The Boston Red Sox were able to get some 9th inning heroics from the club in addition to a couple of Yankee miscues to win 5 – 4
The Red Sox seemed to be playing against both the Yankees and the umpires in what seemed to be a very lopsided game as far as calls went. Luckily for the Sox however, the Yankees couldn’t seem to field the ball properly or throw it correctly. Drew Pomeranz pitched well but not as effectively as he had hoped. He made one mistake which went over the wall giving the Yankees the 4 – 3 lead.
Pomeranz gave up four runs on six hits over six innings, walking two and striking out seven. Pom should have had eight strike outs as Aaron Judge was given ball four on a clear strike three. That mishap was cancelled out as Pomeranz got Matt Holliday to ground into the 3-2-3 inning ending double play. In the top of the 5th inning, Pom also gave up a two run homer to Yankee catcher Gary Sanchez.
There were some major positives in the game, as there was a single mistake that made Pomeranz’s performance look worse than it really was. Also the walk that should have called strike three could have made his walk to strike out line look 1-8 as opposed to the 2-7 which was how it ended. DP also pitched to his 3rd straight quality start. He also broke his streak of five straight starts with allowing no more than two earned runs.
For all the flack that Pomeranz has gotten, I’ve got to say I’m very impressed with how he’s made his adjustments. While he didn’t go home with the win, he certainly deserved consideration for he consistently kept battling. He threw 101 pitches over the six frames before the bullpen came in to finish the job. He’s 6 – 1 over his last 11 starts.
A case could be made that had he been given the chance to pitch the 6th inning against the Twins a few starts ago, he might have had six straight quality starts. He also never said one word when the umpires were not giving him the calls. While some people don’t really see that as a big deal, I give him a lot of credit. It’s tough to keep your mouth shut when you’re in the thick of things.
Suddenly the deal that Dave Dombrowski made to get Pomeranz for Anderson Espinoza doesn’t seem unfair after all especially if he keeps pitching like this. Pomeranz is making only $4.45 million this season and would love to get a bump in pay. 2018 would be the final year that he will be eligible for arbitration. If Pom keeps performing this way, he’ll certainly be rewarded by Red Sox management.
Major miscues in the bottom of the 9th allowed the Red Sox to walk it off with a walk-off-walk. The Red Sox were able to send six five men to the plate without even recording a single out.
Aroldis Chapman has had his struggles both on and off the field but at Fenway Park, he didn’t look like the dominant closer that everyone knows he can be. This was after all, the guy the Yankees paid $86 million dollars to shut down opposing teams. Didn’t happen in the first game of a four game home stand in Boston. Just how unlucky were the Bronx Bombers? The Red Sox managed two runs without even getting a hit into the outfield.
Mookie Betts got the inning started with an infield single to the shortstop, followed by an infield single by Dustin Pedroia. The throw from Didi Gregorius was high and took Yankee 2nd baseman Ronald Torreyes off the bag allowing both runners to be safe. Betts and Pedroia swiped 2nd and 3rd base on a double steal completely fooling Chapman. The Sox now had runners at 2nd and 3rd base with no outs and Xander Bogaerts at the dish.
Bogey ended up hitting it to Torreyes who mishandled the ball. Betts scored on the play, Pedroia advanced to third and Bogaerts ended up safe at first. The Yankees elected to intentionally walk Hanley Ramirez who had already gone yard with a two run homer and a big single off the Green Monster in the 7th inning. That brought up rookie Andrew Benintendi with the based loaded and no outs.
Benintendi took the first two pitches for balls before sending the third pitch foul. The 4th and 5th pitches ended up both being balls allowing him to take his base and walk in a run winning the game without even registering a single out. It’s the first time the Sox have won with a walk off walk since Ted Williams did it in 1956. It’s quite abnormal to see Chapman allow multiple runs.
It’s the third time he’s done it this season. On both occasions that he’s allowed two walks and two runs he’s blown the save. Chapman lost his first game on the season as well against the Red Sox. Chapman has had varying numbers while at home and when pitching away. At Home, Chappy is 5/5 in save opportunites with a 2.08 ERA with 21 strike outs in 13 innings. Away however is a completely different story.
Chapman outside of Yankee Stadium is a complete nightmare. He’s just 3/6 on save chances with an 8.22 ERA and has six walks to go along with 13 strike outs in 7 2/3rd’s innings pitched. The other odd statistic with Chapman is when he pitches when it’s a day game, he’s lock down. He’s allowed two hits in 8 2/3rd’s while getting 16 K’s, good for a 16.61 K/9 ratio. That’s Craig Kimbrel territory right there.
If it’s a night game, you’re rolling the dice. The Yankees will play three more games against the Red Sox. One night game, one day game and one early afternoon game. Let’s hope the Sox get Chapman again for the second late nighter coming on Sunday.
With the Red Sox victory, they move ahead of the Yankees 4 1/2 games in 1st place. If the Rays win tonight against the Angels, they’ll remain 3 1/2 back of the Red Sox.
Photo Credit – Michael Ainsworth – AP Photo