The funny thing about tonight’s game was that in the middle of the 5th inning, it felt like the game was going fast (and it was). Then suddenly slammed on its breaks and slowed down to a crawl. And it was still a fairly fast game for a rivalry game between the Yankees and Red Sox (at 3 hours and 9 minutes).
And part of the reason it got off to a really quick start was the fact that CC Sabathia’s first start off the DL was just Sabathia breezing through the Red Sox lineup for most of his outing. Overall, he threw just 80 pitches in 6 innings, gave up 4 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, and struck out 4 Boston batters to set himself up for his 10th win of the season.
The Red Sox didn’t find any opening to score until the 5th inning. With 1 out, Sabathia gave up that lone walk and a single to put runners on the corners. A ground out scored the lead runner, moving the other one to 2nd who then scored on deep single and off-center throw home. (If you’re keeping score, outside of that inning, he only gave up 2 hits, which is a great return to the rotation from the DL.)
The Yankees got on the board first in the 2nd inning. With 1 out, Gregorius hit a ground-rule double and Todd Frazier was plunked in the shin by a nasty inside pitch. So it would be Tyler Austin to hit a 3-run home run deep into the seats atop the Green Monster. Austin actually hit really well off the Red Sox’s ace pitcher. Slightly bruised up Todd Frazier hit a 2-out solo home run in the 6th inning to give the Yankees a much-needed insurance run.
Now, Adam Warren came on for Sabathia in the 7th inning. With 1 out, a batter hit a ball that bounced off the back center field wall and bounced into the stands. In any other stadium, that would be a ground-rule double, but Fenway’s special rules make it a home run (along with hitting almost every single wall except the big one out in left field). You learn something new everyday, I guess, like that Fenway is way more of a “hitter’s park” than Yankee Stadium.
Anyway, after 2 outs in the 7th, the Yankees went to David Robertson for a single pitch to close out the inning. Robertson came back out for the 8th inning, getting all 3 outs with strikeouts as only Robertson can. Dellin Betances breezed through the 9th inning with just 14 pitches and added his own 2 strikeouts and earned his 9th save of the season.
Final score: 4-3 Yankees
Roster moves: Before the game, the Yankees activated CC Sabathia off the 10-day disabled list due to his recurring knee injury. In exchange, they sent Jordan Montgomery back to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
With Aroldis Chapman‘s recent struggles, the Yankees are looking at their plethora of options in the bullpen for alternatives to the closer’s role. With closers like Betances and Robertson, the Yankees do have credible options while Chapman works through his issues when it really counts. And now that we’re down to the time of year where every game really does matter, the Yankees need reliability and consistency.
You know, like Sabathia’s surprisingly been this year outside of his pesky injuries. Glad to have him back and pitching like he did tonight again.