The Red Sox were helpless against Vidal Nuno and the Yankees Friday night, falling 6-0 in New York.
At this point expressing surprise at the depths the Red Sox offense can reach isn't terribly believable. Still, coming up against Nuno, who entered the game with an ERA north of 5.40, and finishing the game with zero runs is...it's something else.
Boston's best scoring opportunities came in the first few innings. To give you an idea of how little that means: they had all of one baserunner in each. Twice Brock Holt--just about the only consistent threat on the team these days--and once Jonny Gomes. They didn't so much as manage to advance the baserunner in any of those three frames.
Despite his first five innings of success, the Yankees were not interested in letting Nuno pitch his way out of a successful start. When he finally started to come unravelled in the sixth, New York pulled the plug in a hurry, ending his night on 91 pitches after consecutive two-out walks to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. Their caution was rewarded when Daniel Nava grounded out to end the inning.
We've seen a fair few offensive performances like this from the Red Sox result in exciting pitchers' duels. Not so much tonight, however, as Brandon Workman was not up to his end of the bargain. The Yankees scored a quick one off him in the first, Jacoby Ellsbury hurting his old team with an RBI double to score Derek Jeter. Then, in the fourth, Workman suffered the same fate so many right-handers have faced in the Yankees' home(s) throughout the years, surrendering back-to-back homers to right. It was a known danger coming into the game, and he could not avoid it for long, getting pegged for three more runs, leaving the Sox down 4-0.
Workman did make up for it somewhat by pitching his way through the seventh before finally giving way to Craig Breslow. Breslow could not hold the score there either, surrendering yet another right-field shot in the eighth. The game was no more out of reach after that than before, however. The Red Sox managed only a Stephen Drew double after the departure of Nuno. Four, six, a dozen runs--you're not going to match any of them with just a double.
So that's that. The easiest pitching matchup of the series, and not a single run to show for it. At least tomorrow they'll have Jon Lester on the mound.
Against Masahiro Tanaka. So there's that.