Friday, April 29, 2016

Yanks Drop Series Opener to Red Sox, 4-2

   Tonight, the Yankees began their three-game series with storied-rival Boston Red Sox. New York sent their ace Masahiro Tanaka to the mound in hopes of taking the all-important game one of a series on the road, even more so important in Fenway Park. The Red Sox sent lefty Henry Owens to the mound to oppose New York, bringing along with him a not so aesthetically pleasing 8.10 ERA. If the Yankees were to win tonight, they would have to do something that they have not done a lot of this season; beat a starting left-handed pitcher.
     After going scoreless in the first inning, Alex Rodriguez broke the scoring open by launching a ball into the seats atop the Green Monster, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They attempted to score a second run in the same inning after Starlin Castro tripled, but came up short as Castro was gunned down at home plate on a failed sacrifice fly by Chase Headley. Then, finally, the Yankees got a hit with a runner in scoring position in the top of the fifth. Didi Gregorius was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and was followed up with a Jacoby Ellsbury single, his third time being on base at that point in the game. Brett Gardner lined a single through the right side of the infield, scoring Gregorius, making the score 2-0 Yankees. Over the last 14 games, the Yanks had been an abysmal .128 with runners in scoring position, which is why it was so nice to see the breakthrough tonight.
     Tanaka was phenomenal tonight, although, he would ultimately be hit with a no decision. Until the seventh, Tanaka had given up just three hits and had not allowed more than one runner on base at a time in the prior six innings. However, that changed in the bottom of the seventh when he allowed two singles to Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. With two outs, and seemingly one out away from the two headed monster in the bullpen, Tanaka served up a double to Jackie Bradley Jr., scoring both Shaw and Holt, tying the game at two.  The ace was lifted after the game tying shot, leaving with a final line of 6.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H and 5 K's.  The Yankees cannot expect to win many ballgames if they continue to force their starting pitchers to throw near perfect ballgames every single outing.
     Then, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Xander Bogarts singled up the middle, representing the go-ahead run for the perennial Yankee killer, David Ortiz. In typical Ortiz fashion, the DH launched a ball off of Dellin Betances over the left-field wall, giving the Red Sox a 4-2 lead. This is the last year of baseball for Ortiz, and I am pretty sure that the Yankees will not be sad to see him go.
     New York was unable to score in the top of the ninth inning, losing the contest 4-2. Being unable to score more than two runs in any game, the Yankees futility continues and will continue if they cannot figure it out soon.
     Let's hope they can snap out of it in game two tomorrow, beginning at 7:10PM ET.
 

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