Welcome to May Baseball. And apparently, the Yankees still lose in May too. They just lose a lot better. I could blame the borderline torrential rain that plagued most of Sunday on into most of the game. But we know better than that now, don’t we?
So, leading up to the game tonight, it was a rather chilly, rainy first day of May in Beantown. At first pitch, the tarp had only been off the field for a matter of minutes as the grounds crew tried desperately to dry out the field and beat the rain from re-wetting it before they could do their job.
Nathan Eovaldi got the start for the final game in this rivalry weekend series, and after his last start of an almost-no-hitter, tonight was rather disappointing and rather difficult to watch as he struggled his way through his 5 innings, throwing 100 pitches, giving up 10 hits, 3 walks, and 6 runs, and striking out just 3 Boston batters.
In the 1st, Eovaldi gave up a couple of singles to put runners on the corners. The next batter hit into a force out at 2nd as the lead run scored the first run of the evening. With 1 out and the bases loaded with 2 singles and a walk in the 3rd, a single scored 2 more Boston runs. And then a 2-out single scored one more run before a runner got tagged out at 3rd for the final out just after the runner scored at home. Yes, the play was challenged on timing by the Yankees, but the Red Sox legitimately scored before the tag (barely, like a half-second, but still safe) and then kept padding their score. Continuing the odd-inning trend, in the 5th, with a runner on base and 1 out, a 2-run home run gave the Red Sox 2 more runs to their total.
Now, in the mean time, the Yankee bats weren’t exactly quiet like they were yesterday. In the 3rd, Torreyes led-off with a single, moved to 2nd on Romine’s sacrifice bunt, and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s double to get the Yankees on the board. Then with Ellsbury on 3rd on a ground out, Alex Rodriguez continued to climb the all-time lists with his beautiful 2-run home run into the center field Green Monster seats. They came back in the 5th inning with Ellsbury and Gardner on base. Rodriguez doubled (an almost home run) and scored them both before he then scored on Mark Teixeira’s single.
Now, with the game tied going into the 6th inning, Eovaldi handed things off to Ivan Nova for most of the next 2 innings, but Nova got into his own trouble in (yep, the odds continue) the 7th. With 2 outs and a runner on 1st, the Yankees opted to go to the usually reliable backend of their bullpen beginning with Betances. But a beautiful first pitch strike (a 97 mph fastball) found its way to the last row of the Green Monster for a 2-run home run. 2 pitches later, Betances got his next out, and Miller sailed through the 8th inning and kept the Red Sox from adding to their renewed lead.
The Yankees got one back in the 8th (yes, the only odd-inning run scored, but it was odd in itself). Castro hit a 1-out double, moved to 3rd on a ground out, and then scored easily on a wild pitch. But the Yankees couldn’t do anything else and effectively swept away with all the collected rainwater from the evening’s rain showers.
Weird statistics: the Yankee pitchers gave up at least 1 hit to every Boston batter tonight (total of 14 hits), and all but on their roster 1 scored a run, all while only getting a measly (for the Yankees, that is) 4 strikeouts. Not exactly the best pitching. I guess I should be raving about the hitting (save Rodriguez, because that’s becoming a rather happy normal), but the Yankees have always done pretty well off the Red Sox starter tonight (a former Rays and Tigers’ pitcher). So it’s a mixed bag, really. But on the positive side, I’ll take the offensive upswing.
Final score: 8-7 Red Sox, Boston sweeps the Yankees 3-0 this weekend.
And the Yankees are off to Baltimore for their last away series before heading home for a long 10-game home stand, and in the middle of that somewhere, the Yankees are hoping to turn things around and get back on the winning side of things.
Of course, that’s all anyone can talk about in Yankee Universe, but there is reason to hope. Like I said yesterday, it’s actually statistically impossible that the Yankees will continue to lose every game. First, they’re the Yankees, and winning is in their blood and pinstripes. (They just got to find it again.) And second, no one in the history of baseball has ever gone 8-154 for their overall average. Statistically impossible. Even if they get lucky a couple of times, the Yankees will win again. I promise.
Now, Yankees, can you help me fulfill my promise this week please?