Well, the highly-anticipated second series against the Yankees is finally over. I feel like I’ve aged a year in the past three days.
Thankfully, the Red Sox avoided getting swept. Barely. They’re able to leave the Bronx with a shred of dignity after losing tying for first, losing first, and re-tying for first place in a rollercoaster three-day span.
After the Yankees won the first two games, the Red Sox started tonight off strong, with a leadoff double by Mookie. He scored within the first five minutes of the 1st inning thanks to a ground-out by Hanley.
The Sox built up a 4-0 lead by the 5th. Hanley drove in Mookie twice to get the first two runs, and hit a solo homer in the 5th. He also homered in last night’s loss, giving the team a lead they would eventually lose, but picking up his 900th RBI along the way.
The Sox got their money’s worth from JD Martinez tonight, as he drove in Benintendi for a run and then hit the go-ahead homer in the 8th to give the Red Sox the lead back after the bullpen blew a 4-0 and let the Yankees tie it in the 7th. Hanley apparently told Martinez, “you’d better hit a homer right here.” Thank the heavens JD did.
Eduardo Rodriguez was the starting pitcher tonight, and to the surprise of many, he was absolutely phenomenal, though I said yesterday that using him instead of Price was a good idea. ERod now has a 2.25 ERA in six starts at Yankee Stadium. Tonight, one-hit the Yankees, retiring 9 of the first 10 batters he faced and holding them scoreless through five innings before and after a 55-minute rain delay. A highlight was seeing him strike out the annoying Tyler Austin, who could be seen screaming “DAMMIT” as he walked back down to the dugout. ERod also had 8 strikeouts, his second-highest count of the season, before turning the game over to the bullpen…
… who immediately squandered every ounce of ERod’s magnificent start. For the second night in a row, fans were forced to watch Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree walk batter after batter. Hembree allowed singles by Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres before walking Neil Walker.
Joe Kelly was sent in next, trying to do damage control yet again. He’s been cleaning up Heath Hembree’s messes all week, and it’s shocking to everyone that Hembree hasn’t been sent down to Pawtucket in exchange for Poyner or literally anyone who can function. Kelly allowed walks and singles before facing Tyler Austin for the first time since their brawl last month. The showdown was anticlimactic, though, as Austin popped out. A wild pitch to Stanton allowed Brett Gardener to score the tying run before Kelly stranded the last two runners and struck out Walker.
Kimbrel came in for the 9th, and unlike last night, held the Yankees down to preserve the Sox’s 5-4 lead.
Takeaways From this Series:
- Mitch Moreland needs to be in the lineup a lot more. He’s a more consistent hitter than JBJ by far, and a strong first baseman
- JD Martinez has been worth every penny so far. He currently has an 11-game hit streak and 9 home runs this season.
- Mookie continues to lead the league in homers and the Red Sox should give him a billion dollars
- David Price is a wuss
- Tyler Austin is still really obnoxious
- The bullpen is our most pressing issue and biggest problem. If they don’t figure it out soon, we can kiss the postseason goodbye and just go on early winter vacation
The Sox and Yankees have played six games so far this season, and have each won three. They play again in late June.
Photo: Red Sox Twitter