There’s sweeping the Yankees, and then there’s coming back from a 4-1 deficit to win it in extra innings to sweep the Yankees.
A comeback from a deficit of three? Smells like 2004 spirit in here. With two outs in the bottom of the 9th, the Red Sox tied the game on RBI hits from JD and Xander to take the game into extra innings.
And then, in the bottom of the 10th, the Red Sox got to walk it off in front of the man who owes his job to a walk off, Aaron Boone.
Time is a flat circle, and revenge is sweep.
Going into this series, I was more than anxious. Nothing demoralizes the Red Sox like losing to the Yankees. I hoped for a single win, or a series split at best. My mantra for the weekend: expect nothing, you won’t be disappointed.
Leave it to the Red Sox to make my dreams come true. Even without Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez, Blake Swihart, and after a game, Ian Kinsler, the Sox managed to not only preserve their lead over the Yankees, but extend it to a whopping 9.5 games. It’s also only the third time in the last 48 years that the Red Sox have completed a 4-game sweep of their “rivals.”
There were so many highlights from this series. Steve Pearce’s 3 home runs in Game 1 and 4th homer of the series in Game 2. JD retaking the home run lead with his 33rd of the season. Rick Porcello’s 1-hit complete game on Friday. Nathan Eovaldi maintaining his 0.00 ERA with a near-flawless, scoreless start on Saturday. Matt Barnes, who kept the scored tied in the top of the 10th with a smooth 1-2-3 inning. And Andrew Benintendi continued to murder the wannabe-second-coming of Murderer’s Row. His heroic walk-off hit was the third of his career, and the second against the Yankees.
Even David Price, with his terrible Red Sox career record against the Yankees, held it down for nearly his entire start tonight. And let’s be honest, almost anything he did would have been better than his other two starts against the Yankees this season, in which he gave up a combined 12 runs over 4 1/3 innings. It wasn’t perfect redemption, but it was enough for me to have confidence that he can go the distance when the pressure is on. I couldn’t ask for much more.
The Sox are now 79-34, on pace for a 113-49 record this season. The Yankees have a season-high 5-game losing streak, while the Sox have won eight of their last nine. They remain one of only two teams to have more than 70 wins, and have at least eight more wins than any team in baseball. They also lead MLB in everything from batting average to best-looking ballplayers.
Don’t even try to tell me this isn’t the best team in baseball. You’ll only make yourself sound ridiculous.
Postseason, here we come.
Photo: Billie Weiss