Game 83: Red Sox at New York Yankees (June 29, 2018)

They can still take two out of three, right? That was about as ugly a start to the series as the Red Sox could've had, especially with how well they've been playing lately. I took my oldest daughter to the batting cases after dinner so she could get some swings in before her tournament this weekend and when I saw the first couple of updates on my phone...well, let's just say I wish I hadn't. We got home and turned the game on in the fifth inning by which point the Sox were losing badly. It only got worse from there.

Eduardo Rodriguez pitched poorly in his previous start, but was till sporting a 9-2 record and had been a nice surprise for the Sox rotation so far this season. When he gave up a run in the bottom of the second on a Miguel Andujar single, I wasn't too worried. It wasn't until the fifth inning that the wheels feel off the cart for the Red Sox and Rodriguez. Gleyber Torres drove in a run on a sacrifice fly...okay, not too bad. Then Andujar hit a two-run homer...okay, now it's starting to get bad. Then, Greg Bird hit a solo homer. 5-0 Yankees, just like it was bad. While Rodriguez was the one who made the bad pitches and cost his teams the run, it also continued a strange little trend this eason where Alex Cora will hang his struggling pitchers out there to dry, leaving them in far longer than most managers. Whether it's to concede the game and limit his use of the bullpen, I don't know, but it's a curious little thing I've noticed over the course of the season. Boston avoided the ignominy of getting shut out when Andrew Benintendi doubled to drive in Mookie Betts in the fifth inning, but otherwise the Sox went down without a fight in this one. Justin Haley was on mop-up duty for the Sox bullpen and he did exactly the opposite of what a reliever is supposed to do: keep it close. First he gave up a monstrous two-run homer to Aaron Judge in the seventh; in the eighth he gave up another towering shot to Greg Bird. By that point it was 8-1 and all you could do was play for another day. The loss dropped the Sox into a tie with the Yankees and now makes the final two games of the series that much more important (and exciting).

There's not much to write home about for the Red Sox in this one. They were outhit by the Yankees 11-6 and only Mookie and new acquisition Steve Pearce had decent nights at the plate, both going 2-4. Other than Benintendi's double and a hit for Eduardo Nunez, the Boston bats did nothing. Rodriguez was awful, going six innings and giving up five runs on seven hits. He only struck out two and walked two, and Haley was just as bad. Both pitches gave up two home runs each and had the kind of forgettable game that hopefully won't come back to bite the team in October. It's not as though CC Sabathia was anything special for the Yankees...he was solid but unspectacular, but he did enough to stymie the Red Sox offense. Tonight's match up pits Chris Sale against Sonny Gray, who the Red Sox always hit hard, so hopefully they can bounce back with a win. The only thing I hate worse than losing to the Yankees is losing to the Yankees in New York.