Thursday, April 27, 2017

Judge and Severino Convict Red Sox

Last night, at Fenway Park, the Yankees played the Boston Red Sox without the big fat lying cheating spectre of David Ortiz looming for the 1st time since September 4, 2002 -- a 3-1 win over The Scum at the old Yankee Stadium.

Aaron Judge don't need no nice close left field Wall: In the top of the 2nd inning, he took Rick Porcello over the wall at the ballpark's furthest point, right-center field, for a 2-run home run, his 7th dinger of the season. We're still not out of April.

It was his 25th birthday: He was born on April 26, 1992 in Linden, California, in the San Joaquin Valley, 95 miles east of San Francisco and 53 miles southeast of Sacramento. He thus became the 6th Yankee to hit a home run against the Red Sox on his birthday.

The other 5? Lou Gehrig when he turned 26 on June 18, 1929; Bill Dickey when he turned 26 on June 6, 1933; Yogi Berra when he turned 22 on May 12, 1947; Roger Maris when he turned 32 on September 10, 1966; and Cecil Fielder when he turned 33 on September 21, 1996.

As Yogi would have said, "I was the youngest one to do it, but that's because all the other guys were older."

The Yankees scored again in the 6th inning. Judge drew a 2-out walk, was advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch by Porcello, and singled home by Greg Bird.

You should never assume that 3 runs are going to be enough at Fenway Park. Nevertheless, Luis Severino was brilliant: Not once in the 7 innings he pitched did he allow more than 1 baserunner. He allowed just 2 hits and 2 walks. He retired 21 of the 25 batters he faced, and 11 of his last 12. He probably could have pitched the 8th and remained effective. Nevertheless, Joe Girardi followed his binder, and Dellin Betances pitched a perfect 8th.

Aroldis Chapman was called on to preserve the 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 9th. But his usual 100-mile-per-hour-plus fastball simply wasn't there. He was erratic, and he turned it into a Yankees-Red Sox game.

Cliche alert: A leadoff walk will kill you. And he walked Andrew Benintendi. He allowed a double to Mookie Betts, advancing Benintendi to 3rd. And, just like that, the tying run was at the plate, in the form of former Yankee Chris Young. Young grounded to 3rd, and Chase Headley had only 1 play, to 1st, and Benintendi scored.

Now it was a 2-run game, with the tying runs on, the winning run at the plate, and only 1 out. And Chapman threw a wild pitch, advancing Betts to 3rd. And then he walked Hanley Ramirez to load the bases with only 1 out. Depending on where it was hit -- Fenway does have those odd dimensions -- a single could tie the game.

Chapman shook it off, and struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. and Josh Rutledge to end it. Whew. Yankees 3, Red Sox 1. WP: Severino (2-1). SV: Chapman (5). LP: Porcello (1-3).

The series continues tonight. Each team's ace is on the hill: Masahiro Tanaka for the Good Guys, Chris Sale for The Scum.

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