In the first series of the 2021 season between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, the Red Sox entered Yankee Stadium and swept their enemy into the Bronx for the first time since 2011, including a wild 6-5 in 10 innings victory on Sunday.
Some tricks from the series:
• If you think this rivalry lacks some of the intensity outside the chart it had before, consider what longtime Yankee outfielder Brett Gardner said at the start of the series – the first team meeting since manager Alex Cora returned to the Red Sox after serving. punishment in 2020 for his involvement in the Houston Astros sign theft scandal.
“His presence in the dugout obviously makes me beat them,”
Well, Gardner apparently said that with a smile and later said he was “joking” about Cora, but the Red Sox noticed his comments.
Notice what Xander Bogaertz told Steve Levy of SportsCenter after the cleanup was completed: “Apparently Gardner said a few words before the series began. That made us refuel a little longer.”
The Red Sox had lost 11 games in a row at Yankee Stadium, and New York made a 9-1 draw against them in 2020, so it’s understandable why Bogaertz would call Sunday’s victory “the most fun game in a long time.”
Bogaerts delivered a good run in the eighth with a sacrificial flight and the winning tracks with a double by Luis Chesa in the 10th inning and now hits .318 / .376 / .536 with 36 RBI. He flew under the radar – as it always seems, but must focus on his third game of the stars.
• In a way, the series offered confirmation of what we’ve seen so far this season: The Red Sox are better than expected, and the Yankees aren’t as good as expected. Nothing in these three games changed that view. It was a great week for the Yankees, with seven games against the Tampa Bay Race and the Red Sox, and New York gave the egg 2-5.
Particularly disappointing is that the Yankees won two of the first three against Reyes and Gerrit Cole started the fourth game in this series. But Cole allowed five runs in five assists with a 9-2 loss, and then the Red Sox cleared.
“It’s been a terrible week for us,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “We have to get better; we have to get better.
“We need to find a way to start scratching some W.”
The Yankees just didn’t make any runs, which is probably the biggest development for the team this season. The Yankees are in 27th place in the big series of the game – ahead of only the New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates, which sounds almost impossible for a team that ranked fourth in 2020, first in 2019, second in 2019 2018 and the second in 2017
Not just because of injuries, as Aaron Gadgets and Giancarlo Stanton were actually quite healthy, with the Referee playing in 57 out of 60 games and Stanton in 41. More worryingly, he doesn’t feel like a scary team just waiting to kick. in gear, not with DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres, who mainly become singles strikers; Gardner overlooks the hill at 37; Clint Frazier and Rougned Odor hit under .200; and someone named Chris Gittens hit sixth on Sunday. It’s not as simple as simply healing Luke Voight. There are real problems here. The Yankees hit .215 and averaged 2.6 runs per game for 3-10 stretches.
“No, I’m not worried at all,” New York hunter Gary Sanchez said after Sunday’s loss. “We are a really good team and I believe in my teammates, I believe in the talent we have.
“I’m confident that we will definitely overcome this hump here and start playing the baseball we want.”
• Alex Rodriguez came up with a good idea for the band in New York during Sunday Night Baseball, pointing out that the Yankees have been synonymous with leftists for decades – indeed, going all the way to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The three versions of Yankee Stadium have a short veranda in the right field, so it’s a long-standing organizational philosophy to charge left-handers. Sunday night, however, included eight right-handed wrestlers, and wrestling Gardner struck ninth against Boston right-winger Gareth Richards.
Entering Sunday, the Yankees hit the platoon with an advantage in 44.6% of cases, the second lowest percentage in the specialties, with only the Toronto Blue Jays below them. This was not a problem in 2019, when the Yankees hit the platoon with an advantage of only 42.9% of the time, but still hit 306 households and led in the results of the matches. But looking back at some Yankee teams from the past, we see that the 2009 World Series champions had a platoon advantage in 70.3% of cases, best in the big ones. The great team from 1998 had the advantage in 56.4% of its performances. In 2019, this team struggled to win tracks in the American League Championship against Houston – in part because the Astros were loaded with right-handers. The lack of left-wing power feels part of New York’s problem.
• One thing that stood out in the series was the performance of the bulls in the three matches. The Yankees are third in the ERA specialties for bulls, so overall the group is effective; but Boston’s Marvin Gonzalez twice burned Lucas Ludge, with a double on Friday and then a binding two-series host on Sunday. Luetge is exceptional, but he is a 34-year-old left-hander who has not qualified in the specialties since 2015 and has a 0.785 OPS career allowed against right-handers. Boone went with the hot hand, but it didn’t work out.
Chad Green lost the game on Saturday when he conceded four runs in the eighth inning when the Red Sox opened 3-3 games. All four tracks came with two outs in pairs from Enrique Hernandez and Christian Vazquez and then hosted by Bobby Dalbeck. Green has a 3.14 ERA, but is now 0-4.
Then, after Boone used Aroldis Chapman down 4-3 on Sunday’s ninth – I had no problem with that because you want to keep the game close and Chapman hadn’t made a hit in the first two games – he had to use Chesa in 10 -and that didn’t work either. Again, Chesa was decent enough, but he was mostly a man with low leverage. I think this weekend showed how much the Yankees miss Zack Britton.
• Meanwhile, Matt Barnes received rescues on Friday and Saturday, hitting all four bullies he encountered. He crushed it when the Red Sox came closer, with 47 strokes and just seven walks for 26⅓ passes, allowing an average of .136. Only Chapman has a higher killer rate with at least 20 passes. The key for Barnes is to throw more shots, which has led to more pitcher counts (47.2% of his pitches, compared to just 12.9% when counting strikers; much better than his career of 38.1 % and 22.0% in 2021).
On Saturday, Barnes faced just one batter, but it was still a slight surprise when Cora led Barnes to a third straight game to try to close the 4-3 lead on Sunday. Managers simply do not use facilitators for three days in a row if they can avoid it, but if there has ever been a game to do so, it is a one-time lead against a rival in the division. Plus, Barnes hadn’t picked up five days before throwing 17 pitches on Friday, so that use was defensible, even if Barnes had climbed worse in the past when walking without days off (5.37 ERA in his career against a total ERA of 3.97).
Surely, the Referee came out with one out and Torres doubled it at home with a linear dunk in the corner of the left field – with Alex Verdugo’s jingle, which makes it easier to send Gadgets home with the binding. Barnes received a gift to escape the inning when referee Gabe Morales called Odora on a crooked 3-2 ball that was outside – a call that led to the dismissal of Yankee coaches Phil Nevin and Carlos Mendoza.
Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin has been kicked out of the game to argue over a strike against the Red Sox.
Some of the chatter after the game focused on why Boone wasn’t thrown out with his coaches. You can feel that Yankees fans are starting to turn to their manager. (Although Boone had just been kicked out of the game a few days ago, it’s not like he’s not being fired or defending his players.)
Anyway, without Boston’s names, there are Hirokazu Savamura, Josh Taylor and Phillips Valdes, who saved on Sunday. Two other key members are former Yankees: Adam Ottavino, who has a 2.78 ERA and two saves, and rookie Gareth Whitlock. Whitlock was a good prospect as a starter coming through the Yankee system, but he was operated on by Tommy John in 2019. The Yankees left him unprotected in the Rule 5 rule, but the gambit failed as the Red Sox took a flyer for Whitlock. He has a 1.63 ERA in 27⅔ innings, often placing multiple innings, including getting five outs on Saturday.
• Verdugo is doing everything possible to make Mookie Betts look much less controversial than when it happened. The first inning at Verdugo’s home, which escaped from Domingo Herman, was the eighth and he hit .288 / .348 / .463. Bates hits .258 / .372 / .438 with five home games for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Okay, there’s a lot of baseball that needs to be played before we announce Verdugo in the same universe as the Bates, but Verdugo will make a big contribution to Bogaerts, JD Martinez and Rafael Devers in Boston. Verdugo is one of the best contact strikers in the league (10th lowest rate), he has started at least nine games in all three outside positions and has hit well in situations with high leverage. Remember that this is a player with less than 1000 appearances in the major, so there are still possible improvements, especially if he learns to lift the ball a little more.
• Many of the troubles of the Yankees have been done and this is justified. They entered the day leading up to the majors, with 28 outs on the basics, including 12 at home. You can blur this while they are extremely aggressive. No. They also rank last in the specialties in the percentage of additional bases taken, such as going first to third or second to one’s home. They are the last in stolen bases. They also lead the majors in double matches, including three more on Sunday.
It’s about as bad a base team as you’ll ever see, with a little team speed and a lot of bone plays thrown. This is one of the reasons why the Yankees are the last in the specialties in the percentage of runners who get on the base and go around to score. The Yankees are 14th in the specialty in percentage points on the basis, but 27th in game circulation.