Monday, September 19, 2016

Yankees Swept Right Out of Fenway

The New York Yankees made every game from here on out a must win as they were swept by the Boston Red Sox tonight. Although C.C. Sabathia and Drew Pomeranz were the starters in this dual of lefties, once again, neither man would factor in to the game's final decision. Sabathia pitched pretty well, but made one major error that turn the game on its ear. As for Pomeranz, the lefty was knocked all around the ballpark and would not make it out of the fourth inning. But for a third straight game, the Yankees gave the lead back to their rivals, bailing another Red Sox starter out of a poor start.

New York jumped on Pomeranz early, scoring on the lefty in the top of the first. Brett Gardner started the night off with a line drive double down the right-field line. After a two-out Billy Butler walk, Didi Gregorius laced a single into right that scored Gardner and gave the Yankees a first inning one run lead.

Gary Sanchez put New York's second run of the game on the board when he launched his 16th homerun in 158 career at-bats, a third inning solo blast into the Monster seats to extend their lead to two.

The Yankees kept the offensive pressure on Pomeranz, knocking him out of the ball game in the top of the fourth. Recent call-up to be Castro's replacement at second base, Donovan Solano started off the frame with a single, advancing to third on a Mason Williams double. After a Rob Refsnyder walk loaded the bases with still no one out, Gardner grounded out to second to score Solano,3-0 Yankees. Ronald Torreyes followed suit with the same play, a ground out to third that scored Williams to make it a 4-0 ballgame. After the RBI ground out, Pomeranz was pulled from the game for right-handed reliever Heath Hembree.

Although Sabathia held The Red Sox scoreless through the first four frames, the big lefty made a critical error in the bottom of the fifth to let Boston back in the game. Back-up catcher Bryan Holaday started the inning with what was originally called a double, challenged as a homerun, reviewed and upheld as a fan-interference double. After a Xander Bogarts single advanced Holaday to third, Mookie Betts ripped a liner back to Sabathia for out number two. Sabathia then turned and soft-tossed a throw to first in attempts of doubling off Bogarts, but the feeble throw was too late and Butler dropped the catch. If he would've fired a strike to first, Bogarts would've been out and the inning would have been over. But, as it happened, this series' Yankee killer Hanley Ramirez blasted a three run homer into the seats atop the Green Monster to pull the Red Sox to within one.

Boston completed their comeback as they tied the game and knocked Sabathia out of the ball game in the bottom of the sixth. Travis Shaw started off the rally with an opposite field single to left, advancing to third on an Aaron Hill single. Jackie Bradley Jr. then knocked Sabathia out of the game with the Sox's third consecutive single, a line drive to right that scored Shaw and tied the game up at four apiece. Blake Parker  came on in relief of Sabathia and immediately struck out pinch-hitter David Ortiz, in what was thankfully the last time we will ever have to face Big Papi in Fenway Park. Parker went on to retire the next two batters to end the threat and the inning.

Hanley Ramirez absolutely killed the Yankees this week, dealing the final knockout punch in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Tyler Clippard served up the second Homer of the night to Ramirez, a solo shot that put the Red Sox up for good by a 5-4 score. The longball capped off a monster of a series that saw the slugger go 9-16 over the four-game set.

And as was the case the last three games, once the Red Sox took The lead in the late stages of the game, the Yankee offense was shellshocked and were unable to score any more runs. The loss closes the book on a season-burying stretch for New York that saw them drop seven of their last eight games. Although they are not mathematically eliminated from postseason play, if and when they do get eliminated. they need only look back at this stretch to understand where their season went wrong; and they only have themselves to blame.

The Yankees have tomorrow off as they travel to Tampa to begin a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays, with first pitch scheduled for Tuesday at 7:05 PM/EST.

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