The Boston Red Sox ended the weekend with a 3-0 shutout win to split the Sunday doubleheader and four game series against the arch rival, New York Yankees.
After two dramatic games to start off the series, Boston and New York took turns in shutting out the opposition and turned in identical scores on Sunday. The Yankees took the matinee game, 3-0, while the Red Sox took the evening game by the same score.
The Red Sox refuse to give runs to their starting pitcher Rick Porcello for some reason. Although Porcello could obviously pitch better in his starts, the Red Sox only give him an average of 3.85 runs/game, 17th worst in the majors.
Today was inexcusable for the Red Sox offense. After coming off a 16 inning marathon the prior day, in which they only scored one run, the Red Sox needed to capitalize on the seven free passes issued to the them during the game.
Yankees starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia started the game off with consecutive walks to Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox failed to capitalize and a crushing double play ground ball by Red Sox outfielder, Chris Young, killed the early momentum.
Porcello delivered six quality innings, allowing three runs (two unearned). He did, however, allow nine more hits and continues to hold the major league lead for most hits allowed by a pitcher.
The most deflating moment came in the top of the fifth inning, when Yankees shortstop, Didi Gregorius, belted a shot into the right field stands off of a horrible changeup high up in the zone thrown by Porcello.
The Red Sox offense has been incredibly frustrating, especially recently. Boston went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position during Sunday’s first half of the doubleheader.
Prior to the second of the doubleheader, Boston dropped six out of the eight games thus far this season, as they continue to struggle with their long time rival. The Yankees only trail the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games for the division lead heading into Sunday evening.
What a turnaround. Less than four hours after being shut out by the pin stripes, the Red Sox, led by starting pitcher David Price, flipped the score and salvaged a series split.
Price turned in yet another solid start, throwing eight scoreless innings, striking out eight and giving out no free passes. All star closer, Craig Kimbrel, converted his 24th save of the season.
“[Price] was outstanding. Powerful from start to finish — a lot of strikes, very good command,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Price has been on a tear in his last five starts, going 3-1 with 33 innings pitched, a 1.91 ERA while striking out 34 men and only walking five. If Price can continue this type of dominant pitching, the 1-2 punch of Sale and Price can match up with any dominant pitching duo in the majors.
Yankees starting pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, turned in a solid outing as well, going 7 2/3 innings deep with three earned runs and nine strikeouts.
The big mistake came in the bottom of the third, when Tanaka threw a hanging slider that Red Sox outfielder, Mookie Betts, jumped all over to give him his 17th home run of the season.
The play of the game however, came in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Yankees star rookie, Aaron Judge, hit a rocket to deep center field. It looked like the Yankees were about to cut the lead to just a run, but Red Sox centerfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr, committed absolute larceny to rob Judge of his 31st home run.
“For Jackie, you know, a highlight-reel catch against probably the most noted power guy in the game, and timely. A big catch to the deepest part of the ballpark, preserves the shutout at that point,” John Farrell said of the talented outfielder.
The Red Sox outfielder has enjoyed a successful season, both as a hitter, and as usual, showing off his range in the tricky ballpark that is Fenway.
The Red Sox stand in good shape as of Monday, holding a three game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Next up for Boston is the division rival, Toronto Blue Jays, who come into town for a four game series.
Boston will send out left hander, Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 3.54), for his first start since June 1st when he injured his knee slipping in the bullpen prior to his start. Toronto will counter with Marcus Stroman (9-5, 3.28). First pitch is at 7:10 E.T.