For the first time since winning six straight from June 7th though June 12th, the Yankees have won back-to-back games. It had been far too long. The Yankees rode great starting pitching, timely hitting, and more zeroes from the bullpen (?!?) to a 3-0 win over the Red Sox in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader. Feels good. It’s Sunday and there’s no chance I’m writing two full recaps in one day, so let’s recap with bullet points:
- Building A Three-Run Lead: Considering everyone looked out of gas following Saturday’s marathon, the Yankees did a nice job against Rick Porcello. One baserunner in the first, two in the second, then one in the third before finally breaking through in the fourth. A single (Didi Gregorius), a Xander Bogaerts error (Clint Frazier), a single (Austin Romine), and a sac fly (Ji-Man Choi) got the Yankees on the board. Ronald Torreyes drove another run in with a two-out single to left. Frazier made a great slide around at the tag at the plate for the 2-0 lead. One inning later Gregorius stretched the lead to 3-0 with a 295-foot home run (!) around the Pesky Pole. Clutch hits and a dinger. My kind of offense.
- Six Strong From Sabathia: Things did not look out of the gate. Sabathia walked the first two batters he faced Sunday, but two ground balls got him out of the jam, and he went on to hold the Red Sox to two hits in six scoreless innings. He did walk five, which is atypical, but I guess making two starts in the last five weeks will do that. Sabathia threw 97 pitches — his limit for the day — and he did exactly what the Yankees needed him to do. Soak up innings in the front end of the doubleheader after the 16-inning game last night. The big man is down to a 3.54 ERA (4.21 FIP) on the season. I’ll take it.
- Three From The Bullpen: With the bullpen taxed and his options limited, Joe Girardi handed the ball to Tyler Clippard for the seventh inning with a 3-0 lead, and he pitched around a leadoff infield single. So many infield singles this series. Clippard has been terrible for a good month now, but if you’re going to have to use him, using him with a three-run lead against the bottom of the lineup is the time to do it. Chad Green had to pitch around two two-out walks in the eighth, then Aroldis Chapman, pitching for the third straight day, nailed down the save despite allowing a two-out single. I’m a bit surprised the Yankees were willing to use him three straight days after the shoulder injury, but whatever.
- Leftovers: Aaron Judge snapped out of his little 0-for-12 slide with an infield single, extending his on-base streak to 42 starts … two hits apiece for Chase Headley, Gregorius, Frazier, Choi, and Torreyes. The 5-6-7-8-9 hitters went 9-for-19 (.474) … the Yankees have held the Red Sox scoreless over their last 22 innings. The BoSox are 2-for-51 with runners in scoring position against the Yankees this year, and one of the two hits didn’t even score a run. Good gravy.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload page either. The Yankees and Red Sox will wrap up this four games in three games series later today with the second game of the doubleheader. That’s the 8pm game on ESPN. Masahiro Tanaka and David Price as the scheduled starting pitchers.