The thing about scoring only two runs is that you require every member of the bullpen to be flawless to preserve that tenuous lead. It feels like the offense has consisted of just Aaron Judge plus one randomly chosen player du jour for the last week-plus. And while most of the pitchers excelled in this contest, Clay Holmes blew another save en route to another one-run extra innings walk-off loss, 3-2.
The Yankees looked ready to play from the first pitch. Aaron Judge worked a one-out walk and was driven home on an Anthony Rizzo double down the right field line. Josh Donaldson singled to put runners on the corners and it appeared the offense was back in business.
That is, until Gleyber Torres stepped into the box. He’s been mired in an extended slump, his approach at the plate is completely out of whack, and it begs the question of why he continues to bat in a run-producing slot of the lineup. There was almost an air of inevitability that he would ground into the inning-ending double play as soon as you saw the violence of his hack at the first pitch. That didn’t make the eventual outcome any less irritating as he relegated the Yankees to just the one run in the first inning.
Judge continued his assault on the AL home run record and MVP race with a mammoth solo shot over the monster to lead off the third. It’s his 46th home run and 100th RBI and we’re not even two weeks into August. Just nuts!
On the pitching side, it felt like Domingo Germán was teetering on the edge of a big inning before finding a perfectly-executed pitch to induce a double play or locking in the command to escape a jam with runners on. He allowed a leadoff single to J.D. Martinez in the second but got Eric Hosmer to ground into the twin killing. He went on to allow a further pair to reach in the frame but induced a Kevin Plawecki flyout to strand them.
Two innings later, Alex Verdugo led off with a double, sliding into second just inches ahead of a cannon throw from Judge in right-center. Martinez plated him for Boston’s first run with a single beyond the diving glove of Isiah Kiner-Falefa. After a Hosmer popout, Germán once again saved his best pitch for when he needed it most, inducing the inning-ending GIDP from Christian Arroyo.
He capped off this trend in the sixth with his third GIDP of the contest. After issuing a leadoff walk to Rafael Devers, Germán fooled Bogaerts with a changeup below the zone to induce a tailor-made groundball to clear the basepaths. I’m far from the biggest Domingo Germán fan, but he made his best pitch when he needed it most inducing three double plays and escaping jams to give the Yankees six valuable innings. That’s now four straight starts giving up two or fewer runs. His final line: six innings, five hits, one run, two walks, and four strikeouts on 86 pitches.
Scott Effross worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning on 10 pitches. Aroldis Chapman followed with a clean eighth striking out a pair. Thus it was left up to Clay Holmes to close the game out. That went about as well as you’d expect if you’ve watched him pitch the ninth over the last several weeks. He walked Bogaerts and Verdugo with one out before surrendering the game-tying single to Martinez to send the game to extras.
The Yankees failed to score the Manfred Man in their seventh straight attempt allowing the Red Sox to walk it off, 3-2, in the bottom of the tenth on a Tommy Pham single to left. Make that eight losses in their last nine as the Yankees continue to find a new way to lose each night.
Frankie Montas gets his first taste of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry pitching against Kutter Crawford tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 pm ET so be sure to join us in the game thread.