Friday, April 13, 2018

Guts Is Important, But Not Enough

On Wednesday night, at Fenway Park, against the best possible opponent for it to happen, the Yankees found their guts.

Last night, they showed that guts are not enough.

Sonny Gray started against the Boston Red Sox, and to start the game, he got Mookie Betts to pop up. Then he allowed a single to Andrew Benintendi. Then he hit Hanley Ramirez on the wrist. Ramirez had to leave the game with an injury.

Given the events of the previous game, it might seem like he hit Ramirez on purpose. But that would have been a dumb thing to do, since it put men on 1st and 2nd with only 1 out. Gray pitched out of the jam, but he melted down in the 2nd inning: Infield single, walk, wild pitch, RBI single, bases-loading walk, RBI sacrifice fly, grounder into run-scoring error, RBI single. 4-0 Boston.

In spite of Fenway Park's ability to ruin leads, the game was essentially over, because Rick Porcello didn't allow a baserunner until the 4th, when he hit Giancarlo Stanton with a pitch -- one of the rare occasions when a Red Sox pitcher hit a Yankee batter and we can be sure that it wasn't intentional. The no-hitter wasn't broken up until Aaron Judge led off the 7th with a double. By that point, it was 6-0 Boston.

The Yankees launched a comeback bid in the 9th. Judge led off with a walk. Stanton reached on an error, Judge going to 3rd. Stanton stole 2nd. Didi Gregorius drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out, so there was hope. Gary Sanchez cleared the bases with a double.

Sox manager Alex Cora didn't take any chances, bringing in his closer, Craig Kimbrel. He got Aaron Hicks, who had just come off the Disabled List, to ground out, and then struck Neil Walker and Tyler Wade out to end it.

Red Sox 6, Yankees 3. WP: Porcello (3-0). SV: Kimbrel (4). LP: Gray (1-1). The Yankees are 6-7, 4 1/2 games behind the Sox.

Yes, having and showing guts is important. But it's not enough. You've got to win.

And what is the Yankees' punishment for this poor start? They have to go to Detroit.

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