue cap — onto the field. He then began climbing around the cage housing the cameras, which is suspended above the batter’s eye, as stadium security attempted to coax him off the ledge. A police officer arrived, persuaded the man to climb off the camera well and escorted him out of view.
And to cap off the lost day, third catcher Erik Kratz came on to pitch the ninth, escaping humiliation by allowing one measly run off a J.D. Martinez home run over the Green Monster. Like I said, probably the second-best Yankees pitching performance on the day.
The team will have to get back on track quickly, as they face a battle with the Minnesota Twins for the fourth seed in the American League (and home field advantage in the first round). The Yanks’ loss puts them a half-game behind, with the Twins set to take on the Cubs Sunday night.
On to Toronto, er, Buffalo.