2 hours and 27 minutes. I’m positive there is a few notable people happy about this time stamp on a rivalry game, as past rivalry games have tipped the scale on the long-side for years leading to changes (like the between inning time clock, not stepping out of the batter’s box, etc.) But quicker isn’t always better. Sometimes, with quicker, you lose the quality and the ambiance of what this sport really means. Yes, sometimes, quicker is better, and I’m not even talking about wins or losses but rather about experience; it just wasn’t the case tonight.
At one point in the 6th inning, I turned to my mother (because who else do you take to a baseball game on Mother’s Day?) and asked her if she felt this game was moving too fast. She agreed. And for most of the game, it certainly wasn’t a pretty picture for the Yankees, with their ghosts from the recent road trip coming back to haunt them in the hallowed grounds that host the legends of pinstripes enshrined just past the center field wall. (Saw an ad for an upcoming remake on my way back tonight, so I’ve got this kind of stuff on my brain. Sorry, but it fits.)
Today is Mother’s Day, which means all across baseball (even the farm system) honored women everywhere with accents of pink in their uniform, many neon pink cleats, gloves, bats, and undershirts. So much pink! But I love how it represents the important role that men have in the lives of the women in their world, by standing up and declaring them valuable and worthy of honor and respect. (FYI: There is nothing more attractive to a woman than a man who sincerely cherishes the women in his life (like mom, grandmother, sister, daughter) and treats them like the queens they are.) Today, MLB partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raised money for breast cancer research and awareness, so each team honored a brave cancer survivor as their “honorary bat girl” of the evening, recognizing their strength and life and vitality to this world and their families.
And the Yankees needed to wrap up this weekend rivalry series against the Red Sox, looking for a sweep to make up for being swept in Fenway last weekend. It didn’t happen. The Red Sox’s home run cup runneth over tonight.
Okay, Luis Severino started tonight’s game, and it is a true shame that he must earn his 5th loss of the season. The handful of pitches the Red Sox got a hold of was just enough to make that kind of impact on the game. Severino went almost 7 innings, throwing a season high 113 pitches, giving up just 5 hits, 1 walk, and 4 runs (3 were home runs), but striking out an impressive 9 batters.
A lead-off walk in the 1st was followed up by a 2-run home run, which made the contingent of Red Sox fans present rather happy to get such an early lead. But then, Severino hunkered down and plowed through the roster, just setting down the Red Sox batters in order. Amid a chorus of boos, lingering from the old rivalry sentiments under the days of “the curse”, their retiring power-hitter hit a 1-out solo home run into the right field seats in the 4th inning. But Severino kept working and focused on getting those outs properly.
That same power-hitter, perhaps energized by the “Yankee welcome”, smacked his 2nd solo shot of the night to lead off the 7th inning. But after 2 more outs and a single (and well, 113 pitches), Severino’s night was done.
Chasen Shreve to the rescue, who despite a lucky ground-rule double (a regular double would’ve scored another run), got out of the 7th inning with a great strikeout. And things were going well in the 8th inning, quickly getting 2 outs, but then another pesky solo home run gave the Red Sox their 5th and final run of the evening.
It was Johnny Barbato in for the 9th inning and to keep things under control. Which he did, albeit not without some of his own self-inflicted drama. The lead-off batter was hit with a nasty pitch off his elbow, but stayed in the game. Then he stole 2nd, but Barbato threw wide of Gregorius covering 2nd and the runner ended up at 3rd. The next batter lined out to Brett Gardner in left field, who promptly fired it into McCann waiting at home plate to successfully tag out the runner trying to make it a 6-run game for the Red Sox.
Look, Severino pitched really well. But the Yankees just couldn’t hit for nothing tonight. Well, that’s not entirely true. They did manage to eke 3 hits and a walk out of the Red Sox lone pitcher tonight. Fortunately, the only hit that ended up mattering with Brett Gardner’s 2-out solo home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to eliminate the shut out option from tonight’s game. And it isn’t that the Red Sox starter is all that amazingly good. It’s just that the Yankees seemed to return to their non-hitting routine.
Boys, I believe we left that behind in Baltimore. Send it back.
Final score: 5-1 Boston, Yankees win the series 2-1 (consider this my positive note for the evening).
Injury Update: Starlin Castro made a bit of a baserunning error tonight in the 7th inning, miscalculating how far a passed ball got away from the catcher and not making it back to 3rd before the tag. In doing so, he kind of tweaked his oblique. It’s a little sore, and he hopes to be available tomorrow, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a day or two off just to be on the safe side.
Ellsbury rested tonight, taking it easy on his hip. I could reasonably see him out another day or two as a precaution, but like all good competitors, I imagine he’s chomping at the bit ready to jump back in the game even if he is still sore.
Chapman makes his debut in pinstripes tomorrow (should there be a save situation, I imagine), so expect a corresponding roster move before tomorrow night’s game against the visiting Royals.
A final note on today: a huge Happy Mother’s Day to my mother — my baseball buddy, my encourager, my greatest example, my friend. I wouldn’t be who I am today, in all that statement encompasses, without her being who she is. I wish we could’ve seen a win and a sweep for you tonight, but it was still a pretty good day. Thanks for being you, which is the exact and only person I will always need as my mom.
Go Yankees! (And Happy Mother’s Day to my mom readers, and a Happy Sunday to everyone else.)