Friday night provided Red Sox fans with a classic match up against the rival New York Yankees at Fenway Park, with the Red Sox walking it off in the bottom of the ninth to end the game with a final score of 5-4.
Star closer Aroldis Chapman struggled to find the plate, and failed to record an out, while walking in Andrew Benintendi, the game winning run during a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the ninth.
“That 3-1 pitch, I was 90 percent take,” said Benintendi. “It was going to take a perfect pitch to swing at with how he was throwing.”
The walk off win provided baseball fans with every thing: home runs, strong bullpens, an incredible amount of strikeouts, and most of all, drama.
Hanley Ramirez’s home run in the third inning off of starter Jordan Montgomery put the Red Sox in front, but the lead quickly vanished.
Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz threw Yankees catcher, Gary Sanchez, a ‘hit me’ fastball, and all of a sudden the lead was 4-3, belonging to the striped uniforms.
Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, perfectly used his strong bullpen. The Yankee bullpen collected nine punch outs in four scoreless innings of relief.
The Red Sox bullpen did not falter either, especially relief pitcher Matt Barnes, who delivered two strong scoreless innings.
The ninth inning came and the highest paid relief pitcher of all time entered the game, although he has not been as dominant this year as he has been in the past.
Mookie Betts got on base with an infield single, while Dustin Pedroia got on by sloppy fielding by Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius.
Manager John Farrell took advantage of the high leverage situation by applying more pressure, as Betts and Pedroia perfectly executed the double steal to place both runners in scoring position, with no outs.
“The double steal, to me, was key,” said Farrell. “You stay out of a potential double play. So, a good heads-up play by both Mookie and Pedey in that situation. It’s a matter of guys being prepared for opportunities that present.”
Betts scored on a fielding error by rookie second baseman Ronald Torreyes, and the game was won by a five pitch walk to Benintendi.
The Red Sox look to build upon their recent success today with a 4:05 ET start for the second game of a three game series.
Boston will send out ace left hander, Chris Sale (11-4, 2.75) while the Yankees counter with their ace Luis Severino (5-4, 3.54)