August 5, 2018

G113: Red Sox 5, Yankees 4 (10)

Yankees - 000 000 400 0 - 4  6  2
Red Sox - 000 010 003 1 - 5 10  1
They are going to have to start inventing some new superlatives because the existing ones in the English language are becoming increasingly inadequate in describing this unstoppable Red Sox team.

The Yankees held a 4-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Red Sox were down to their last strike. But Aroldis Chapman - who had last blown a save on May 4 - had trouble throwing strikes. He needed seven pitches to strike out Brock Holt before throwing four balls to Sandy Leon after getting ahead 0-1. He went to 3-1 on Mookie Betts and walked him on a full count. Chapman rebounded to catch Andrew Benintendi looking at a 2-2 pitch in the top inside corner of the zone for the second out.

Only one player had ever hit five home runs in a Red Sox/Yankees series: Babe Ruth, in September 1927. Steve Pearce had four dongs to his name in this series when he walked to the plate as the potential tying run. Pearce was up in the count 2-0 and 3-1 before taking a full-count pitch in the dirt for ball four. The bases were loaded for J.D. Martinez. Chapman had thrown 30 pitches to five batters, but after a mound conference, Martinez wasted no time. He smacked Chapman's first pitch into center. Two runs scored and it was 4-3.

Xander Bogaerts chopped a 1-1 pitch to third. Miguel Andujar, who had committed a two-base fielding error in the fifth, gloved the ball and fired to first. The throw was low and Greg Bird stretched for it. The ball bounced in and out of his glove and Jackie Bradley, who had pinch-run for Pearce, scored from second base. The Red Sox had put only two of Chapman's 39 pitches (his highest pitch count since 2015) into play - and only one of those left the infield. They scored three runs on one hit, one wild pitch, three walks, and an infield error. (The Yankees did most of the work!)

Matt Barnes needed only nine pitches to retire the Yankees in order in the top of the tenth. The Red Sox faced Jonathan Holder in the bottom half. The reliever who allowed seven of seven batters to reach base on Thursday night retired the first two Boston batters, but Leon poked a liner into short left-center for a hit. Holder's first pitch to Betts got away from catcher Austin Romine and Leon took second.

With first base now open, the Yankees intentionally walked Mookie. Benintendi had doubled in the first and singled in the third, but had struck out in two of his last three at-bats. Holder threw three balls out of the strike zone, but plate umpire Chris Conroy called the last one - which was well outside of the zone - a strike. Benintendi grounded the next pitch up the middle and to the right of second baseman Gleyber Torres. There was no play at the plate, but Tony Renda, who last appeared in the majors in 2016 and had run for Leon at second base, slid across head-first anyway.

Whoever runs the Yankees' Twitter account has clearly not been following the Red Sox this season.

No Red Sox team in history has been more successful through 113 games (79-34).

Most Wins After 113 Games (And Final Record)
2018   79-34
1946   78-33-2     104-50   AL Pennant
1912   77-35-1     105-47   WS Champions
1915   73-37-3     101-50   WS Champions
1939   72-41        89-62
1903   71-40-2      91-47   WS Champions
1978   71-42        99-64
Biggest Run Differential After 113 Games
2018 - 191
1912 - 184
1946 - 182
1950 - 161
2002 - 158
1949 - 145
2011 - 144
1979 - 138
The Red Sox are 12-25 (.324) when trailing by three or more runs this season, the most wins and best record of any MLB team.

Over the past 10 seasons, the Yankees have lost only two games when leading by three or more runs entering the ninth inning. Both losses have been to the Red Sox (September 15, 2016). Over the past 10 years, the Red Sox are 2-53 (.036) against the Yankees in those games. The rest of MLB is a combined 0-430.

The Yankees had not been swept in a four-game series by the Red Sox when they entered the series at least 30 games over .500 since 1939.

After Rick Porcello and Nathan Eovaldi had both faced no more than four batters in any of their innings on Friday and Saturday, David Price saw six Yankees in the top of the first. That was discouraging, but Price did keep the Yankees from scoring. After Giancarlo Stanton singled with one out, Price hit Didi Gregorius. With two outs, Andjar singled to left and Luke Voit grounded out pitcher-to-first.

After the first inning, Price allowed only one hit and two walks over the next five innings. Mookie Betts made two nice catches in center field, leaping on the track in left-center to snag Brett Gardner's fly in the second and racing back to the garage door for Gregorius's drive to end the third. Betts also snapped the scoreless tie in the fifth with his 26th home run.

When Price whiffed the last two batters in the sixth, he was at 95 pitches and he acted like he was done as he walked off the mound. I expected Alex Cora to go to his well-rested bullpen in the seventh, but he stayed with Price. Cora has not made many obvious blunders, but this was one of them. Price threw 13 pitches and gave up a single to Gardner and a walk to Romine. Heath Hembree walked his first batter to load the bases with none out. An error by Bogaerts allowed two runs to score and Stanton knocked in a third. Ryan Brasier allowed a sacrifice fly and New York led 4-1.

When the Red Sox batted in the ninth, they had managed only one hit since Betts's home run (although a walk and a passed ball helped put Leon on third in the seventh). That lack of production, of course, did not matter one whit to this team, as they erased what the Yankees must have thought was a face-saving win after three embarrassing days. However, that would have meant the Red Sox had lost the game and losing baseball games is just about the only thing this team cannot do very well this year.

Holy shit!

After Aroldis Chapman's epic 39-pitch meltdown in the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Benintendi knocked in the winning run in the tenth.

The Red Sox's soul-crushing four-game sweep pushed the Yankees 9.5 games out of first place.

Masahiro Tanaka / David Price
Betts, CF
Benintendi, LF
Pearce, DH
Martinez, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 3B
Holt, 2B
Leon, C

Before tonight's game, you might enjoy: "The Five Worst Moments Of The Yankees' Tailspin":
With each passing inning, the team found new ways to humiliate themselves. At no real point did they seem capable of turning their fortune around. It's difficult to process how poorly the Yankees have played of late. In an attempt to make some sense of this stretch, I'm going to point out five episodes that highlight (lowlight?) the tailspin.


FenFan said...

Make it so!

Unknown said...

I see another world series win coming. At least I hope so.

Paul Hickman said...

Oh how we now wish we could play them MFY every week ........

Let's hope it remains so !

allan said...

It really sucks that the wild card exists, because now the tabloids are saying: OK the Yankees have to focus on the wild card. So there is still a decent chance for them. If it was 'win the division or go home', they would be much more harsh and savage ... and hilarious.