After the first Red Sox-Yankees matchup of the season, a 3-2 Red Sox victory in June, I wrote in the recap that these games mean more. As of today, both teams are out of the playoff picture looking in, yet these games still mean something. Of course, The Red Sox are still in the mix, just 2.5 games behind the Blue Jays, and three behind the Mariners pending the result of their game. But regardless of the playoffs, finishing above the Yankees in the standings counts for something, especially if that means putting them in last place.
Tonight, the game severely lacked theatrics. The Red Sox jumped to an early seven-run lead thanks to Masataka Yoshida’s
fly out to right field absolute nuke to right center. From there Brayan Bello continued to make the Yankees lineup look like they belonged on the field in Williamsport, PA. After the early barrage of offense, the game slowed into a bit of a drag. The Red Sox bats went quiet; the Yankee bats stayed quiet.
The Yankees had a brief moment of hope when Aaron Judge paid homage to the Little League World Series by hitting a ball 342 feet for a two-run home run, but that was really it. The Sox grabbed another run in the top of the ninth to make the lead five. The Yankees provided some Hallmark movie-level drama in the bottom of the ninth by putting some traffic on the bases before ultimately scoring a whopping zero runs in the inning, and that was all she wrote. Gerrit Cole on the mound tomorrow, be sure to get your Devers’ home run bets in now.
Brayan Bello (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 K)
Red Sox fans appear excited about Brayan Bello— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) January 5, 2023
Bello is currently listed in Triple A on @fangraphs roster resource, which is what we use to doublecheck ourselves. Bello posted a 4.82 ERA in 11 starts as a 23-year-old rookie in 2022
Justin Turner (3-5, 2 RBI)
Justin Turner continues to deliver at every turn(er). Seemingly every time he comes up with runners in scoring position, he drives them in. If you’re in the Boston area, like exercise, and hate life-altering illnesses, consider signing up for the Turner Trot 5k next Saturday. If you’re not in the Boston area or hate exercising, consider donating money anyways. You can find his foundation at https://justinturnerfoundation.com/
Trevor Story (0-4, Played Shortstop)
Having a shortstop is incredible. When a ground ball is hit up the middle, rather than closing my eyes and hoping an errant throw doesn’t come through my 4th-floor Cambridge apartment window, I actually expect the out to be made at first base. I think it’s safe to say the elbow is no longer a concern.
Bonus Stud: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (1-4, HR)
Thank you, rookie.
Jarren Duran (0-4)
Not his night, it happens. Sliding for a fly ball and coming up about a foot short in the ninth probably wasn’t the best decision. In the business, we call that a “teaching moment”.
I was caught between “stud” and “dud” for Yankee Stadium as both teams hit relatively short home runs. I ended up landing on “dud” because they can’t even build a stadium where PitchCom works. You’re going to spend all that money on a glorified office building, and you can’t even get working WiFi? I don’t know how PitchCom works but blaming the stadium WiFi feels right. Clean it up, Steinbrenner.
Apple TV Broadcast Booth
I know the Apple TV team is only doing one game a week, but man are they terrible. In the bottom of the third inning, they mentioned how the Nationals took two of three from the Sox earlier in the week. Dan Plesac took that as his cue to wax poetic about the “sneaky good” Phillies without mentioning their $245,000,000 payroll.
Play of the Game
Masataka Yoshida’s first-inning three-run home run to jump out to a big lead takes home the play of the game, obviously. Looks like it would have been gone in just about every stadium to me.