The Red Sox entered this weekend heading into the Bronx with the natural concern being the pitching. With this staff and all of their questions and the Yankees powerful offense, it was a scary thought. And yet, over the first two games, the pitching hasn’t been a disaster. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been anything special in terms of performance, but the Red Sox have been in both of these games. In this case, the Zack Godley did not do the job in the starting role, but the bullpen held the Yankees scoreless for the final 4 2⁄3 innings. Unfortunately, the offense just hasn’t shown up. That was the case on Friday, and it happened again on Saturday as they just didn’t even give themselves any chances. This season was supposed to be the offense carrying the Red Sox to wins, and part of that deal means taking advantage of when the pitching does its job against good teams.
There is really no such thing as excitement around this Red Sox rotation unless your name rhymes with Smathan Smeovaldi, but the closest thing to it came with Zack Godley after his four scoreless innings against the Orioles. That was enough to get him a spot this time around in the rotation and he had a hell of a challenge in front of him against this Yankees lineup. He learned very early on that things are a little bit different against New York than Baltimore.
The introduction in the first inning was against the best hitter the Yankees had to offer as Aaron Judge came up second. Fortunately the bases were empty when he stepped to the plate, but Godley left a curveball right up over the plate. Usually when you do that against Judge you never seen that baseball again, and that was certainly the case here. The Yankees slugger launched a no-doubt shot out to right field, and just like that the Yankees had the lead.
Things would only get worse in the second, too, though it didn’t start with slugging. New York started that inning off with three straight singles to load the bases up against Goldey for Gio Urshela. He would be sitting offspeed on the first pitch and that’s exactly what he got. Godley left a changeup a bit too high and Urshela took it just over the wall in straightaway center for a grand slam. Suddenly, a close game was a 5-0 lead for the Yankees. Fortunately, Godley did settle down a bit after that, getting out of that inning without any more damage and tossed a scoreless third after that.
Meanwhile, on the other side, the Red Sox were having trouble getting much of anything going offensively Masahiro Tanaka. That did change in the third. Trailing by five, Andrew Benintendi got the rally started drawing a one-out walk. That was followed by a single from Kevin Pillar to put two on base. Eventually Xander Bogaerts would come up with them both on with two outs, and he came through with a huge double out to center field. That brought both runners home, and the Red Sox were right back in it with a 5-2 score.
After this inning from the Red Sox, the pitching took control of things. Godley walked a couple of batters in the fourth before being taken out, but Chris Mazza was eventually able to work his way out of a bases loaded jam. The righty would work through a couple more scoreless innings as well. In the top halves of the innings, the Red Sox managed just two walks over the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings combined.
Ryan Brasier came out for the bottom half of the seventh and had a strong inning, setting down the Yankees in order with a pop out and two strikeouts. Unfortunately, this was a second straight night where the Red Sox offense just didn’t have it, and once again they managed just a single baserunner in the top of the eighth.
Josh Osich worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth, giving the Sox one more chance in the ninth. There was a little bit of a two-out rally here with Jackie Bradley Jr. drawing a walk and Tzu-Wei Lin smacking a base hit. That brought Benintendi to the plate representing the tying run, but he couldn’t come through. David Hale got him swinging to end the inning, and the game.
The Red Sox will be back in action on Sunday to try and avoid a sweep in the Bronx. The offense will have its chance to redeem itself with James Paxton on the mound while Boston has yet to announce their starter. First pitch is set for 7:08 PM ET.