Most of the time, in the midst of a long, 162-game season, a loss is just that. It’s just an L that goes on the schedule before taking the field again the next day. Sometimes, though, a loss is more than that. Sometimes it is symbolically the end, a gut-punch for a fan watching hopes fly out the window. Time will tell if all hope is lost for this Red Sox team, as they are still in the playoff race. There is a real chance at a turn around. It sure feels like this loss to the Yankees on Sunday night was the end of something, though. Maybe — probably? — that is just me being overly negative after a tough night of baseball. Only time will tell, right?
When you’re a kid and things are going poorly — whether it be with your schoolwork or in sports or with your social life or whatever else you have going on in your life — it feels like it’s all over and things will never recover. If you’re lucky, you had some sort of supportive adult group in your life to tell you that, hey, things will get better. Usually they do! Unfortunately, part of growing up is realizing that sometimes things really do never recover. There are always other chances and other avenues to pursue, but sometimes things just don’t work out. I think I’ve officially reached that point with this 2019 Red Sox team after another frustrating, embarrassing loss to the Yankees.
Boston had David Price on the mound for this game with the lefty just coming back to the team after a short paternity leave. He had been struggling of late and the team desperately needed him to emerge from his slump as they were facing an eight-game losing streak square in the face. Like I said above, sometimes the bad times do continue.
It took exactly two batters for Price to give his opponent the lead after his team went down in order in the top of the first. Aaron Judge was the second batter in New York’s lineup for this game and he got a fastball middle-in. Price went to that exact pitch the offering before that and Judge fouled it home run distance to right field. He tried to sneak another one by, and Judge straightened it out a bit to go the other way for a big solo home run, making it 1-0 Yankees.
After a second inning where Price let up a double but nothing more, the wheels completely and totally fell off in the third. The thing is, it didn’t look like it was going to be that way. He issued a one-out walk to Judge, but then got to two outs. What happened next was a microcosm of the season as a whole for the team, with salvation so close only to have it ripped away in dramatic and eye-popping fashion.
Gio Urshela was the man who came up with two outs, and he is sort of the face of this year’s Yankees team in that he is the most notable injury replacement who has stepped in and played like an All-Star. He continued that tear by destroying a middle-middle changeup for a two-run home run. From there, the floodgates really opened up. After the homer, the sequence against Price went: Double, double, single, double, single, walk. It was suddenly a 7-0 blowout and Price’s night was over without being able to get through even three innings. Like I said, sometimes the bad times do continue.
After Price came in, Darwinzon Hernandez finished off the inning and got one more scorless inning before his night was over.
On the other side, the Red Sox were going against another veteran lefty coming off paternity leave in J.A. Happ. Things went a little better on the home team’s side. Like I said, they went down in order in the top half of the first. After falling behind in the bottom half, they got a leadoff single in the second but a double play ensured only three batters would hit in the inning. They’d then get two singles but no runs in the third before going down in order yet again in the fourth.
Finally, in the fifth, when the game really started to feel truly over, they started to show a little bit of life. With one out, Christian Vázquez launched a solo homer to get the Red Sox on the board. Michael Chavis came up next and copied what Vázquez did to make it back-to-back jacks and a 7-2 game.
As the sixth inning rolled around, it really started to feel like the Red Sox had some life after all. Perhaps sometimes the bad times don’t continue, ya know? It all happened with two outs, starting with a J.D. Martinez and a Sam Travis walk. After a wild pitch moved both batters into scoring position, Andrew Benintendi came through with a big base hit and suddenly it was a three-run game. Happ would leave the game after that, and Vázquez immediately drew a walk to bring Chavis back up to the plate representing the tying run. Could it really happen? No, it could not. Chavis struck out and the rally was over with the Sox still down 7-4. Sometimes, the bad times do continue.
If you’re looking for a positive from this game — and who isn’t? — it would be Ryan Weber of all people. The Red Sox were in danger of really emptying their bullpen in this game, but the righty gave them much-needed length and kept the deficit at a manageable level. By the end, he had tossed four scoreless innings of work.
Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t do anything with that manageable deficit. They showed no signs of life after that sixth, and that was that. Eight straight losses, hope dwindling and the bad times continuing.
The Red Sox head back to Fenway for a series against the Royals starting on Monday. It will be Rick Porcello on the mound for the Red Sox as Kansas City counters with Mike Montgomery. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.