Sox Choke Late, Leaving Tying Runs On Table

August 18

Heaney pitches for the Yankees against Pivetta. Just three batters into the game, Bogaerts gives the Sox the early advantage with a solo homer to the second deck in right. It’s 1-0 on his nineteenth of the year. So the good news is we won’t have to endure back-to-back shutouts. The Yankees load the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the second, tying the game at 1-1 on Gardner’s sac fly. Then Velazquez singles to right-center to bring Odor around and give New York its first lead of the night at 2-1. Velazquez steals second to put two in scoring position and eliminate the double play opportunity. With two out, Rizzo singles down the first base line to bring in both runners as insurance, making it 4-1. A walk puts two on and ends Pivetta’s night. He throws 57 pitches in 1.2 innings. That is not an efficient outing in the least. Richards comes in and bails out Pivetta by inducing a groundout. He has a far better outing than his predecessor, reaching the same amount of pitches in four innings before getting the hook. Heaney pitches exceptionally well tonight as the Yankees’ starting pitcher. With one out in the bottom of the eighth and the score still 4-1, Sánchez doubles to right. A groundout moves him to third and a single brings him home to secure the Yankee win. It’s 5-1. Even though hope has run out, Renfroe makes it seem closer with a one-out solo homer to the second deck in left in the ninth. It’s 5-2 on his twenty-second of the year, and that’s the final.

I said hope had run out, but the Sox bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth and force formidable closer Chapman out of the game. He ends up grounding out to end it, with the throw just beating him. Who would have thought two innings was all the Yankees needed to inflict all the damage they needed? Who knew the Sox would never come back from just three runs down? I know the Yankees scored five, but the Rizzo single in the second turned out to be the death blow of the night. This loss tonight pushes us out of the playoff picture by one game as we swap places with Oakland. In addition, Tampa won on Thursday, so now the Sox are 6.5 back going into Friday’s home series with the 42-79 Rangers. I know there’s still a month and a half left, but the slumping is concerning. As I said before, I hope the forgiving schedule coming up is a savior and helps us back into a better position. That’s right: hope. Because that’s what we Red Sox fans have been trained to do for generations.