June 6, 2017

G57: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4

Red Sox - 100 310 000 - 5  6  1
Yankees - 010 011 010 - 4  9  0
Manager John Farrell brought in Craig Kimbrel in the bottom of the eighth for a four-out save. Boston led 5-3, but Matt Barnes had given up a leadoff double to Matt Holliday before getting the next two hitters (Holliday had advanced to third).

Kimbrel was not sharp. Two of his first five pitches got away from catcher Christian Vazquez. On the first one, Holliday stayed at third, but on the second one, which Didi Gregorius swung and missed at for strike three, he scored, and Gregorius was safe at first. Kimbrel went to a full count on Chase Headley before walking him. And then he fell behind in the count 3-1 to Chris Carter (who had homered in the fifth). But Kimbrel got out of trouble - Carter fouled off a 101-mph fastball and then swung and missed at a pitch that was very up and very inside, almost a brushback pitch!

After Boston was unable to do anything with Jackie Bradley's one-out double in the top of the ninth, Kimbrel faced the top of New York's order, having already thrown 17 pitches. I was a little concerned, but my worry was misplaced. Kimbrel struck out Brett Gardner on a 1-2 pitch. Gardner whined to home plate umpire Tim Hallion about strike 2, but all four of Kimbrel's pitches to him were strikes (Hallion didn't call the first one). Then Kimbrel fanned Gary Sanchez on a fastball that was up and in (though not as extreme as the pitch to Carter). The Yankees' last hope was Aaron Judge, the major leagues' home run leader, who had already singled and doubled. Kimbrel threw three pitches pretty much to the exact same spot, and Judge never had a chance:
Fastball at 98, top of the strike zone, called strike one.
Fastball at 99, top of the strike zone, swing and miss for strike two.
Fastball at 100, top of the strike zone, swing and miss for strike three. (End of game.)
With the victory, Boston is now only 1 GB the Yankees in the East.

Drew Pomeranz (5-6-2-2-7, 123) set a new career-high in pitches thrown. By inning: 18-27-19 30-29. He went to a full count on 11 of the 22 batters he faced, including six of the last seven.

Masahiro Tanaka (5-5-5-1-2, 62*) was trailing 1-0 after having thrown only five pitches. Mookie Betts singled, went to third on Andrew Benintendi's single, and scored on Xander Bogaerts's fielder's choice grounder to first.

*: Yes, in the same number of innings, Pomeranz (22 batters faced) threw twice as many pitches as Tanaka (21 BF).

Pomeranz struck out three men in the first, but gave up the tying run in the second. He walked Aaron Hicks with one out. Gregorius dropped a single into right-center and Betts tried to throw Hicks out at third. But his throw hit the runner and caromed into foul territory. Hicks was awarded the plate and Gregorius went to third. Pomeranz kept the score at 1-1 by striking out Headley and catching a break as Carter's scorching liner was right at Pablo Sandoval at third.

Tanaka retired the Red Sox in order in the second and third, but walked Bogaerts to start the fourth. Moreland crushed a two-run home run to right-center and Hanley Ramirez followed with a solo shot to left. In the next inning, Benintendi hit a mammoth shot deep into the second deck in right for a 5-1 lead.

After that, the Red Sox offense took the rest of the night off and it was up to Pom and the Pen to hold the line. Carter homered off Pomeranz in the fifth and Robbie Scott gave up a run in the sixth on two singles and a double play grounder. Joe Kelly issued a one-out walk in the seventh and faced Judge with two down and the runner on second. Kelly brought the heat, hitting 102 with his first pitch (which Judge fouled off), 101 on a pitch under his chin, and 104 (!) on 2-2 that was also fouled away. (NESN had the pitch at 104, the Yankee Stadium gun had it at 103.) Kelly then threw a slider at "only" 93 and Judge swung and missed.

As mentioned, Barnes began the eighth and Holliday doubled. He eventually scored on Kimbrel's wild pitch, the first inherited runner Kimbrel has allowed to score all season (he had stranded eight before tonight). Kimbrel finished the night with one walk and five strikeouts. The Yankees hit exactly zero fair balls off the 30 pitches that he threw.
Drew Pomeranz / Masahiro Tanaka
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Ramirez, DH
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
Sandoval, 3B
Marrero, 2B
Wednesday: Rick Porcello / CC Sabathia
Thursday: David Price / Michael Pineda
ESPN beat writers Scott Lauber (Red Sox) and Andrew Marchand (Yankees) take a look at where the two teams stand in the AL East.
            W    L    GB    RS    RA  DIFF    EXP
Yankees    32   22   ---   294   224   +70  34-20
Red Sox    31   25   2.0   271   233   +38  32-24
Orioles    29   26   3.5   244   253   - 9  27-28
Rays       29   30   5.5   272   267   + 5  30-29
Blue Jays  28   30   6.0   252   260   - 8  28-30
Since throwing a complete-game, three-hit shutout against Boston on April 27, Tanaka has an 8.42 ERA in six starts. ... Pomeranz has allowed only four earned runs in his last three starts (17 innings, 25 strikeouts, 2.12 ERA).

Upcoming Announcements: Red Sox radio play-by-play man Joe Castiglione will miss the upcoming series in Houston against the red-hot Astros (June 16-18). Filling in for all three games? Fat Billy from Ohio. Seriously. ... And Don Orsillo will be behind the microphone for Fox on Saturday, June 17.

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