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Fake Sox Game 69: Not a nice start to a big series

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The Yankees get a blowout to start the weekend.

Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The following simulation and images are courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21.

Our Fake Sox are starting to play some better baseball over the last week or so even coming off a 15-inning loss on Thursday. They have won four of their last five, and they needed to carry that momentum into a huge series this weekend against the Yankees. Boston entered this three-game set trailing by a game and a half, and with a sweep they could actually leave the series with the division lead. They had a tall task ahead of them, however, with Gerrit Cole going for the Yankees and Collin McHugh on the mound for Boston.

McHugh was looking for a good start here because the last thing you want for your offense is to have to climb out of a hole against Cole. He didn’t do what he wanted. The game started with a base hit from Brett Gardner and then McHugh issued a four-pitch walk to DJ LeMahieu to put the first two men on. He did come back with a strikeout after that, but then issued another four-pitch walk to load the bases for Aaron Judge. The big right fielder did strike out, and McHugh looked like he might be able to get out of the jam. It didn’t work out that way. Mike Ford, getting the start because Luke Voit was suspended for his role in a fight, crushed a grand slam out to straightaway center field and just like that the Red Sox were indeed in a hole trailing 4-0.

That was still the score heading into the third, and this is when the game officially got out of hand. McHugh once again put the first two men on here just like he did in the first, once again on a walk and a single. That put runners on the corners, and then a fly out brought another run home. A couple batters later Ford came up once again with two outs, and once again he crushed one. This one went out to right field and only came with one runner on base, but it was his second home run in as many at bats. That made the score 7-0 Yankees and ended the day for McHugh, a short outing at the worst possible time considering both how big this series is and the fact that they played extra innings the previous two days.

The good news is the bullpen did do well for a few innings after McHugh left. Martín Pérez came in after McHugh and tossed a couple of scoreless innings, working out of some trouble with two walks and a hit. Parker Markel came in next and was dominant, striking out all four batters he faced. On the other side, they also got on the board in the bottom of the third thanks to Alex Verdugo. The right fielder was the best hitter by far for Boston in this game as he picked up three hits, and this one was a solo homer into the bullpen in right field.

Unfortunately, that was all there was for Boston’s offense all night long. As for the Yankees, their offense picked things up and turned things into a real rout. I won’t go into all of the details because, well, no one wants to read that, but they smacked Kevin Shackelford, Ryan Brasier and Brandon Workman around for seven more runs over the last three innings. It was bad enough that Kevin Plawecki had to come in to pitch, making him the first position player to pitch for Boston this year. He did give up an RBI double but got a strikeout and a flyout after that to end the ninth.

So, the Red Sox fell 14-1 in this absolutely atrocious blowout loss, dropping to 37-32 on the year and falling 2.5 games behind New York in the division. Down on the farm, Brian Johnson tossed eight scoreless innings in a win for Pawtucket, Daniel McGrath led a three-pitcher shutout effort for Portland, Salem gave up 11 runs in a loss, Greenville couldn’t get a single extra-base hit in a loss, and the DSL squads both picked up wins.