October 6, 2018

ALDS 2: Yankees 6, Red Sox 2

Yankees   - 120 000 300 - 6  8  0
Red Sox   - 000 100 100 - 2  5  1
Game Report from FenFan:

The story of this game could focus on the Red Sox bullpen turning around their fortunes after last night's shaky performance, with the only blip coming on a home run from Gary Sanchez in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach at that point. It could also focus on another stagnant performance by the Boston offense, which was stymied most of the night by Masahiro Tanaka and the three relievers that followed.

But whom are we kidding? The story of the game was yet another disappointing postseason start by David Price, who got only five outs while giving up three runs on three hits and two walks before getting pulled in the top of the second. As I watched what was almost expected by Boston sportswriters and talk radio hosts unfold on the TBS broadcast, I imagined they were already at their keyboards preparing a story full of vitriol, which while somewhat deserved given his now 0-9 record in the postseason is often excessively flippant, usually saved for players who don't fit the mold of playing the game "the right way."

The game began innocently enough, with Price getting Andrew McCutchen to ground out to third base. Up stepped Aaron Judge who, after fouling off two pitches and taking a ball, sent the next pitch deep into the night and into the Monster Seats. Just like that, it was 1-0 New York. Price quickly settled down, inducing a ground out by Luke Voit followed by a loud out to deep center that Jackie Bradley, Jr. caught in front of the wall.

Following a quiet bottom of the frame that only saw a two-out single by J.D. Martinez, Gary Sanchez stepped to the plate to begin the top of the second and sent the third pitch from Price to the right corner of the Monster Seats, a ball that was hit an estimated 399 feet: 2-0 New York. Price settled down again, getting two quick outs, but then walked the eighth and ninth batters in the Yankees lineup, and up stepped McCutchen, who planted one off the Wall to plate Gleyber Torres from second. 3-0 New York, and the Boston lefty was done. As he walked off the field, his eyes cast downward most of the way, the crowd made it crystal clear that this wasn't the performance they expected to see, the boos being heard all throughout the Commonwealth.

On the other side of the ball, Tanaka was nearly unbreakable. Though he went just five innings and threw only 83 pitches, they were a strong yet relatively easy five frames, the only blemish being a solo home run from Xander Bogaerts in the fourth. He showed little emotion, focusing only on getting his team off the field as quickly as possible. What noise the Red Sox offense did make in those five innings, aside from Bogie's home run, was not much louder than the Fenway Park crowd, who stayed silent most of the night, sporadically coming to life if Boston happened to get a base runner.

However, as stated, the lone bright spot was the Red Sox bullpen, who had nearly given away the win in Game 1 of the series. Joe Kelly, who came on in relief of Price, retired seven of the eight batters he faced on just 25 pitches. Ryan Brasier, who only managed one out the previous game, worked around a throwing error by third baseman Eduardo Nunuez, again starting for Cora in favor of Rafael Devers, and a walk to escape with no runs scored by the visitors in the fifth. He punctuated the inning by chirping at Sanchez, who kept stepping in and out of the batter's box, by rocketing a 97 MPH strike past the Yankees catcher, who feebly waved and missed; as he did so, Brasier yelled and punched his glove in excitement, the crowd electric for one of the few times tonight.

Brandon Workman came in to begin the sixth and struck out Didi Gregorius, but then gave up back-to-back singles. Cora went to the bullpen again to call on his fourth reliever of the night, Eduardo Rodriguez. Falling behind Brett Gardner, Rodriguez came back to induce an infield fly to shallow left field near the foul line, then struck out McCutchen on a foul tip.

The young lefty returned for the seventh, and this was the lone instance that the bullpen failed Boston tonight. Judge led off with a weak ground ball that Moreland fielded, but Rodriguez, who initially tried to retrieve the ball, made a halfhearted effort to cover first, and Judge easily got to the bag first. After Voit walked on a full count, Stanton grounded a bounding ball between second and third that Nunez fielded low; seemingly unsure what to do next, he threw high to Ian Kinsler covering second, seeming to pull the second baseman off the bag.

Bases loaded and no outs... or was it? Cora called for the challenge and, after a review by the team in New York, Voit was called out. The crowd roared in approval, but the excitement was short-lived, as Sanchez came to the plate and absolutely CRUSHED a ball well over the Monster, an estimated 479 feet. 6-1 New York, and any chance of a comeback seemed thin at best.

Kinsler, who had struck out in two earlier at-bats (five thus far in the series), finally put wood on the ball in the bottom of the frame, plating Moreland from first on a pitch from Dellin Betances high and deep to left that scrapped the wall and bounced over McCutchen's head back towards the infield. From there, though, it was all New York. Zach Britton came on in relief in the eighth and retired three of the four batters he faced, and Aroldis Chapman, after walking Pearce to begin the bottom of the ninth, struck out Nunez looking, then got Kinsler to ground into a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

The series is now tied at one game apiece, and we head to New York with the hope that the Red Sox can steal at least one back over the next two games.
Masahiro Tanaka / David Price

Curt Schilling once talked about the exquiste pleasure of making 55,000 Yankee fans shut up.

I want David Price to make 155,000 Boston sportswriters and talk radio idiots and mouthbreathing fans shut up. (Making all Yankee fans realize their truthful place in the universe for a little while (before they retreat back into their bubbles of ignorance and self-delusion) would also be very wonderful.)

The Red Sox hit .345/.382/.631 against Tanaka this season. Abraham reports that if Mitch Moreland and Rafael Devers are in the lineup (which manager Alex Cora implied) the lineup would be 24-of-62 (.387) against Tanaka.

The Red Sox have played 195 games since the start of spring training. They are 131-63-1.

Pete Abraham, Globe: "MLB has approved a roster substitution for the Red Sox due to an injury sustained by RHP Steven Wright. Wright, who has been diagnosed with inflammation and loose body in his left knee, will be replaced on the Division Series roster by RHP Heath Hembree. ... A 'loose body' is usually a bone chip or something of the sort and is removed surgically. So odds of him returning this postseason seem slim."

Postseason: The Dodgers have outscored Atlanta 9-0 and lead the series 2-0. The Brewers lead the Rockies 2-0. The Astros lead Cleveland 1-0.


Clem said...

Can MLB approve a lifetime ban on a certain cellphone carrier for turning the centerfield wall hot pink?

Paul Hickman said...

Great Reports from FenFan - a pity the Offence took the night off !

We need them to return very swiftly or it might well be mothballs .......

Keep that arm warm FenFan - you might get the call !!!!!!!

We need a Spark ........