April 16, 2019

G18: Yankees 8, Red Sox 0

Red Sox - 000 000 000 - 0  3  1
Yankees - 002 203 10x - 8 11  0
Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski admits that he's "concerned" that Boston is "really not playing very well anywhere", but he's "not overly concerned".
We've just had a tough start really is what it comes down to. I've seen these things happen before.
Dombrowski may be right - I would agree that the 2019 Red Sox are capable of playing far better than .333 ball - but it doesn't make games like Tuesday's in the Bronx any more attractive to look at.

James Paxton has been experiencing his own troubles during the first few weeks of this season, but he looked near perfect against the Red Sox: 8 scoreless innings, 2 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts, 110 pitches. He struck out the side twice and it was the same trio each time: Steve Pearce, Mitch Moreland, and Eduardo Nunez (in the second and seventh innings)

Paxton's only trouble came in the fourth. After retiring the first nine Boston batters, he walked Mookie Betts to lead off the inning. Xander Bogaerts drove a ball to deep right. It looked like it might be a game-tying home run, but it bounced on the top of the wall and fell onto the warning track for a double. J.D. Martinez and Pearce both flied to right but neither fly ball was deep enough to convince Betts to test Aaron Judge's arm. Moreland ended the Red Sox's only threat with a strikeout.

Boston other baserunners: Rafael Devers was hit by a pitch in the fifth, Jackie Bradley doubled in the eighth, and Martinez singled off Joe Harvey in the ninth.

Sandy Leon, on the first day of the Post-Swihart Era, went 0-for-3, with two strikeouts. He also equaled his error total of 2018 when he uncorked a wild throw to second when Judge stole second base in the fifth.

Chris Sale (5-7-4-1-6, 93) was hitting 95-97 with his fastball on a regular basis, but he still got smacked around. After two perfect innings on only 22 pitches, Sale gave up a double to Brett Gardner in the third. He was one out away from stranding The Great Gazoo on third, but D.J. Lemahieu singled to right for a run, Judge walked, and Luke Voit singled in a second run.

Clint Frazier led off the fourth with a home run that (for fuck's sake) struck the top of the wall in right-center and (unlike X's ball) caromed into the stands for a home run. Again Sale got two outs, but had trouble getting the third one. Austin Romine singled and Mike Tauchman tripled to right. Judge singled in the fifth and stole second, ending up on third with one out thanks to Leon's error. Sale escaped this jam by getting a fly to left and a grounder to third, but the 4-0 score was like a 40-foot well that the Red Sox bats were at the bottom of.

And it didn't stay 4-0 for very long. Erasmo Ramirez gave up a three-run homer to Tauchman in the sixth and a solo shot to Gleyber Torres in the seventh.

Tauchman (2-for-4) matched his hit total for the season, collected his second career triple, and hit the first home run of his career. His four RBI tripled his career total (from 2 to 6).

The Red Sox dropped to 6-12, while the Yankees improved to 7-9.
Chris Sale / James Paxton
Betts, RF
Bogaerts, SS
Martinez, LF
Pearce, DH
Moreland, 1B
Núñez, 2B
Devers, 3B
León, C
Bradley, CF
The Red Sox designated Blake Swihart for assignment this morning and summoned Sandy Leon from Pawtucket. (No word yet on whether Sandy will get a police escort to the park.) The opinion on SoSH ranges from bafflement to frustration to anger.

Leon's reputation among the pitchers has always been solid. The front office must feel that who is behind the plate is at least some of the reason for the staff's poor performance this year. But the veracity of that opinion, if it exists, is questionable: overall in 2019, pitchers working with Christian Vazquez have a 5.79 ERA and 6.17 with Swihart. (In 2018: Leon 3.28, Vazquez 3.84, and Swihart 5.32.) ... Leon is 3-for-25 (.120) in seven games for the PawSox.

And sportswriter Evan Drellich‏ is not holding back:
You have a win-now pres of baseball operations Dombrowski who can be reactionary and has not received an extension beyond next year, but did just give out two big contracts, including one to Chris Sale. *Of course* by mid-April one of the team's few cost-controlled assets is gone

The Red Sox are probably due to win a few games, at which point the move away from Blake Swihart will be credited. Make no mistake: this is a reactionary move, lacking vision or a sense of the big picture
Mookie Betts (.222/.324/.413):
What I'm doing is unacceptable. I have to figure out a way to get something done and help the team. ... [T]here have been many times where I can help score runs or do something and I haven't done it. ... I'm not really doing anything well right now. It sucks. Nothing really else to say ... I think we've all been watching the same game. It's tough having so much success last year and not really having any right now.
Betts has become extremely passive at the plate. He is swinging at only about 1/3 of all pitches, which puts him #295 among the 302 batters who have seen more than 100 pitches this year.

Chris Sale's performance so far - 13 runs in 13 innings - is also unacceptable. He insists his shoulder is fine. After his last start, he said:
If I knew what it was, I'd fix it. ... I'm looking at this, looking at that, see if I'm tipping pitches, see if (it's) my mechanics, if it's this, if it's angles. ...I'll find it. I know who I am. I know what I can do. ... ["Have you ever felt this lost on the mound?"] Never in my life. But it's not going to stop me. I don't have an inch of back down in me. ... I just got to keep fighting. But it's only going to go so far here. ... I got to start performing and putting zeroes up ...
Sale's fastball velocity has been down, although it did get up to 94.7 mph in his last outing. More troubling is the fact Sale did not get a swing and a miss on a fastball this year until the fourth inning of his third start (his 83rd fastball). Sale is also not throwing his fastball in the strike zone as often, down from 53% to 38%.

Tonight is the first time in 27 years the Red Sox and Yankees will both have a losing record when playing each other at least 15 games into a season. The last time was October 4, 1992, the final game of that season.

Kevin Kernan, Post:
Forget about the injuries.

Remember the humiliation.

The 6-9 Yankees need to move on from their early season pity party and realize it is payback time.

It must start immediately, for the season can begin to flip with these next two games in the Bronx against the 6-11 Red Sox.

With all the adversity the Yankees have faced, it's time to put that aside and remember how the Red Sox crushed them in their own ballpark in the ALDS last October, embarrassing them by winning Game 3 in a 16-1 romp and then knocking the Yankees out with a 4-3 victory in Game 4 – all this after easily winning the AL East. ...

Do the Yankees have the will and tools to succeed?

Since 2004 the Red Sox own four World Series titles, while the Yankees own one. ...

This short series will be about how the Yankees respond to the adversity they have faced in 2019. ...

No doubt this is a two-game series where the Yankees must step up. The Red Sox embarrassed them last October.

Time for the Yankees to practice what they preach.
And, of course ... Another day, Another Yankee player goes on the IL!


allan said...

The Red Sox play the Rays on Friday - and TB just put Blake Snell on the IL.
Excellent timing!

allan said...

Greg Bird is 13th MFY on IL in the season's first 15 games.

March 23 - LHP Jordan Montgomery
March 28 (Opening Day) - RHP Dellin Betances, RHP Ben Heller, RHP Luis Severino, INF Didi Gregorius, OF Jacoby Ellsbury, OF Aaron Hicks
April 1 - OF Giancarlo Stanton, INF Miguel Andújar
April 3 - LHP CC Sabathia
April 4 - INF Troy Tulowitzki
April 12 - C Gary Sánchez
April 16 - 1B Greg Bird