Boston Red Sox: An Inch Away From Death By Steve Brady
Flash back with me to September 23rd last week. The Boston Red Sox are on an off day, they hold the top Wild Card spot and are two full games up on the New York Yankees who are coming into Fenway tomorrow for a three game set. Since at the time the Sox were in the midst of a seven game winning streak, myself and everyone in Boston was feeling confident about what could have been called the most important regular season series against the Yankees in the past decade. Especially with the Sox number one guy on the mound for the 2021 season, Nathan Eovaldi.
That feeling of confidence was immediately sucked out of every Red Sox fan during the first inning of the first game. Nathan Eovalid surrendered three runs as Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres each collected an RBI. Take note of those first two names, they stay relevant the entire series. This three run first was the worst possible way to start the most important series of the year and it was all downhill from there.
The Yankees kept the pressure on notching four more runs in the third led by Stanton's first of three bombs in the series. Though the Sox answered back with three runs of their own in the sixth, they were never really in the game. The final score of game one being 8-3 evil empire.
At the time the loss hurt, sure, but it didn’t feel like the beginning of what could potentially be an all time regular season collapse. After game two however, that truly started to set in as a real possibility. The Sox looked sharp for the first two thirds of game two. They held the Yankees to zero runs through five while simultaneously putting two runs on the board themselves. Starter Nick Pivetta, who is almost a microcosm for the entire Boston Red Sox season with how up and down, great at times awful at others he has been, returns to the mound for the sixth. This is where the game took a turn.
Pivetta gets Rougned Odor out and Cora decides to make a call to the bullpen and bring in Hansel Robles. Robles, who I must say, has been solid as of late for the Sox, immediately hit the backstop with a wild pitch that would result in a Yankee run. Luckily that was the only damage that occurred in the sixth.
2-1 Sox until the top of the 8th. Tanner Houck gets to start off the inning on the mound. Looking sharp he strikes out the first two batters he faces. Then a lowly Brett Gardner makes his way into the box and Tanner instantly forgets where the strike zone is, and I am certain that the concept of getting another out would have most likely bewildered him. That was further backed up by a second consecutive walk to Aaron Judge. Yet again Cora has seen enough and brings in Darwinzon Hernandez to hopefully clean up that ever so elusive last out.
He did not.
Hernadez started his appearance off by hitting Anthony Rizzo in the foot with a pitch, and then had to face Giancarlo Stanton with the bases loaded. Watching from home there was a certain feeling that this would only end in disaster for the Sox. Credit to the 2017 NL MVP for making it quick, because all it took was one pitch and he was swinging for the downs. Gone in a hurry, a grand slam gives the Yanks a 5-2 lead. Shoutout to Big Bob, Bobby Dalbec, for doing his best to help us win with a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth, but it wouldn't be enough. Final score yankees 5 Sox 3.
Okay, that sucked. But all hope is not lost, if the sox can take game three of this series they are tied with the Yankees for the top Wild Card spot. Extremely doable. No worries.
Fine, a little worried.
Game three was slow and back and forth for the first six innings of the game. 1-0 Sox, 1-1 tied, 2-1 NY. The bottom of the seventh brought us some action when the Sox led off the inning with two base hits. Then a Yankee wild pitch moved them over to second and third. Vasquez does his job by getting the ball into the outfield and scoring Iglesies on a sac fly. Hernadez then strikes out during the next at bat but after that some plays occur that I could only describe as funky.
Kyle Schwarber pops up in foul territory on the left side of the field, DJ LeMahieu is under it, and he drops it. Free second life for Kyle Schwarber. Unfortunately he hits a shallow fly ball to left fielder Joey Gallo, he's under it, and he drops it too. Kyle reaches on the error and the runner at third scores. 4-2 Sox and we are feeling good.
Feeling good with a 4-2 lead going into the top of the eighth was stupid and I was a fool becuase. Aaron Judge hit a two run RBI double, after a questionable call by the ump on whether Vasquez caught the foul tip third strike, and Giancarlo Stant hit yet another home run. FInal score 6-3 Yankees.