By MyFM's Jake Archer - Quite a bit has changed since the last time the Red Sox and Yankees met up. Entering tonight, the Yankees were the hottest team in baseball and though the Red Sox were still technically the best team in the league, New York was getting all of the respect. This series was being looked at as a measuring stick for each club, and everyone knew we'd find out a lot about both of them after the three games.
Before tonight's game even started, we heard that David Price was actually going to be scratched from his start on Wednesday due to whatever this ongoing hand issue is. Personally, I've had enough of Price and his antics. It's tough to know what to think about what his "injury" is and it's just yet another thing that is making his tenure in Boston frustrating. Luckily, because of the off-day on Monday, the Sox won't need to turn to a spot starter and they'll instead move Porcello up to pitch in Price's place.
Getting to tonight's game, it looked like a pitching mismatch in the Yankees' favor. They had Luis Severino, their young ace, going against Drew Pomeranz for the Sox. Pomeranz isn't awful, but he's very middle of the road and against a powerful New York lineup, who knew how he'd fare. In the second inning, those worries were proven to make sense as Pomeranz left a fastball up to Giancarlo Stanton who hit a laser into the left field seats. After the homer, Pomeranz signaled for a trainer and was looking at his hand. It appeared he had some sort of finger nail issue, but he stayed in the game.
In the fourth, Pomeranz left another ball up to Stanton and the slugger smoked his second homer of the night and ninth of the year to put the Yanks up 2-0. This was another typical start from the lefty as he threw a lot of pitches and seemed to struggle, yet only had a few hiccups. Meanwhile, Severino was mowing the Sox down until the top of the fifth. He struck out Eduardo Nunez to lead off the frame but the third strike came on a wild pitch and Nunez reached base. The next two batters punched out, but Mookie Betts singled to put runners on first and second. Andrew Benintendi, who seems to hit Severino pretty well, then smacked an RBI single to center to cut into the lead.
A few innings later, Nunez started another rally. He singled to lead off the seventh and chased Severino. The righty had pitched well, going six innings while giving up two runs on six hits, zero walks and striking out 11. He'd still need David Robertson to come in and keep the runner stranded though. That did not go well, and Robertson labored through the rest of the inning. Despite getting two outs, he allowed Nunez to steal second and then score on a game-tying triple by Betts. Boston had tied it up and just needed to rely on their bullpen, because Pomeranz was done to start the bottom of the inning.
Pomeranz' final line was two runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts in six innings. Heath Hembree was coming on to hopefully shut down the Yankees. I'm not just going to say this because of what happened, but Hembree coming in during a tight game is a decision that makes me sick. After getting the first batter out, Hembree allowed a double to pinch-hitter Neil Walker and a walk to rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres. With the runners on first and second, Hembree balked and they both moved up into scoring position. That was followed by a walk to Brett Gardner to load the bases. Hembree was done, and Joe Kelly was coming in during an extremely rough situation.
Kelly was making his first appearance in Yankee Stadium since he brawled with New York's Tyler Austin, and he heard the boos rain down on him. Luckily he's been really good since that happened and I believe his confidence with the Boston fans behind him has a lot to do with that. He probably should have been the guy to enter the game to start the inning because after tying the game, shutting down the other offense is imperative. Instead, he was coming in with the bases loaded and Aaron Judge at the plate. Yankees fans were drooling at the thought of a grand slam. Judge did come up with an RBI single to take the lead, but Benintendi threw Torres out at the plate and Kelly limited the damage.
Boston couldn't push another run across for the rest of the game and New York had the 3-2 win. Hembree took the loss, Robertson got the win and Aroldis Chapman picked up the save. There were a few questionable decisions made by Alex Cora throughout the course of the night but ultimately the blame falls on Hembree for his crappy outing and the Sox offense for not doing enough. Now the Yankees have moved into a tie for first place with Boston after being back seven games at one point about a month ago. The Red Sox are going to need a big win tomorrow night to rebound. Rick Porcello will get the ball and he'll be opposed by Masahiro Tanaka. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, so be sure to tune in on MyFM 101.3!