So the fact that the game was over 4 hours, injuries happened, bullpens were depleted, and the Fenway faithful booed Yankee players with gusto, definitely means it was a typical Yankees-Red Sox game.
Nathan Eovaldi started the game tonight and plowed through the 1st inning 3-up, 3-down before leaving the game with “elbow soreness”. He was promptly packed away and sent back to New York for testing. And once the Yankees opened the bullpen door, it revolved and never looked back. Chasen Shreve came out in the 2nd and kept the Red Sox scoreless. In the 3rd, Shreve loaded up the bases with a single, a 1-out double, and a hit-by-pitch.
So it was onto newly signed Blake Parker. A fielder’s choice gave up the Red Sox’s first run putting runners at the corners before Parker got out of the inning with a fly out. He came back out in the 4th to load up the bases himself with 1 out. A fielder’s choice again scored a run, and the Yankees went to Nick Goody for relief. Goody and Tommy Layne kept the Red Sox from adding to their score through the 5th inning.
Layne came back out in the 6th and put runners on the corners with a walk and a single. So it was Tyler Clippard to take control. A single scored a runner, keeping runners at the corners, and a fielder’s choice again score another run. A solid double had a runner going for home before a fantastic relay from center field got the runner out at home. Despite an intentional walk and a wild pitch that put runners in scoring position, Clippard got himself out of the inning.
Clippard gave up a hit in the 7th, but Adam Warren’s relief was the beginning of the end of the Red Sox offense. Warren sailed his way through the 7th and 8th innings in just 28 pitches before Dellin Betances’s 9th inning was just flawless.
The Yankees seemed rather stymied some against the Red Sox starter, but their ability to push up the pitch count on tons of foul balls got him out of the game in the 6th inning, but not before giving up a lead-off solo shot to Didi Gregorius in the 5th inning to get the Yankees on the board. Once the Red Sox were into their bullpen, the Yankees started in on a late offensive rally beginning in the 7th inning.
With Gregorius and Sanchez on base with singles, Austin Romine’s single scored Gregorius. In one of his last appearances at Fenway, Alex Rodriguez then pinch-hit for Hicks and flied out, but still moved Sanchez over to 3rd. The Red Sox went to their bullpen and got a strike out, but the Yankees weren’t done yet. Jacoby Ellsbury’s single scored Sanchez, and Chase Headley’s single scored Romine to tie up the game. Another pitching change, and the bases were loaded with Teixeira’s walk. So Starlin Castro’s beautiful double scored 2 more runs to give the Yankees a nice lead.
And they didn’t look back. Gary Sanchez led-off the 8th inning with an amazing solo home run straight up the middle of Fenway. This was Sanchez’s first MLB homer, and it was just glorious. Romine then walked, and the Red Sox once again changed pitchers. Refsnyder singled, and the wild pitches began. The first one moved Refsndyer and Romine to scoring position. Then with the bases loaded due to Ellsbury’s walk and an out, the second wild pitch scored Romine and moved runners up again. Then after another out, the final wild pitch scored Refsnyder to cap off the Yankees’ rally.
The Yankees’ offense got 15 hits tonight, and Gary Sanchez hit 4 of them. Sanchez had a truly amazing night tonight, going 4-for-5, with 2 runs scored (one of those his 8th inning home run). Currently, Sanchez’s average is one of the best on the roster, albeit it’s based on a small sample size. But clearly, this guy, who’s been itching to make an impact on the team since March, is making an impact on this team. And that’s making all the difference.
Final score: 9-4 Yankees.
Okay, since I mentioned them, there were quite a few injuries in this game. Eovaldi’s “elbow soreness” is worrisome. And hopefully, it’s just some overuse aching. But this could also be a sign of something worse, like the need for Tommy John surgery due to a torn ligament. And the Red Sox had their own share of injuries — a player exited early due to “right calf tightness” (probably a weird cramp or strain) and one of the fan favorites took a nasty foul ball off his shin (though x-rays came back negative).
Some roster moves: The Yankees activated pitcher Blake Parker (who pitched in tonight’s game), sent Bryan Mitchell to the Single-A Tampa Yankees to continue his rehab assignment, and optioned Luis Severino to AAA Scranton.
I also expect with the exhaustion of the bullpen tonight that we’ll get some announcements tomorrow about a fresh arm or two called on from Scranton. That and I’m sure the ideal situation would be to have Pineda be strong and in it for most of the final game tomorrow night.
But then there’s never anything “normal” about a rivalry game. And that’s the most normal thing about them.