Records Entering Series: BOS (25-9, 1st in AL East), NYY (24-10, 2nd in AL East)
The Red Sox and Yankees entered this set with the two best records in the MLB, sharing almost identical, but flipped, arks to the season. Boston started off 17-2 and had since cooled down a bit, and the Yankees were hovering around .500 for the 1st 3 weeks of the year, but went into game 1 having won 15 of their last 16.
It was a very entertaining and tense series between the two rivals in the Bronx, so tense in fact that it even felt like a playoff atmosphere at times. New York took 2 out of 3, which was to be expected, honestly, although both teams put up very good fights on their ways down.
Game 1: BOS-2, NYY-3
(Photo credit: ESPN)
New York struck first in the bottom of the 2nd when Giancarlo Stanton took Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz deep to left. Stanton added another in the 4th, again off of Pomeranz, and the Yankees took a 2-0 lead into the 5th.
Boston answered in the top of the 5th when Nunez reached 1st on a wild pitch strikeout, Betts singled and moved Nunez to 2nd, followed by a Benintendi single that scored Nunez.
The Red Sox tied it up in the 7th when Betts drove home Nunez with a triple, who had singled earlier in the inning. New York responded in the bottom half, though, when Judge singled home Walker, giving the Yanks a 3-2 lead, which is how it ended.
Drew Pomeranz was good in this one, throwing 6 innings and allowing 2 runs off of 4 hits (2 HR) and 2 walks while striking out 6. Heath Hembree allowed the winning run and took the loss, while Joe Kelly and Carson Smith combined for 1.2 scoreless innings.
Other notable performances include Betts (2 hits, 1 RBI) and Nunez (2 hits, 2 runs).
Game 2: BOS-6, NYY-9
(Photo credit: ESPN)
The Yankees took the early lead again in the bottom of the 1st with a Judge single that scored Gardner, but Boston answered right away in the 2nd with 2 runs of their own from a Moreland 2-run home run.
New York regained the lead in the 3rd, beginning with a Gardner double and a Judge walk. Stanton doubled score both, then Hicks hit a sac fly 2 batters later that brought home Stanton, and it was 4-2 Yankees.
The 2 teams exchanged runs in the 5th with a Benintendi solo homer and a Sanchez sac fly. Boston then added 1 in the 6th and 2 more in the 7th with a Nunez sac fly then a Ramirez 2-run bomb to left.
Boston blew the lead in the 8th, though, when Barnes and Kimbrel combined for 4 earned runs coming from a Gardner triple and a Judge home run, and the Yankees took game 2.
Rick Porcello didn’t have his best stuff for game 2 but pitched valiantly, allowing 5 runs in 5.1 IP. The bullpen had a rough one, with Barnes and Kimbrel allowing 4 runs in the 8th inning. Brian Johnson and Carson Smith, though, allowed 0 runs in a combined 1.2 IP before that.
Other notable performances include Martinez and Devers (2 hits each), Bogaerts (3 hits), and Ramirez (1 HR, 2 RBI).
Game 3: BOS-5, NYY-4
(Photo credit: ESPN)
Boston took the final game of the series with some excellent pitching from their starter and a timely hit by one of their big bats.
Betts led off the game with a ground rule double, and Ramirez drove him home with a ground out after Betts advanced to 3rd off of a Benintendi ground out.
They added 2 more in the 3rd after Betts singled and Benintendi doubled to lead off. Ramirez followed with a single that scored Betts, and Martinez brought home Benintendi with a fielder’s choice.
After a rain delay of about an hour in the middle of the 5th, the teams returned to post a scoreless 6th. New York then tied the game in the 7th with 4 runs coming from a bases loaded walk, a Judge single, an RBI groundout, and a wild pitch.
Martinez stepped up in the top of the 8th and gave Boston the lead for good, though, with a solo home run to right that just squeaked over the fence.
Eduardo Rodriguez was masterful in his start, taking advantage of a liberal strike zone to rack up 8 K’s in 5 IP, allowing just 1 hit and 3 walks. Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel were both good in relief, while Joe Kelly allowed a run but was decent, and Heath Hembree had a horrible outing, allowing 3 runs in just 0.1 IP.
Other notable performances include Betts (3 hits), Ramirez (2 hits, 1 HR, 3 RBI), and Martinez (1 HR, 2 RBI).
-Drew Pomeranz seems to be slowly building towards being a very solid pitcher for the Sox this year. Although he’s still making some mistakes with location, he’s managing games pretty well and going deeper into games with each outing.
-Porcello’s relatively poor outing doesn’t in any way mean that he’ll be coming down from the insanely hot start to the season he’s had. The fact that he battled with arguably the most potent offense in the league for 5+ innings without having his best stuff is a testament to his abilities and mental fortitude.
-If E-Rod can pitch the way he did in game 3, he could be arguably the 2nd or 3rd best starter on this team. His stuff is so good, but he occasionally lacks command and situational awareness. If he can find a way to put it all together consistently, watch out.
– Betts added 5 more hits, 3 more runs scored and another RBI to his season numbers. He’s pretty close to unstoppable right now.
-J.D. Martinez is raking as well, riding a 10-game hit streak. He’s been exactly what the Sox signed him to be so far.
-Hanley Ramirez knocked 4 hits (2 HR) and 5 RBI in the series. After starting the year on fire, then slowing down over the last 2 weeks or so, he looks to be heating up again in the 3-hole.
-Blake Swihart is still riding the pine. It’s still unclear what kind of role Boston envisions for him in the future, if his future is even in Boston at all.
-JBJ finally got the hook after hitting only .173 to start the year. He was benched for the last 2 games of the series in favor of Martinez in the outfield and Ramirez at DH. Could this become a trend?
-Finally, taking 1 out of 3 from the Yankees in the Bronx is just fine for the Sox. They got out of the series with still a share of 1st place and will move on to Toronto with the hope of regaining some of that early season form.