The Red Sox are back from the All-Star break, and they started off the second half with one of — if not the — best wins of the entire season. The offense was frustrating for most of this contest and it seemed like this was going to be another game that would leave a sour taste in our mouths. Instead, Aroldis Chapman continued his struggles of late, the Yankees played some horrible defense in key spots and the Red Sox walked off with a win.
The first two innings were good indications of how most of this game was going to go for Boston’s lineup. Against Jordan Montgomery, they were seeing a ton of pitches, working their way into deep count after deep count. In the first inning, this included the top two hitters reaching base on a single and a walk. Of course, they’d be stranded after being moved up to second and third. They’d get two more runners aboard in the second, but once again stranded them both.
That brought us to the top of the third, with Pomeranz allowing just one baserunner through his first two innings. He’d run into a bit of bad luck in this frame, though. Things started with a bloop single from Chase Headley before Ronald Torreyes hit a single that just snuck past everyone en route to center field. After a big strikeout, Gary Sanchez hit a soft liner that just barely got by a diving Xander Bogaerts, and just like that the Yankees had a 1-0 lead. They’d load the bases after Aaron Judge drew a walk on a
garbage questionable call, but Pomeranz got out of it by inducing a 3-2-3 double play to end the inning.
Fortunately, the Red Sox came right back in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead. It was all on Hanley Ramirez, who came through with a big swing after grounding out with two on in the first. This time, with Bogaerts on first base, the slugger took a fastball down in the zone and deposited it into the Monster Seats in left-center field. As quickly as they handed the Yankees the lead, they took it right back.
Pomeranz settled down in the fourth with a big 1-2-3 inning, and the Red Sox added another in the bottom half on a Dustin Pedroia single. The single came with one out and the bases loaded, and the bases remained loaded after the base hit. Once again, however, the Red Sox couldn’t come through as Bogaerts would ground into a double play to end the inning with just one run. They originally had the bags full with the top of the order coming up and nobody out. Scoring just one run in that situation simply can’t happen.
In the fifth, Pomeranz had his worst inning of the game and it would eventually cost him a victory. Things started with a double ripped down the left field line by Headley. He’d come around to score on a one-out base hit from Gardner to bring the Yankees within one. Then, in the next at bat, Sanchez did disgusting things to a baseball and gave New York a 4-3 lead. Pomeranz left a fastball up in the zone and right over the heart of the plate, which is not a thing you want to do to the Yankees catcher. Sanchez hit it over everything in left field.
After this point, pitching dominated the day. Chad Green came in out of the bullpen for New York and totally shut down the Red Sox in two innings of work. He didn’t allow a baserunner and struck out the final five batters he faced.
Adam Warren came in for the seventh, and the Red Sox were bitten by their home park in this inning. After a couple of quick outs, Bogaerts singled and Ramirez ripped one off the top of the wall that would have left just about any other park in the league. Instead, it was a single to put runners on the corners. Andrew Benintendi would come in to pinch hit and look for the big base knock, but instead hit a flyball to the deepest part of the ballpark to end the inning and strand two more runners.
After that, the Red Sox were stuck facing off against the two-headed monster of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. The former was fantastic, hitting one batter but otherwise cruising through the bottom of the Red Sox lineup. Things didn’t go so well for Chapman.
The Yankees closer — who had been struggling mightily in the run up to the break — started things off by allowing a single to Mookie Betts before Pedroia hit a grounder to shortstop. Rather than trying for the out at first, Didi Gregorius tried to get Betts at second but threw it too high, putting two on with nobody out. After a double steal put both runners in scoring position, Bogaerts hit a ground ball to second base that was muffed by Torreyes. That tied the game and the Red Sox still had two on with nobody out. The Yankees then walked Ramirez to load the bases, and Chapman threw four balls to Benintendi to give Boston a walkoff walk.
This was arguably the best game of the year for the Red Sox, and they got off on the right foot in a huge series that could potentially bury the Yankees if all goes well. Pomeranz made a big mistake, but other than that was as solid as he’s been for most of the season. It wasn’t mentioned above, but Matt Barnes and Robby Scott combined for three strong innings (two of which were from the former) out of the bullpen. The offense could have done more early in the game, but they came through when it counted. They’ll look to build off this one with Chris Sale on the mound on Saturday.