We’ll state the obvious right off the bat here: last night saw the Red Sox suffer arguably their worst loss of the season. While their bullpen imploded and their reckless base running further buried them, all hope is not lost yet. With a 4:05 first pitch scheduled for this afternoon that will pit Pomeranz against Severino, the Red Sox have a chance to rebound from last nights’ devastation – and quickly too. Along with the quick turnaround they still lead their division by 3.5 games and will be running their two best starters out to the mound today and tomorrow night. Take these next two games and last nights loss starts to hurt a lot less. To the recap!
Coming into the game, Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was looking to build off his previous outing against the White Sox, a start in which he went 6.0 innings and gave up just 2 runs. After a LONG first inning that saw Rodriguez throw 30 pitches and basically abandon his offspeed pitches, I for one was very worried about how long Ed would last in this one.
Much to my own delight, and all of Red Sox Nation’s, Eduardo really settled in after his first inning, ultimately tossing 6.0 innings of shutout ball and adding 7 Ks to his final line. Even without his best stuff, Eduardo gutted this one out while flashing a nasty backdoor cutter to put away a few batters. While they may not have won this one for Eddie, the team can come away from his outing feeling very good that he’s put together two consecutive strong starts after landing on the DL earlier this year for almost a month.
As far as the bats go in this one, a Hanley Ramirez 2-run bomb in the first inning off Yankee left-hander Jaime Garcia, and a Benintendi solo shot in the 5th were all this team could muster. The story of the Red Sox offense last night, and essentially the story of their offense when playing the Yankees this year has been their lack of success with RISP. Against the Yankees this year the team is 3-64, a .047 average with RISP against New York and last night again saw them go 0-6 in these situations. A massive reason they’ve seen their record against the Yankees this year fall to 3-7. It seemed almost every inning against Garcia the Red Sox had men on base with a chance to open the game up.
Overall the Yankee starter went 5.2 innings surrendering just the 3 runs on Hanley and Benintendi’s home runs, even though he gave up 7 hits and walked 3 batters. On a night where he didn’t have terrific stuff, the Red Sox let him, along with another pitcher who we’ll get to later, off the hook.
Coming into the 8th inning the Sox were just 6 outs away from their 9th consecutive victory. Following a scoreless 7th from Matt Barnes, Farrell went to recently acquired set-up man Addison Reed to keep the Yankees at bay with a 3-0 lead. Reed however, proceeded to see his 8th inning unfold as such before being relieved by Joe Kelly:
- 2-Run HR
- 1B – WP
Joe Kelly’s appearance didn’t go much better:
- RBI 1B
- RBI 1B
- RBI Sac Fly
Then finally, after allowing his inherited runners to score and adding a few of his own to the base paths, Kelly was relieved by Fernando Abad, who mercifully ended the inning by getting Aaron Hicks to fly out to Nunez at 2nd.
After a melt-down of epic proportions, the Red Sox saw their once 3-0 lead turn into a 5-3 deficit before their historically effective bullpen could even record an out.
While it would have been easy for the Red Sox bats to roll over after such a deflating inning, to their credit they quickly loaded the bases against Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman, doing his best Addison Reed impression, came on in the 9th to protect the Yankee lead and immediately showed a lack of any and all command by walking the first three batters he faced.
With Andrew Benintendi up, he was able to lift a fly ball to left fielder Hicks, scoring a run. 5-4, still men on 1st and 2nd with 1 out, right? Right? WRONG. Following Hicks’ catch of Benny’s sac fly, Nunez, who had been on 2nd, recklessly attempted to tag up from 2nd and sneak his way to 3rd on Hicks’ strong arm. He was promptly thrown out.
Instead of continuing the promising inning the Red Sox had started, Nunez’ ill advised base running sucked any air this team had left in them, leaving them with just Mookie, who had tagged up at 1st, on 2nd with 2 outs.
After that mess it was up to Mitch Moreland to salvage what was left of the Boston threat. He would harmlessly fly out to center field. Ball game. 5-4 Yankees.
It may have seemed all doom and gloom immediately after, but as I mentioned up top, this team still carries a 3.5 game lead in the division over the Yankees into today, and are running out their 2nd best starter behind Chris Sale in Drew Pomeranz.
While the bullpen was victim to a heart-breaking blowup, they still have the lowest ERA in the league and at this point in the season Farrell should still feel comfortable handing them the ball with a lead.
Snapping the 8-game winning streak hurts, along with letting Garcia and Chapman off the hook when they had plenty of chances to put this game away. With that said, one loss does not change what this team has accomplished thus far. They remain in 1st place by a hand full of games and still have a chance to come out of this series with a larger lead than they came into it with.
You can preview the rest of the series by reading this article below: