June 29, 2018

G83: Yankees 8, Red Sox 1

Red Sox - 000 010 000 - 1  6  0
Yankees - 010 400 21x - 8 11  0 
All the tension went out of this game in the fourth inning when Miguel Andujar and Greg Bird hit back-to-back home runs to left-center off Eduardo Rodriguez (6-7-5-2-2, 95).

The Red Sox responded with one run before watching the Yankees score three more on home runs from Aaron Judge and Bird. CC Sabathia (7-6-1-1-5, 97) and the Yankees were never in any real danger. The two teams are now tied atop the AL East.

Steve Pearce, in his first game with the Red Sox, doubled to open the second and took third on a fly to right. But that was where he stayed as Eduardo Nunez fouled to first and Rafael Devers flied to center.

The Yankees scored in the bottom half as Gleyber Torres tripled to center and scored when Andujar's popup to shallow right-center fell among four Red Sox fielders. (If you care about such things, Torres is the youngest Yankee to hit a triple against the Red Sox since Mickey Mantle did it on September 25, 1952.)

With two outs in the top of the third, Mookie Betts singled and stole second. Sabathia walked Andrew Benintendi, but got J.D. Martinez on a first-pitch fly to center. Pearce singled to begin the fourth, but Xander Bogaerts hit into a double play. Nunez singled and Devers grounded to short.

Rodriguez was ahead of Giancarlo Stanton 0-2 to start the fourth, but eventually walked him on seven pitches. Didi Gregorius doubled to right-center. Torres's sac fly to left scored Stanton and Andujar belted an 0-1 pitch for his 12th dong. Bird followed with a full-count blast and New York led 5-0.

Boston got one of those runs back in the fifth. With two outs, Betts and Benintendi hit back-to-back doubles. Benintendi then stole third, but Martinez popped to short right.

And over the last four innings, the Red Sox managed only one baserunner - and they did nothing to earn it, as Jackie Bradley was hit by a pitch with two outs in the seventh.

Justin Haley took the mound in the seventh. Aaron Hicks singled with one out and Judge homered to right-center. Bird hit his second dong of the night in the eighth.

Rob Bradford (WEEI) called it a frustrating and maddening night. Sabathia has allowed one or zero runs in seven of his last 11 starts against the Red Sox.

Betts, on Sabathia:
He's just able to outsmart you pretty much. He gets you out different ways. You can't just sit on one thing because he mixes it up so much. He's confident in everything he throws. There's not a whole lot you can do when he's moving the ball around the zone and keeping it out of the middle.
The Post is a little over-excited:

Eduardo Rodriguez / CC Sabathia
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Martinez, DH
Pearce, 1B
Bogaerts, SS
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox's most-recent acquisition 1B/OF Steve Pearce, is batting cleanup tonight. He's 9-for-33 (.273) against CC, with two homers. Mitch Moreland is 2-for-10. (Not much difference, I'd say.)

Pearce: "Very excited. This was my childhood favorite team so it's good to be here. Especially with where they're at in the division it's nice to come in here and play meaningful baseball and contribute to helping the team win."

Lest we forget:

September 1, 2017: "Sabathia Wants Red Sox To Apologize For Making Him Field A Bunt"

John Tomase, WEEI:
Not since the glory days of 2003-04 have the two teams been this good simultaneously. They both began play Thursday on pace for 108 wins ...

They're evenly matched to an absurd degree. The Red Sox rank second in the AL in runs; the Yankees are third. The Yankees lead the AL in homers; the Red Sox are second. They're 2-3 in ERA and strikeouts, led by the Yankees. They're 1-2 in slugging and OPS, led by the Red Sox. ...

Each added MVP-caliber mashers this winter, with Giancarlo Stanton earning all the headlines, but J.D. Martinez stealing them after a torrid start that has established him as one of the five best hitters in baseball. ...

They've split their first six meetings, thanks to each club protecting its home field.

They've already ripped off 17-2 stretches, the Red Sox to open the season and the Yankees immediately thereafter. No more than two games have separated them in the standings every day for the last month. They've spent 11 days tied for first place. ...

Now the real fun starts.

Dan Martin of the Post looks at how the two teams match up:
Red Sox: On The Basepaths, Outfield Defense, Starting Rotation
Yankees: Bullpen
Even: At The Plate, Hitting For Power, In The Field, Bench, Manager, Intangibles
Peter Botte of the Daily News went position by position:
Red Sox: 1B, LF, DH
Yankees: 2B, CF, Bullpen
Even: SS, 3B, RF, C, Starters, Bench, Manager

John Harper, Daily News:
If Yankees Want To Beat Red Sox In AL East Race, They Need Giancarlo Stanton To Start Hitting Like J.D. Martinez

[Giancarlo Stanton] still hasn't hit one of those stretches that Aaron Boone keeps predicting where Stanton will launch home runs faster than you can count them, and carry the offense on his back.

Well, here's where the Yankees need him to be that guy.

Indeed, with the Red Sox in town, throwing three lefthanded starters over the weekend — no small detail, to be sure — this is where Stanton has to leave an imprint if he wants to win over the fans and live up to the hype that came with his arrival, not to mention his huge contract.

In other words, he needs to do what J.D. Martinez has done for the Sox.

Remarkably, Martinez looks like a bargain, having signed for five years, $125 million, especially in comparison to the 10 years and $235 million (out of $295 million total) the Yankees picked up on Stanton's deal in the trade with the Marlins.

Considering that Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski took a lot of heat in Boston throughout the winter for not getting involved in the Stanton sell-off from the Marlins, it's fair to ask why Brian Cashman didn't see Martinez as a more cost-efficient alternative for the Yankees. ...

Martinez is not only leading the AL in long balls, but he is ... on a pace that would give him a shot at breaking Ortiz's single-season team record of 54. ...

He's also hitting .329, which is fourth in the AL, and leading the league with 64 RBIs, so he's very much an MVP candidate ...

Stanton hasn't had nearly that type of impact for the Yankees ... He's still only hitting .215 at home ... so the possibility remains that he continues to press at Yankee Stadium, perhaps because the fans have booed him when he fails to deliver in a big moment. ...

I doubt fans will have much patience if he strikes out a bunch of times this weekend against the Red Sox. ...

Stanton really needs to do some damage this weekend. ...

[I]n other words, doing what Martinez is doing for the Red Sox.
George A. King III, Post:
Yankees Have Just Three Hitters Thriving In The Clutch

The Yankees are fourth among AL teams with a .249 batting average with runners in scoring position and fifth with a .771 OPS. However, some of their regulars are struggling in the clutch.

Didi Gregorius is hitting .203 (15-for-74), Greg Bird is at .091 (2-for-22), Brett Gardner is at .229 (11-for-48) and Giancarlo Stanton is hitting .230 (17-for-74).
George A. King III, Post:
Barring one of these teams turning to dust between now and October — not likely to happen — the Red Sox or Yankees are going to enter the postseason through the backdoor disguised as the AL wild-card game. ...

That leaves the Yankees (52-26) and Red Sox (54-27) ... to brawl for the title ...

[T]hey have split the six games this season with each going 2-1 at home. ...

The Yankees will tweak their rotation and start ace Luis Severino on Sunday night instead of Domingo German ... He will be opposed by David Price. Boone also jumped CC Sabathia from Wednesday to Friday night, when Eduardo Rodriguez starts for the visitors. Sonny Gray opposes Chris Sale on Saturday. ...

[After this series, s]ix of the remaining 10 games are slated for final 13 days of September. And the last three meetings are at Fenway Park on the final weekend of the season.

David Schoenfield, ESPN:
Why The Red Sox – Not The Yankees – Will Win The AL East

The FanGraphs playoff odds favor the Yankees, giving them a 67 percent chance to win the division compared with just 33 percent for the Red Sox. I'm surprised the Yankees are 2-to-1 favorites to win the East, especially since there are five solid reasons why the Red Sox will win it.

1. Boston's lineup is just as strong as New York's.

Heading into Wednesday's games, the Yankees were averaging 5.17 runs per game, the Red Sox 5.16. The teams had identical wOBA (weighted on-base average) marks of .345. They create runs in different ways – the Yankees hit more home runs and draw more walks while the Red Sox hold a 15-point edge in batting average and strike out less but the sum of the parts has been identical. ...

2. Boston's rotation is better than New York's.

Surprisingly, the season ERAs for both teams also are similar: 3.70 for Boston, 3.76 for New York. The Red Sox have allowed a .302 wOBA, the Yankees a .303 wOBA. The Red Sox have a better strikeout rate, 25.7 percent to 24.4 percent, but have allowed a .295 BABIP (batting average on balls in play) to .283 for the Yankees. Of course, a primary reason the Yankees are close is because Luis Severino has been a one-man wrecking crew.

He can start only one out of every five games, however, and the depth of the Boston rotation should play out over the second half. With Jordan Montgomery out for the season and Masahiro Tanaka still on the disabled list, the Yankees have been scrambling with the likes of rookie Domingo German (5.40) and Luis Cessa, who made his first start on Wednesday. The Red Sox back up ace Chris Sale with David Price, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez, all with ERAs under 4.00. ...

3. Chris Sale is in better position to have a big second half. ...

4. The Boston bullpen is fine.

Is the Boston bullpen as good as New York's? Maybe not quite as good, but it's good enough:

Yankees: 2.73 ERA, .194 average, .273 wOBA, 32.6% SO rate, 2.4% HR rate
Red Sox: 3.10 ERA, .219 average, .288 wOBA, 25.8% SO rate, 1.9% HR rate ...

5. The Yankees' youth have not faced pennant-race pressure ...

In the end, it will come down to the remaining 13 games the teams have against each other and maybe a dazzling season finale: The teams finish up with a three-game series at Fenway. Let's hope a division title is on the line.
Updating Some Numbers:

Point #1: The Yankees have hit nine more home runs (127-118) and drawn 34 more walks (297-263). The difference in batting average is still 15 points (.266 to .249) and the Red Sox have struck out 77 fewer times (632-709).

Point #2: ERAs: The Yankees lead in ERA: 3.37 to 3.48. The Yankees now have a better K Rate: 27.5% to 25.7%.

Also: A different person at ESPN thinks the opposite.

Christian Red, Daily News:
Former Yankee and Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon, who won a World Series with the Bombers in 2009 when Joe Girardi was manager, said Thursday that Girardi "is probably the best manager in baseball."
Damon also approves of how Trump has done, so ...


allan said...


• The Red Sox (55-27) and Yankees (52-26) enter Friday's series opener with the best records in baseball. According to Elias Sports Bureau research, the last time the Yankees and Red Sox met this late into the season (either by games or calendar date) with the two best records in baseball was the one-game playoff at the end of the 1978 season.

• The Red Sox and Yankees both have had 17-1 stretches this season. It's the first time they've both had 17-1 stretches in the same season. They're the only two teams with 17-1 stretches this season.

• This already is the latest the Red Sox (.671) and Yankees (.667) have both had .660 winning percentages in the same season. In fact, according to Elias research, the Yankees and Red Sox have never met this late into a season (either by games or calendar date) when each team had a winning percentage of .650 or better.

• The Red Sox were the first team in the majors to record 25 wins, reaching the mark on May 6, and the Yankees were second to 25 (May 8). According to Elias research, the last time the Yankees and Red Sox were the first two teams in the majors to 25 wins was in 1994, when the Yankees reached it on May 14 and the Red Sox got there on May 18.

• While the teams are both having among the best seasons of their long histories, they're doing it with first-year managers (Alex Cora in Boston and Aaron Boone in New York). This is the first time since 1901, the inaugural season of the American League, that the teams with the two best records in the majors on a given day were guided by first-year managers.

• The Red Sox and Yankees both are on pace to win more than 100 games, which has never happened in the same season. In 1978, the teams finished the regular season tied with 99 wins apiece.

• Given the teams' current pace, whoever doesn't win the division is in line to make history nonetheless. The most regular-season wins by a team to play in a wild-card game (so, since 2012) is 98 by the 2015 Pirates. They faced the 97-win Cubs, who have the second-most wins for any team to play in a wild-card game.

• Rafael Devers of the Red Sox and Gleyber Torres of the Yankees, both 21, are regular starters for their teams. According to Elias research, the last time the Red Sox and Yankees faced off with each team having a player 21 or younger in the starting lineup was June 28, 1970, when Ken Brett was the Red Sox starting pitcher and Johnny Ellis played first base for the Yankees. Both were 21.

allan said...

I started off keeping track of plate umpire Chris Conroy's ball/strike calls. If any part of the pitch dot was on the lines of NESN's box, I considered that a strike (because NESN's box has traditionally been smaller than the true zone). When the game got out of hand, however, I stopped paying close attention.

In the first three innings, Conroy made 46 calls and 5 of them were wrong (including blowing 3 of 4 in the B2). All 5 blown calls went in the Yankees' favour.

Stanton - ball 3 should have been strike 3

Andujar - ball 1 should have been strike 1
Bird - ball 1 should have been strike 3
Romine - ball 1 should have been strike 1

Betts - strike 2 should have been ball 3

Hicks - ball 1 should have been strike 1

The Red Sox had a call go their way in the B4 when ball 4 to Gardner was called strike 2.