The Yankees and Red Sox entered Friday’s game on two very different levels. The Yankees were sending out arguably their ace this season, Domingo German, looking for his 18th win of the year. The Red Sox wanted to counter with David Price but couldn’t, so they sent out Jhoulys Chacin with the full intention of sending a bunch of relievers in after him.
Everything was lined up for a solid Yankee win to open the series, but then baseball happened. German wasn’t able to stay in long, meanwhile every arm that the Red Sox tossed out to the mound did their job in limiting the Yankees’ offense. The Sox stole away a bullpen game that they didn’t even intend to do, besting the Yankees 6-1.
German wouldn’t end up going long in his start, but he actually started the game on fire. German struck out the side in the first, retiring Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, and Xander Bogaerts with ease. German surrendered a couple of walks in the second and third, but held the Sox hitless in those frames and off the scoreboard.
Trouble began immediately in the fourth however, when Devers led off with a double. German got Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez out to nearly escape the inning, but Andrew Benintendi walked on a 3-2 count to continue the rally. Brock Holt capitalized on that, lacing a single to right that scored Devers, and Mitch Moreland followed up with a three-run jack to right. Suddenly, the Red Sox had a 4-0 lead.
German started the fifth inning, and got Jackie Bradley Jr. to strike out to lead off, but a walk to Betts was enough for Aaron Boone to go to his bullpen. Nestor Cortes Jr. entered and wasn’t able to get much better results, walking Devers and giving up a double to Bogaerts that scored both runners. Cortes managed to escape the inning without further damage, but the Red Sox were set with enough for the night.
The Yankees’ offense simply had nothing going for them. Chacin struck out four Yankees in his two innings of work, turning it over to Josh Taylor who struck out a pair in an inning. Marcus Walden got the fourth inning and allowed the first Yankee baserunner, a Didi Gregorius double, but still picked up a pair of strikeouts and avoided trouble.
Andrew Cashner started the fifth inning, and made the only mistake of the night for Boston pitching. Cashner served up a ball up and in the middle of the plate to Brett Gardner, who deposited the ball to right field for a solo shot. Still, Cashner got out of the inning with no other concerns, and Ryan Weber continued the lullaby of bats for two innings beginning in the sixth. Darwinzon Hernandez picked up a strikeout in his outing in the eighth, and Bobby Poyner ended the game on back-to-back strikeouts in the ninth.
It was a slow, unsatisfying opening to a series for the Yankees, and they’ll run the pitching gauntlet again on Saturday. The Sox will go bullpenning again, though this time they planned to do so, and the Yankees will hope that J.A. Happ can give them something of value.