I know he’s from Colorado, but Chase Headley has to know that calling something a “dust-up” just gives people the image of an old western. And truth be told, he’s from suburban Colorado (a southern suburb of Colorado Springs). Yet, that’s kind of what we had tonight in the series opener in Fenway. What better way to describe the recent incarnation of the oldest, greatest rivalry in sports?
Anyway, for the first game of this 3-game series in Boston, a brief break for the Yankees in their long home stand, the Yankees sent up Severino in his first start since returning from rehab and time in the bullpen late last month. It certainly had mixed results. The Red Sox pushed his pitch count up there — 86 pitches into the 5th inning, giving up 7 hits and 5 runs, and striking out just 3 Boston batters.
In the 3rd, with 1 out and runners in scoring position due to a single and a double, another double scored both runners. And into the 5th, a lead-off triple scored on a double (after an umpire review rightfully overturned the original home run call), and another double scored that runner. Other than those 6 allowed hits, he really only gave up another hit the entire game. Like I said, it was a mixed bag for Severino tonight.
Newly signed reliever Tommy Layne came on for Severino and gave up an RBI single (the run charged to Severino) to cap off the Red Sox’s scoring tonight. His reliever at the end of the 6th was Anthony Swarzak who moved his way through 6 outs into the 8th inning with some dominance, only allowing 2 runners his whole outing. And it was Chasen Shreve for the final out in the 8th in 4 pitches.
But the doubles Severino gave up really nicked into the Yankees too deep for recovery. Technically, they dented the scoreboard first. Castro’s lead-off double in the 2nd allowed him to easily score on Headley’s 1-out RBI double. And it would be Brian McCann’s 2-out single that scored Brett Gardner in the 3rd.
After the Red Sox tied up the game in the bottom of that inning and then pushed into the lead a few innings later, the Yankees put some effort into regaining their lead. But even with countless opportunities and many runners on base throughout the game, the Yankees couldn’t seem to add to their score.
Of course, this is when we get a “dust-up”. Chase Headley led-off the 7th inning with a big hit to right-center field, which was sort of mishandled by the Red Sox’s center fielder. This allowed Headley to power on and try for a triple, where he was barely tagged out. He asked for a replay, but the Yankees wisely didn’t pursue that course as there wasn’t enough to overturn the call. So while they were trying to decide what to do, the pitcher yelled over at Headley standing at 3rd base with 3rd base coach Joe Espada something about stealing signs. (Are we still having this argument, people?) Headley seemed rather confused, even asking him what he was yammering on about. And then the benches cleared. Because… it’s Boston and New York, apparently.
Yes, folks, we’ve come a long way since the A-Rod/Varitek version of the “dust-up”. That was it. No replay. Headley ended up back in the dugout. No fines or ejections. The game moved on. And people have to get over the “stealing signs” thing. First, it’s not illegal. It’s not even “frowned upon” like most of the silly “rules”. It’s just part of strategy. It’s a giant eye roll for most people. It’s not worth the yammering, the dust-up, the anger, the energy. It’s basically a giant distraction and waste of everyone’s time. So get over it. (And I’d be saying this to the Yankees if they were complaining about it too.)
The Yankees then got their lucky break as it were when the starter left the game and was replaced in the 9th inning. Headley worked a 1-out walk, and then Hicks worked a 2-out walk. A passed ball and Gardner’s walk then loaded the bases. Jacoby Ellsbury’s walk scored Headley and kept the bases loaded. The Red Sox decided they weren’t going to let their lead “walk” away, so they brought in a new reliever who struck out Teixeira for the final out of the game.
Final score: 5-3 Red Sox.
Lots of roster updates: So reliever Bryan Mitchell (who fractured his toe at the end of Spring Training) was sent to Short-A Charleston (the RiverDogs) for his rehab assignment. Richard Bleier was optioned back to AAA Scranton. The Yankees claimed pitcher Blake Parker off waivers from the Mariners (he spent 2012-2014 with the Cubs). They also signed free agent pitcher Tommy Layne, who ended up contributing tonight. Layne started his career with the Padres and ended up these last 3 seasons in a Red Sox uniform before they released him earlier this year. So his familiarity with Fenway came in handy tonight.
So, on a lighter note, on a recent free day, Austin Romine and Rob Refsnyder took the Yankee Stadium tour undercover. They had some fun not being recognized, and then revealed themselves in the dugout to the unsuspecting fans, posing for pictures. If you’re ever in New York and want a little something extra, especially on a non-game day, take the Stadium tour. It’s a lot fun, and you get to see so many amazing parts of the stadium and history of the organization. Though my favorite part of any tour is sitting in the press box. It could be the writing thing…