May 8, 2018

G35: Yankees 3, Red Sox 2

Red Sox - 000 010 100 - 2  8  1
Yankees - 010 100 10x - 3  6  1
The Yankees won for the 16th time in their last 17 games and moved into a tie with the Red Sox for first place in the AL East. Both teams are 25-10. After Boston tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh, New York pushed across the go-ahead run on Aaron Judge's one-out single.

Drew Pomeranz gave up two solo home runs to Giancarlo Stanton, but otherwise tamed the torrid Yankee bats, allowing only four hits in six innings. After Stanton's line drive to left cleared the fence in the second, Pomeranz walked Gary Sanchez and fell behind Aaron Hicks 2-0. He then called out the team trainer because of what looked like a bloody fingernail on his left index finger. After a few minutes and two practice pitches, Pom said he was good to go.

He threw ball 3 to Hicks very high and outside. NESN:
Jerry Remy: "I don't think this is going to last very long."

Dave O'Brien: "Doesn't feel like it."

Remy: "Nope."
He threw a called strike and ball 4 to Hicks. Then he retired the next six batters, including four by swinging strikeout. After walking Hicks, Pomeranz stayed in the game and faced 18 more batters. Only four reached - and only one runner advanced past second base. ... Nice call, Jerry and Dave!!

You might have thought beforehand that the pitching match-up was heavily in New York's favour, but look at the final lines:
Pomeranz  6-4-2-2- 6,               24 batters, 107 pitches
Severino  6-6-2-0-11, 1 wild pitch, 25 batters, 109 pitches
Dave O'Brien referred to Severino's outing as "brutally tough" for the Red Sox. But Pomeranz allowed the same number of hits/walks as Severino. The two men pitched the same number of innings and they each allowed two runs. Their batters faced and pitches thrown were nearly identical. Strikeouts are nice, but if you are judging a pitcher's outing, how many runs he allowed (and how many baserunners the opposition had) are more important. Needless to say, O'Brien did not character the Yankees' hitters experience with Pomeranz as being "brutally tough".

Boston made a little bit of noise against the Ace of All Aces in the early innings. Eduardo Nunez doubled with two outs in the second. Christian Vazquez singled to right to led off the third, but was thrown out trying for a double. (The ball was hit into the corner and I'm mystified as to why Vazquez was not standing on second base when Judge's throw came in.) J.D. Martinez doubled with one out in the fourth, but was stranded.

O'Brien referred to JDM's hit as a "slide-in double", cleverly (at least in his own mind) contrasting it with a "stand-up double". He's used the phrase before and he remains the only person in human history who has ever used it. Fans, players, coaches, umpires, writers, other broadcasters, peanut vendors, parking attendants, scoreboard operators, general managers, team presidents, grounds crew, sports radio hosts, sports radio callers -- none of them have EVER uttered the phrase "slide-in double", unless they were specifically mocking O'Brien. ... I am now waiting for O'Brien to witness Mookie Betts make a routine grab in right field and refer to it as "a ball-in-glove catch". Or to describe a long ball as an "outside-the-park home run".

Nunez struck out to open the fifth, but reached on a wild pitch. Severino fanned both Jackie Bradley and Vazquez, but Betts and Andrew Benintendi both blooped singles to left-center and Nunez scored. With runners at second and third, Hanley Ramirez grounded out to second.

Nunez led off the seventh and he finished his 10-pitch at-bat with an infield hit to shortstop. Reliever David Robertson took over and struck out JBJ and got Vazquez to fly to center. Nunez stole second with Betts at the plate and Mookie lined a 2-2 pitch to left. Brett Gardner tried making a sliding stop to his right, but the ball got by him and rolled to the wall. Nunez scored on Betts's triple. Benintendi ended the inning by striking out.

Neil Walker, a pinch-hitter, doubled off Heath Hembree with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Gleyber Torres walked. Hembree balked with a 2-2 count on Gardner and the runners moved up. Hembree then walked Gardner to load the bases. ... And Joe Kelly came in, to what sounded like fewer boos than I would have expected. Judge hit a hard grounder into left. Walker scored and Torres tried to score, but Benintendi threw him out at the plate. Didi Gregorius chopped back to the mound and Kelly took his time, jogging towards first and letting Gregorius get almost to the bag before throwing him out.

Ramirez singled to start the eighth, but after Martinez lined to center, Xander Bogaerts grounded into a double play. In the bottom half, Stanton walked, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch (also against Kelly). With one out Hicks grounded to first. Ramirez set himself and threw home. Stanton did not slide and he was tagged out by Vazquez.

The Red Sox faced Aroldis Chapman in the ninth. Rafael Devers grounded back to the mound. Nunez struck out, taking a weak wave at a 102-mph pitch that was outside. Bradley had struck out in his three previous trips and I was anticipating a gruesome ending to the game. But Chapman hit JBJ with his first pitch, so it was up to Vazquez. He took a strike, two balls, and a second strike. He fouled a fifth pitch off before grounding to second.
Drew Pomeranz / Luis Severino
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
This is the first time since June 2, 2002 that the Red Sox (25-9) and Yankees (24-10) will meet when they hold the two best records in baseball.

Since April 2, both teams are 22-8 (which is a 119-win pace). This could be an epic summer.
           W   L   RS/G   RA/G   HOME   ROAD   1-RUN    RA    RA   EXPWL
Red Sox   25   9    5.6    3.7   11-4   14-5    10-3   192   125   23-11
Yankees   24  10    5.8    4.0   14-5   10-5     6-2   197   135   23-11

If there was ever an ideal moment for Drew Pomeranz to step forward and establish himself as a productive member of the 2018 rotation, it is tonight.

In three starts, Pomeranz has a 6.14 ERA. He showed signs of dominance towards the end of his last game, on May 2 against the Royals, in which he battled through some early rough patches to give the Red Sox six innings (three runs allowed).

Severino has a 2.11 ERA in seven starts. In his last outing, at Houston, he pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out 10. The only blemish on his season came against the Red Sox on April 10, when he allowed five runs in five innings. (Absent that start, his ERA is 1.29.)

Joe Kelly wants to be booed - loudly - at Yankee Stadium. (He will definitely get his wish.)
It will probably be loud and I like loud. ... I like a lot of noises. It gets my blood going. ... I think [a heated Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is] better for the game. ... I think it's awesome. ... Hopefully we'll be fighting throughout the whole season, metaphorically.

Yankees Are Beating Everyone But Still Looking Up At The Red Sox
Tyler Kepner, New York Times, May 7, 2018
The best teams are the greediest. They enjoy the meal, but won't savor it until they grab the last slice of cake off your plate. As the Boston Red Sox arrive for a three-game clash starting Tuesday, the Yankees have been on a merciless tear.

They played 18 games in 18 days, in three time zones, and won all five series. They staged ninth-inning comebacks to finish three of them, all against playoff teams from last season. ...

The only cause for concern is that, while the Yankees have a better record than 28 teams, they trail the Red Sox. The Yankees are 18-3 since the teams last tangled at Fenway Park, but still looking up in the standings.

The Red Sox are 25-9, and they seem like themselves again. Remember last season, when they won the American League East but finished last in the league in home runs? Now they lead the majors in slugging percentage. Mookie Betts bruised his right shoulder on Sunday, but that should not slow his Willie Mays impersonation: a .355 average with 13 homers. Boston's five-year, $110 million investment in J.D. Martinez (.349, 8 homers) looks like a steal. ...

Now the Yankees face the only team that has done it better this season, the one rival who always matters most.
This Is The Yankees' Chance To Blow Past The Red Sox
By George A. King III, New York Post, May 7, 2018
It's early.

That is the biggest lie in baseball, yet you hear it throughout the game as if all 162 games don't carry the same weight.

And when it comes to Red Sox-Yankees series, it's never too early for the hatred between the blood rivals to boil. Was it too early for the dugouts and bullpens to clear on April 11, when Joe Kelly drilled Tyler Austin in Fenway Park? Since it happened close to the middle of the first month, did the Red Sox taking two of three mean less? Did the Red Sox's 17-2 start and 7½-game lead over the Yankees on April 21 not count because of the date? ...

"The Red Sox are a great team, we know that," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said from his office on Monday ... "[T]hey are the defending AL East champs. ... [N]ow we are knocking on the door."

More like pounding with a sledgehammer and chain saw. During the 16-game stretch, the Yankees' pitchers have posted a 2.06 ERA, and the lineup is averaging 6.13 runs.

ESPN's Week 5 Power Rankings:
1. New York Yankees
Record: 24-10
Week 4 ranking: 4

The Yankees' top rookie and MLB preseason No. 5 prospect according to ESPN's Keith Law, Gleyber Torres, has arrived and produced immediately, delivering the walk-off win with a home run Sunday. The rookie is hitting .327 and launched his first career home run on Friday. He compiled back-to-back three-RBI games earlier last week and has helped the Yankees to a 14-1 record when he is in the lineup. The future is looking bright for the young prospect.

2. Boston Red Sox
Record: 25-9
Week 4 ranking: 1

Mookie Betts muscled his way to the top of the leaderboard this week, crushing five home runs, including his Red Sox-record fourth career three-home run game. His 8.5 at-bats per home run is well ahead of his career pace entering this year (26.7), so the Red Sox hope his bruised shoulder will heal quickly. Unfortunately, after two scoreless outings against Tampa to open the year, David Price has struggled to maintain form. After a poor outing against Texas on May 3, his ERA in his last five starts is up to 8.22.
After these three games, the two teams will not meet until June 29. The remaining series are:
June 29-30-July 1 at New York
August 2-3-4-5 at Boston
September 18-19-20 at New York
September 28-29-30 at Boston (the last three games of the regular season)
Also: Some words from Nick Cafardo (my emphasis):
Luis Severino is the ace of all aces, averaging more than 97 miles per hour with his fastball and just dominating on the mound as the Yankees' No. 1 starter.
Cafardo wrote that, not for his personal Yankees blog, but for the Boston Globe.

SoSHer The Grey Eagle:
Severino has 27 career major league wins. I guess it doesn't take long to be The Ace Of All Aces. He only needs 485 more wins to pass Cy Young. When the casual fan thinks of The Ace Of All Aces, you know he thinks of Severino, with ... his glittering postseason record of 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA.


allan said...

Brock Holt off the DL.
Tzu-Wei Lin optioned to Paw.

allan said...

Pomeranz: "My fingernail, the way I throw the curveball I kind of use the top part of my finger and my fingernail split down the middle and it was like a little sliver that was pulling on the skin so when I threw my curveball it kept bleeding. I had to cut it off but I couldn't pull all of it off because it was still pulling on the skin. I thought I wasn't going to be able to throw my curveball. I didn't throw it for a few pitches and then I finally started throwing it again because I have to throw my curveball. I cannot not throw it in this game, so I just dealt with it."