Well, it was competitive for one inning, but the gulf in class between these two ball clubs has really shown through this game and last. The Yankees never really threatened the Boston pitchers in this one, while the opposite was true for the home team. The Red Sox consistently put pressure on the Yankees pitching staff and ground out good at bats all night en route to an easy 4-2 win.
The Yankees’ first inning was simultaneously encouraging and frustrating. DJ LeMahieu led off with a single but was erased on an Aaron Judge double play. Gary Sánchez then lined an opposite field single but Giancarlo Stanton struck out to end the top half. Jordan Montgomery retired the side in order in the bottom half, but not without some drama including slick sliding play by Gleyber Torres on a Michael Chavis grounder and a J.D. Martinez foul ball that hooked just to the right of the Pesky Pole.
The Yankees went quietly in the top of the second, though the same could not be said about the Red Sox in the bottom frame. Montgomery loaded the bases with no outs on a pair of infield singles by Xander Bogaerts and Hunter Renfroe sandwiched around a Rafael Devers walk. Bogaerts scored on a sac fly by Enrique Hernández flyball to center.
Bobby Dalbec then looked to have popped out harmlessly in foul territory by first base. However, Luke Voit dawdled after catching the ball allowing Devers to score from second on a foul ball hit within feet of first base. Connor Wong singled to put runners on the corners, but Montgomery limited the damage to 2-0 by inducing a Chavis groundout.
Things only got worse in the third. Montgomery got two quick outs and seemed to have turned the ship around, but the winds of misfortune and ineptitude roared back at double strength. Bogaerts crushed a double to center, after which the Red Sox extended their lead to 3-0. Devers and Renfroe reached on back-to-back infield singles, a pair of bang-bang plays at first on balls hit less than 70 mph. The Devers single plated Bogaerts and a Hernández walk reloaded the bases, though Montgomery escaped the inning with a Dalbec flyout.
It took the Yankees five more innings to offer any semblance of resistance against Eovaldi, who coasted unperturbed through his start. LeMahieu and Judge reached on a pair of one-out singles in the sixth, however Sánchez grounded into a double play to end the inning and maintain the status quo.
To be fair, Montgomery wasn’t even that bad tonight. Five of the eight hits against him didn’t even leave the infield. Sometimes the BABIP gods just have it out for you. That said, the number of infield hits makes me question the positioning of the Yankees infielders. They may have mountains of data on the opposition but it doesn’t appear they are interpreting it correctly. Anyway, Montgomery’s final line for the night: six innings, eight hits, three runs, two walks, and five strikeouts on 94 pitches.
Albert Abreu came on in the seventh and, well, if you’ve been watching Yankees baseball the last two years you know how that ends. Chavis led off with a single, Martinez moved him to third with a double, and Bogaerts plated him with a sac fly to make it 4-0 Red Sox.
The Yankees managed to avoid complete humiliation as LeMahieu plated their first run with an opposite field solo shot into the Red Sox bullpen in the eighth. It was DJ’s seventh of the year and knocked Eovaldi from the game.
That ball is..... gone! Into the bullpen! So, DJ LeMahieu takes a breaking ball and hits it the opposite way where most of his home runs go pic.twitter.com/pSmOGRUpit— John Sterling Calls (@JSterlingCalls) June 27, 2021
Hirokazu Sawamura came on in relief and proved to be quite a tease. He walked the bases loaded bringing Adam Ottavino into the game and Luke Voit to the dish. Ottavino continued his revenge tour against the Yankees, getting Voit to groundout harmlessly and keep it at 4-1. In typical 2021 Yankees fashion, they left the bases loaded and scored the minimum given the situation.
Ottavino completed the four-out save, albeit with a little added excitement. Torres lined a one-out single down the right field line and Brett Gardner drew a two-out walk to put runners on first and second. LeMahieu lined a single up the middle for his fourth hit of the game, but more importantly to plate the Yankees’ second run. Just as hope began to creep in, Judge struck out to end the game.
So that’s it folks, 4-2 is your final score. The Red Sox win the series and will try to sweep the Yankees tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 PM E.T., with Gerrit Cole taking on Eduardo Rodríguez. Hope to see you in the game thread.