June 6, 2021

G58: Red Sox 7, Yankees 3

Yankees reliever Chad Green was one strike away from ending the top of the eighth inning with the score  still tied 3-3. Rafael Devers had led off with a single, but Hunter Renfroe and Marwin Gonzalez had followed with a strikeout and a pop to third. 

Green's 2-2 pitch to Kiké Hernández (whose strikeout with runners on second and third to close the sixth had extended his hitless stretch to 27 at-bats) was ripped into left field. It rolled all the way to the wall. Manager Alex Cora had sent Devers on the pitch and enabled him to score the go-ahead run. 

Christian Vázquez made weak contact on a 1-2 pitch (again, Green was one strike away from ending the inning) but placed the ball perfectly, along the right field line for another double and another run. Bobby Dalbec then crushed Green's final pitch of the evening 453 feet to dead center for a two-run homer, and the final nail in the Yankees' 7-3 coffin.

The Yankees blew a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning as New York manager Aaron Boone erred by allowing his starter Jameson Taillon (5.1-6-3-1-3, 76) to face the Boston lineup a third time. On the Fox broadcast, Tom Verudcci avered that sticking with Taillon was warranted because of a low pitch count. Taillon began the inning at only 60 pitches, having allowed three hits in five innings, but a third look is still a third look. And batters hit .350 off Taillon the third time through the lineup.

With one out, Alex Verdugo hit against the shift, poking an 0-2 pitch into the vacant lot near third base. Xander Bogaerts drove another 0-2 pitch to deep left. Miguel Andujar went back to the track but pulled up short of the wall; he did not know where it was and was not feeling for it with his non-glove hand. If Andujar had taken perhaps one additional step back, he could have likely caught the ball. But instead, the ball struck the padded wall above his useless glove and Bogaerts had a double. Taillon fell behind Devers 3-0, worked his way back to a full count, and then gave up a hard grounder to right that scored two runs, turning the Yankees' 2-0 lead into a 2-2 tie. Jonathan Loaisiga took over. Renfroe singled through the shortstop hole for a single and Gonzalez doubled to right, scoring Devers.

Edwardo Rodriguez (5.2-5-3-1-7, 88) was chased in the bottom of the inning by a one-out walk and Aaron Judge's ground-rule double to right. Gleyber Torres (who hit a two-run dong in the fourth) re-tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right, but Chris Gittens, making his major league debut, struck out.

Fox viewers were told that Gittens's family was in the stands. We learned that when Gittens signed his  first professional contract, his father told him he would not attend any game his son played until his reached the major leagues. (Gittens has spent seven years in the minor leagues.) This information was presented in more of a good light than bad, even though to many viewers (including this one), Mr. Gittens came off as a bit of an asshole. Why would you want that factoid revealed on a nationwide broadcast?

In more pleasant news, Verducci is still in love with Aaron Judge, cooing at length about how big and tall the Yankee slugger (still) is, noting that he is the first 6-7 man to play center field since the immortal Walt hood in 1964. Verducci also called Judge an "iconic" feature of Yankee Stadium and referred to the current ball park, which opened in 2009, as "the House that Ruth Built". (Important Note to Verudcci: Ruth died 58 years before construction on the park began.)

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