September 27, 2016

G157: Yankees 6, Red Sox 4

Red Sox - 000 002 200 - 4 10  1
Yankees - 200 011 20x - 6 13  1
It was a frustrating Tuesday night in the Bronx.

David Price (6.1-12-6-1-2, 89) had an ineffective start, allowing three home runs, John Farrell had a slow hook on Price, the Red Sox's bats were cold against the immortal Luis Cessa (6-5-2-1-2, 84), and David Ortiz, in his final visit to Yankee Stadium(s), batted in clutch situations in three different late innings, and came up empty each time. And so Boston's 11-game winning streak came to an end.

Price put his teammates in an early hole when he gave up a two-run homer to Gary Sanchez in the first inning. Singles by Austin Romine and Tyler Austin (New York's 8th- and 9th-place hitters) set the table in the fifth, and Jacoby Ellsbury singled home Romine to make it 3-0.

Boston narrowed that gap to 3-2 in the top of the sixth. Andrew Benintendi reached second when his ground ball up the first base line was thrown away by Cessa. Dustin Pedroia promptly singled him home. Xander Bogaerts doubled into the left field corner, putting runners at second and third with no outs. The heart of Boston's order squandered the golden opportunity. Ortiz struck out, Mookie Betts grounded to second (scoring Pedroia), and Hanley Ramirez struck out. New York got one run back in the bottom half on a home run by Didi Gregorius.

In the seventh, with Cessa out of the game, the Red Sox rallied. Facing lefty Tommy Layne, Aaron Hill, pinch-hitting for Brock Holt, homered to left. Jackie Bradley singled and Sandy Leon bunted him to second. Benintendi struck out, but Pedroia lined a single to right, scoring JBJ and tying the game at 4-4.

Price was shaky all night and Farrell would have been justified in pulling him after six innings, even though he had thrown only 76 pitches. But Farrell let Price start the seventh - and the game was lost within two batters. Romine singled and Austin homered to right, giving the Yankees a 6-4 lead. Farrell actually left Price in to allow a single to Brett Gardner and a soft line out by Ellsbury before Brad Ziegler induced a double play grounder from Sanchez.

In the eighth, trailing by two, Ramirez walked with one out. But Chris Young forced him at second and Bradley fanned.

The Red Sox faced Tyler Clippard in the ninth. With one out, Benintendi doubled into the right field corner and Pedroia walked. Even though Clippard was struggling to find the strike zone and seemingly unwilling to throw fastballs, Bogaerts swung at the first pitch - and popped out to shortstop. That left matters in the hands of Ortiz, as the potential go-ahead run with two outs. Throughout his career, Big Papi had tormented the Yankees so many times in situations like this one, but some Ortiz heroics were not in the cards tonight. He swung badly at a 1-1 pitch in the dirt and eventually struck out on a full-count off-speed pitch.

The Blue Jays beat the Orioles, so Boston's magic number remains at 1.
David Price / Luis Cessa
Pedroia, 2B
Bogaerts, SS
Ortiz, DH
Betts, RF
Ramirez, 1B
Holt, 3B
Bradley, CF
Leon, C
Benintendi, LF
Yankees Say Good Riddance To David Ortiz, The Best To Ever Own Them
Mike Vaccaro, Post:
Late in the '03 season, Steinbrenner took The Post's Joel Sherman aside and insisted he'd told GM Brian Cashman to look into making Ortiz a Yankee only to be told by Cashman:  "We don't need him. We have Jason Giambi. We have Nick Johnson."

Steinbrenner backed off. But by September of 2003, after Ortiz had already started to hint at the kind of damage he would rain down on the Yankees, Steinbrenner insisted that he'd seen what was coming.

"I said, 'Find a way!'" Steinbrenner told Sherman. "'He's going to be tough.'" ...

Ortiz came at along at precisely the right time, and he dived into this ancient cauldron with both feet, and alongside his countrymen Martinez and Manny Ramirez he immediately found ways to taunt and torture the Bombers. ...

And here Ortiz is. Here he remains. Here is Big Papi, set to take one last curtain call in The Bronx these next three days, a pit stop on the way to one more postseason and perhaps a fourth World Series. Here is Papi, who has been equal parts feared and loathed in the Bronx ... 240 games. 271 hits. 53 homers, 75 doubles, even a triple. 140 walks. A batting split-line of .307/.397/.574, an OPS of .970. ...

Ortiz is the Yankees killer to end all Yankees killers. He is the one who has given more night sweats to more Yankees pitchers (and Yankees fans) than anybody, mostly because he has played for a team (and for a city) that has been the object of Yankees obsession from the moment he arrived.
Hanley Ramirez has 29 home runs and 110 RBI this season. If he hits one more home run, the Red Sox will have three batters top 30/100 in a season for the first time.
                HR   RBI
David Ortiz     37   124
Mookie Betts    31   109
Hanley Ramirez  29   110
The last two teams to have three 30/100 hitters were the 2015 Blue Jays and 2006 White Sox.

One of my favourite Red Sox teams - the 1977 Crunch Bunch - came close, with four hitters topping 25/100 and three hitters exceeding 30/95:
                  HR   RBI
Jim Rice          39   114
Butch Hobson      30   112
Carl Yastrzemski  28   102
Carlton Fisk      26   102
George Scott      33    95
Boston's magic number for winning the AL East is 1 with 6 games to play. It is extremely likely that the Red Sox will celebrate clinching the division in front of tens of thousands of Yankee fans (whose team did not spend even one day in first place this year). ... Also: Orioles/Blue Jays.
BOS  --- 
TOR  6.0
BAL  7.0
MFY 12.0

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