Following this past weekend’s divisional battle in the Bronx the Red Sox extended their first place lead to 5.5 games.
This is certainly not the result the Yankees had hoped for as they really needed to take two of the three games. They’re lucky to come away with one win at all! Aroldis Chapman proved incredibly unreliable in the series endangering the Yankees win on Friday and costing them a win on Sunday.
Yankee Stadium was dead until that big 5 run eighth inning when the tremors had returned following Aaron Hicks’ home run. Aroldis Chapman then increased the drama of the game by walking the bases loaded and was saved by Hick’s heads up play in the top of the ninth to nail Eduardo Nunez at third base as he attempted to tag up.
With that being said Friday’s 5-4 Yankees’ victory was one of the most dramatic games of the 2017 MLB season and following the game it certainly felt like the rivalry had re-intensified.
Saturday was the Andrew Benintendi show, the rookie outfielder carried Boston to their 10-5 victory with two home runs and six RBIs. Luis Severino was lackluster as he got knocked around by the Red Sox strong lineup.
This type of response was expected by a team that could not have been happy with the previous night’s outcome and wanted to display their authority. Although, the expectation for the Yankees was that Friday night’s dramatic win would spark the team and carry into Saturday.
In the series finale, the rubber match came down to Cy Young favorite Chris Sale against recently recalled rookie Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery was filling in for CC Sabathia who has been out with a knee injury.
Not only did Sale continue to impress on Sunday night but Montgomery battled him tooth and nail to keep the Yankees in the game. The Yankees were able to get the Sox ace out of the game and go to work on their bullpen. Manufacturing the go ahead run to go up 2-1.
Then Aroldis Chapman proved unreliable again and this time it hurt the Yankees and cost them a win. Stud mid season call up Rafael Devers beamed the game tying home run over the left center field wall on a 103 MPH fastball. The Yankees would go on to lose in the 10th 3-2.
Following this series, the Yankees play the crosstown Mets in the Subway Series and this could not come at a better time. The Mets are playing games with the intention of getting players ready for next year to contend again. The Yankees need to find answers sooner than later and the Mets are a team where they should hope to find their identity again as an offensive heavy team with a reliable closer. Aroldis Chapman is struggling big time recently and he needs to find consistency and control ASAP, or else the Yankees will need to rely on other reliable pitchers to get the job done. Both David Robertson and Dellin Betances both have closing experience. Joe Girardi did state though that Chapman will remain closer. At the end of the week its a three game set in Boston and the Yankees will again look to make a push to draw closer to the division leaders.
The Red Sox have a rescheduled game with the Cleveland Indians and play two games against the St. Louis Cardinals before the weekend showdown. Not an easy three game set leading up to the weekend but the Red Sox continue to stay hot and play excellent baseball top to bottom. Could their momentum have been stopped by the Yankees if they lost 2 out of 3? Absolutely, but instead they are probably even more confident following the series.
Get ready for another intense week of baseball in New York and Boston.