Five nights after the Red Sox rallied to beat the Yankees in 10 innings in the Bronx, the Red Sox broke their rivals’ heart again, coming to life in the seventh inning this time to take another one from their arch-rivals. Something about this particular game, though, just seems like it may wind up being more damaging to the Yankees’ cause going forward.
After Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland smacked a pinch single up the middle to drive in the tying and go-ahead runs in the seventh inning, the Red Sox tacked on two runs in the eighth to put themselves ahead by a score of 9-6. New York struggled to get the final eight outs of the game, going through three pitchers in the process. Aroldis Chapman, Addison Reed, and Craig Kimbrel were all needed to finally stop the Red Sox rally.
The Yankees offense struggled most of the night, leaving a total of fourteen runners on base, with superstar home-run machine Aaron Judge stranding seven.
The Yankees bullpen, which, since the All-star break, has led all of Baseball bullpen ERA(2.15), surrendered six runs in just two innings, costing the team the game Friday night. This defeat will need to be forgotten quickly as the same two teams square off again tonight.
Certainly, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Bronx bombers, however, considering how well they have played this season, this loss could have a devastating psychological effect on them moving forward. The Yankees currently trail Boston by only five games in the American League Eastern division and are still in prime position for a wild card spot. There is no doubt, though, that a young team getting its hopes up, coming that close to a division title and not obtaining it in a year where little was expected could have lingering negative effects on the mindset of the team even if it finds its way into the postseason. On the plus side, there is two months to go before the postseason even begins which means everything is still up in the air, and the Red Sox five-game lead is precarious. So, the Yankees should still take comfort in the fact that they have plenty of time to regroup, but this will be a tough one to get over.
Boston, on the other hand, has been making a habit of these late-game dramatics, winning for the 12th time this year when trailing after six innings. Things don’t get any easier for New York as Boston is scheduled to have their ace, Chris Sale on the mound tonight. There is no doubt that the Sox are enjoying the space they have put between themselves and their rivals and they look forward to doing more damage.
“With them being the next-closest team, to get that win and kind of separate ourselves a little bit more and start the series off on the right note, yeah, it’s a big one,” Moreland said. “Any time you can gain ground on somebody that’s right there behind you, it’s always nice.”
The Red Sox are currently in the midst of a hot streak, having won thirteen out of their last fifteen games. The Yankees, on the other hand, have posted a mediocre 15-10 record in their last twenty-five contests.
“There’s been a number of wild-card teams that have either won it all or advanced very deep,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before the game. “I think there’s a lot to be said for winning your division, though.”
Time will tell if the division lead holds up for Boston, but when the Yankees are nine outs from a victory and unable to protect a 6-3 lead, its a telling sign, especially since the collapse came only five nights after they blew a lead at home to the same squad. When they miss another opportunity to stick it to the Red Sox and realize there is only six head-to-head matchups remaining between the teams, when they’re staring down the barrel of facing the AL Cy Young favorite who has dominated them throughout his career, it makes it easier for the Red Sox to relax, at least for the time being.
[Featured Image by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images]