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Yankees 1, Red Sox 4: Swept right out of Fenway

Let’s get this over with.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

It didn’t feel like a slog necessarily, since this game was less than two and a half hours. It felt a little more like a Hitman level, in that there were going to be obstacles and things you had to creep by but in the end someone ended up flaccid on the floor. The problem is, the Yankees weren’t Agent 47, the Red Sox were, and Boston rather clinically dispatched New York to seal a sweep, 4-1.

The Yankees got off to a good start, putting men on second and third with nobody out to open the game. They did manage to convert that opportunity into one run, with Anthony Rizzo’s groundout to second, but in a very 2023 Yankee way, that was all they could do — a weak ground out, and nothing further. Still, 1-0 is 1-0 and your win expectancy jumps, so good news I guess.

Here endeth the offense. The Yankees wouldn’t manage to pose a threat for the rest of the game, more on that in a moment.

I think there’s some positives to take out of Luis Severino’s start. His fastball had a lot of life, sitting 97 which is a step forward over the past couple of weeks, and being the out pitch on all six of his strikeouts. That’s not to say it was an easy night for Sevy — his third inning was his only clean frame, striking out a pair — and I felt some of his sequencing choices were off.

The big blow came in the sixth, with the bases loaded and the score 2-1. Sevy nailed Rob Refsnyder with this sequence:

I thought Severino maybe over-relied on his changeup, but I don’t really mind this approach. Start soft, then bury 98 on the hands and get a whiff. Up next, Triston Casas, and Luis tried a similar approach:

Like I said, I think Sevy fell a little too in love with his change today, and Casas was waiting:

Still, it feels like we write the same recap every day. There are things the starter could have done better tonight, but it doesn’t really matter when you score on the third batter of the inning, and never again. Rizzo drove a ball deep into the triangle and it was a 420 foot flyout. Josh Donaldson was picked off at first. Giancarlo Stanton was once again hitless, although he did manage a walk.

I don’t know what to say about the state of the lineup. There are times, as a hitter, that you’re just unlucky, and you just have to keep doing what you’re doing. The Yankees are not being unlucky. Whether guys are playing hurt or there is just a real structural skills decline, it’s hard to look at these performances and think it’s just going to get better.

The Red Sox do not pitch particularly well, and they do not play particularly good defense, and the only time the Yankees looked like a professional lineup was in garbage time down by 10 runs. I don’t know what the answer is — is it just trade for a bat first catcher and a bat first outfielder? Remake a third of the lineup on the fly? Somehow I don’t see the club going in that direction, but I also don’t think this gets better on its own. Aaron Judge can only do so much; he may be the game’s best hitter but to paraphrase, the Yankees can finish third with him or without him.

Tomorrow’s an off day, before the Yankees welcome the Mariners for a three-game set at home. I hope you go and do something productive with your Monday, if you stuck around through this one I’m not sure your Sunday was all that productive.

On another note, this is my last non-prescheduled piece at PSA for some time. I don’t know when exactly I’ll be back. If you’ve enjoyed my work over the last seven years, I’m glad. See ya later.

Box Score