Records Entering Series: NYY (5-5, 3rd in AL East), BOS (8-1, 1st in AL East)
Boston took 2 out of 3 from New York in a heated battle of the two AL powerhouses. The Red Sox pitching was magnificent in games 1 and 3, and the offense clicked throughout the whole series.
Boston exits the series with a 10-2 record and an early 4.5 game lead over New York in the AL East.
Game 1: NYY-1, BOS-14
(Photo credit: ESPN)
What a way to start the first series of the year against your arch enemies. Boston scored early and piled it on from there, and Chris Sale offered a very solid pitching performance to propel the Red Sox to the victory.
Mookie continued his hot streak with a leadoff double in the 1st and was driven home by Hanley Ramirez’s single. Boston added 3 more in the 2nd on a Benintendi and a Ramirez single, scoring Vazquez, Betts and Benintendi, respectively. Ramirez collected his 3rd RBI of the night with a sac fly to right, bringing home Betts.
The 6th inning is when the Red Sox offense really exploded, when 10 consecutive batters reached base safely (minus a Devers sac fly), scoring 9 runs in the process. A towering Martinez double off the Monster and a Betts grand slam highlighted the 6th inning onslaught.
Joe Kelly and Brian Johnson combined to pitch 3 scoreless innings to see the game out and give Boston their 9th straight win.
Chris Sale was his usual self, throwing 6 innings of one run ball, allowing 8 hits and 0 walks while fanning 8. He threw 65 of his 87 pitches for strikes and looked in control of his stuff throughout the entire night.
Notable performances include Betts (4-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 runs scored), Benintendi (2 hits, 2 RBI) and Ramirez (2 hits, 3 RBI).
Game 2: NYY-10, BOS-7
(Photo credit: ESPN)
It was a wild one in Boston on Wednesday night. The Yankees piled 4 on Sox starter David Price in the 1st inning and never looked back, taking game 2 of the 3-game series.
Price allowed 4 of the first 5 New York batters to reach base safely, including a Stanton triple deep to the triangle that scored Gardner and Judge, and a Sanchez solo shot. Boston got one back in the bottom half with Ramirez’s 2nd home run of the year.
Price didn’t return to the game (more on that later), and was relieved by Poyner, who pitched a scoreless 2nd but gave up 1 in the 3rd, making it 5-1 New York. The Yankees added 3 more off Heath Hembree in the 4th with a Gregorius sac fly and Sanchez’s 2nd home run of the day.
Boston then scored 5 in the 5th to make it a game. Bradley led off with a single, followed by a Vazquez fly out, then a Holt single and a Betts double that scored Bradley. Ramirez walked two batters later to load them up, and Martinez brought everyone home with a grand slam, making it 8-6 in favor of the Yankees.
New York added 2 more in the 6th, and then the madness began in the 7th. Joe Kelly beaned Tyler Austin in retaliation for what the Red Sox considered a dirty slide into 2nd on Brock Holt earlier in the game. Austin charged the mound, the benches cleared, punches were thrown, and the greatest rivalry in sports announced that it was indeed back to its glory days. Kelly and Austin, along with Tommy Kahnle and Yankees coach Phil Nevin were all ejected for their parts in the scuffle.
Boston went on to add another run in the 9th, but that was all, and the Yankees took home the win.
As mentioned above, David Price lasted just 1 inning. Immediately after walking off the field after the 1st, he went down the tunnel into the clubhouse to be examined for a reported “sensation” in his throwing hand. He reportedly threw some pitches from a flat surface back in the clubhouse and was back in the dugout by the end of the game. He said after the contest that he’d be ready for his next start.
The bullpen combined to allow 6 runs in their 8 innings of work. Other notable performances include J.D. Martinez (1 HR, 4 RBI) and Bradley (3-4, 2 runs).
Game 3: NYY-3, BOS-6
(Photo credit: ESPN)
The bats provided plenty of offense, but Rick Porcello was the star of the show in the final game of the Red Sox and Yankees’ opening set.
After a scoreless first, Boston broke open a 4-run lead off of Yankees starter Sonny Gray in the 2nd inning. Nunez started it off with an infield single, followed by a Bradley walk and a Leon single that scored Nunez. Then Holt walked and Betts hit a sac fly scoring Bradley and making it 2-0. The Yankees defense let them down for the next run, when Benintendi hit a grounder to 2nd baseman Wade. Wade threw home to try and catch Leon (who was running on contact), but Gary Sanchez couldn’t control the throw and everyone was safe, giving Boston men on 2nd and 3rd. Moreland then hit a single to left, scoring Holt and making it 4-0 Sox.
Boston added two more in the 3rd when Nunez led off with a double and Bradley hit a fly ball to left field that was horribly misplayed by Stanton, resulting a ground rule double that scored Nunez. Leon struck out in the next at-bat, but the pitch was mishandled by Sanchez, giving Leon 1st and advancing Bradley to 3rd. Boston’s final run came on a Betts fielder’s choice that brought home Bradley, making it 6-0.
New York added 3 consolation runs in garbage time from a Sanchez double to deep center that cleared the bases and scored Judge, Stanton and Gregorius.
Rick Porcello was the star of the show. He went 7 innings, allowing just 2 hits (both singles) and 3 total base runners. He carried a no-hitter through the 6th inning, using all of his pitches perfectly and baffling Yankees hitters all night. He threw 99 pitches (69 for strikes), and finished off his outing by striking out Hicks and walked off the mound to standing ovation from the Fenway faithful. Marcus Walden pitched a scoreless 8th, but then allowed New York’s 3 runs without recording an out in the 9th, and Craig Kimbrel came in to perfectly close it out for Boston.
Notable performances include Porcello’s outing, Benintendi, Moreland and Nunez (2 hits each), and Betts (2 RBI in a hitless night).
-Mookie Betts and Hanley Ramirez, Boston’s two hottest hitters, both ended their 9 game hit streaks in the final game of the Series. Mookie is now batting .370 and Ramirez .357.
-Andrew Benintendi reached base safely 6 times and notched 3 RBI in only 2 games this series. He hit .500/.600/1.475 in the last 3 games after starting just .161/.350/.544 to begin the year.
-J.D. Martinez seems to be finding his swing and looks ready to heat up along with the weather. He hit a monster grand slam and a massive double off the Monster in center this series.
-Chris Sale and Rick Porcello continued the early season tradition of lights out starting pitching, but David Price looked horrible in game 2. He left after the 1st with what he called a “sensation in his throwing hand,” but said he felt fine after the game and is hopeful to be ready for his next start.
-With Benintendi and Swihart on the bench, Alex Cora decided to pinch hit Sandy Leon late in game 2 instead. I found that an odd choice.
-Base running was a little bit of a problem early on this season, but Boston made a handful of really good, aggressive base running moves in game 3 that put the pressure on New York and forced some mistakes.
-The offense was dominant this series. 27 runs in 3 games is a pretty huge number, and almost everyone on the roster seems to be either hot or heating up at the plate.
-Down 8-1 in game 2, the Red Sox battled back to make it 8-6 before ultimately losing 10-7. This team never, ever gives up, as that’s showcased by that and their 2 come from behind victories so far this year.
-Hanley Ramirez was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the 1st inning of game 3 and had to leave the game. X-Rays were negative and he was diagnosed with a “deep bone contusion,” but is expected to be okay.
-The Boston bullpen allowed 8 earned runs in 10 IP. They’ve been struggling of late, and really need to find a way to pull it together and be more consistent.
-Finally, the branches cleared twice in game 2, with the finale be a full-on brawl. This Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, after being somewhat dormant for the better part of the last decade or so, is back with a vengeance. It should be really fun watching these two teams battling it out this year.