So much for a sweep! As I said yesterday, I was expecting this to be a tough series and even though it was nice that the Sox blew the Yankees out in the first game, I knew the whole series wasn't going to be like that. Last night was the first practice I coached for my youngest daughter's softball team, so as soon as it was done I got home to watch the game. I missed the first couple of innings which I ended up being thankful for. David Price was awful, giving up four runs in the first and leaving the game with what was called a "sensation" in his pitching hand. I wonder if that "sensation" was really just wanting to get out of the game after getting lit up...
(normally I wouldn't question a player's injury, but with as much of a drama queen as this guy has been the last couple of seasons, I wonder...)
Things got interesting when Yankees rookie Tyler Austin spiked Brock Holt while sliding into second base. Both benches and bullpens cleared and there was a lot of standing around and shouting, but they got back down to business. After going down 8-1, the Sox made it interesting by scoring five runs in the fifth inning capped off by a JD Martinez grand slam. However, the Sox coughed two runs back up in the sixth to make any talk of a comeback that much more difficult. It was the seventh inning when this great rivalry heated up again: Joe Kelly threw inside at Tyler Austin and then, two pitches later, drilled him in the back with a 98 mph fastball. Austin slammed his bat and helmet down, charged the mound, and the benches and bullpens emptied in a classic Sox/Yankees brawl. Kelly took Austin down and got some good licks in to the back of Austin's head before the behemoth Aaron Judge pulled Kelly up and pushed him over to the Sox dugout to try and diffuse the situation. Austin charged the pile and took a wild swing, connecting with a Red Sox bench coach. Expect suspensions for Kelly and (especially) Austin. A lot of people talk about how much they think baseball's unwritten rules are stupid and how they dislike the way the game polices itself, but I personally love it. It's been this way for 100+ years and it's part of baseball culture. The Sox made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth when they got two quick hits off of Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman and scored on a passed ball. However, Sandy Leon, Mookie Betts, and Rafael Devers went down in quick succession to end the game in a 10-7 Yankees win, ending the Red Sox winning streak at nine games.
As bad as the Yankees looked in the first game, their bats came alive in this one. Gary Sanchez clubbed two 2-run home runs and while Stanton still flailed away and looked like he was pressing, he did look more comfortable tonight. The Sox swung the bats well...it was the pitching, and in particular David Price, that lost this one. Hopefully Rick Porcello can right the ship tonight and the Sox can take the series.
It doesn't matter whether it's April, July, or October...nothing beats Red Sox/Yankees!