Nightmare at Fenway
The Yankees headed to Boston for a crucial and historic series, the first time the two teams met this late into the season with the two best records in the majors since the famed 1978 tiebreaker game. On Thursday, however, the Yankees were on the wrong side of history in a 15-7 rout.
The Red Sox pummeled them with 15 runs and 19 hits, and added four steals to round out the shellacking. This was the 2,204th game in the history of the rivalry (including the postseason) — and it was the first of those games that the Red Sox scored that many runs, had that many hits and that many stolen bases.
The longball was no help as the Yankees hit four homers and still lost. This was the 43rd time they went deep at least four times in a game against the Red Sox — and the second time they didn’t win. The other game was on Sept. 24, 2010 at Yankee Stadium.
Even more depressing is the fact that they did all that damage and lost by eight runs! To find the last time the Yankees hit four homers, scored at least seven runs and still got whipped by eight-plus runs you have to back more than 75 years to a 15-7 loss on May 21, 1930 to the Philadelphia A’s.
Jonathan Holder did his best to put himself in the Yankee record books — in every bad way possible. He entered in the fourth inning, faced seven batters, allowed all of them to reach base and coughed up seven runs. The only other Yankee pitcher to give up that many earned runs without recording an out in a game was Bob Kammeyer on Sept. 8, 1979 against the Indians. That was only game he pitched in 1979 and the last game Kammeyer ever pitched in the majors.
Let’s finish with a couple silver linings to calm the rage:
- Didi Gregorius went deep twice and drove in four runs, becoming the first Yankee shortstop ever with at least two home runs and four RBI in a game against the Red Sox.
- This was the second time the Yankees allowed 14 or more runs to the Red Sox this season (remember the 14-1 disaster on April 10 at Fenway?). The last time the Red Sox scored at least 14 runs twice in a season against the Yankees was 2009.
Nightmare at Fenway, Part II
The freefall continued on Friday as the Yankees were dominated by Rick Porcello and embarrassed again in a 4-1 loss. They looked like a JV squad playing the state champion varsity team, getting just two guys on base (hit by pitch and home run) the entire game.
It was the first time Yankees had one hit or fewer against the Red Sox since Sept. 10, 1999, the epic Pedro Martinez 17-strikeout game at Yankee Stadium. And the only other time in the last 100 years that Yankees had no more than one hit at Fenway Park was June 7, 1990. That was the first game of the glorious Stump Merrill era.
Porcello was in total control the entire game, never faced a runner in scoring position, retired the final 21 Yankees that came to the plate and needed just 86 pitches to finish them off. The U-G-L-Y numbers, bullet-point style:
- In the 21 years we have reliable pitch data (since 1988), Porcello is the only pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game with at least nine strikeouts and fewer than 90 pitches against the Yankees
- Porcello is the second Red Sox pitcher to throw a nine-inning complete game with one or zero hits allowed against the Yankees at Fenway Park. The other guy was Rube Foster who tossed a no-hitter against them on June 21, 1916.
- And — our daily #SilverLiningStat — the last pitcher on any team to throw a complete game and give up no more than one hit against the Yankees was Roy Halladay on September 4, 2009 in Toronto.
Luis Severino — who had struggled mightily his previous four games — looked like he was going to suffer through another disaster outing after getting pounded for three runs in the first inning.
But he settled down, pitched with more confidence, and had better location before exiting in the sixth. As you can see below, he couldn’t find the plate in the first inning (left) but had much-improved command the rest of the game (right):
Even though Severino might be emerging from his slump, his subpar line (5 2/3 IP, 4 ER) gave him a 8.28 ERA over his last five games. That’s his highest ERA in a five-start span (with no relief appearances in between) in his career.
Nightmare at Fenway, Part III
It was deja vu all over again for the Yankees on Saturday, as they dropped another 4-1 dud to the Red Sox. Following their identical 4-1 debacle on Friday, this is the first time since September 1991 that the Yankees scored one run or fewer in consecutive games in a series at Fenway Park.
The Yankees saw their slim division hopes almost extinguished as they fell to a season-worst 8.5 games back in the division, and extended their losing streak to a season-high four games. Prior to this series, the Yankees and Red Sox were the only MLB teams that hadn’t lost more than three games in a row.
For the second straight game the Yankees looked thoroughly overmatched against a dominant Red Sox starter. This time it was Nathan Eovaldi who silenced the Yankee bats, holding them to three singles over eight scoreless innings. Eovaldi and Porcello are the third set of Red Sox teammates since 1908 to pitch at least eight innings and allow no more than three hits on back-to-back days against the Yankees. The others? Mike Boddicker and Greg Harris on June 6-7, 1990, and Rube Foster and Babe Ruth on June 21-22, 1916.
Nightmare at Fenway, Part IV
The Yankees capped off the most disappointing and dreadful series of the season with arguably the most painful and brutal loss of the season, losing 5-4 in the 10th inning after starting the ninth inning with a 4-1 advantage.
Chapman imploded in trying to close out the game, walking three batters and all three crossed home plate. He now has seven blown saves as a Yankee, and three of them have come against the Red Sox. The tying run scored on an error by Miguel Andujar; he entered the game with -14 Defensive Runs Saved this season, the worst among all MLB third basemen. This was bad, bad, bad, bad:
- Entering Sunday they were an MLB-best 58-0 this season when leading at the start of the ninth inning.
- It was just the second time in the last 10 seasons that they lost a game when taking a lead of at least three runs into the ninth. The other game was September 15, 2016 … against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
- It was just the fourth time in the last 50 seasons they were swept in a four-game series by the Red Sox; it also happened September 2016, June 1990 and September 1969. All four of those sweeps were at Fenway Park.
- Yankees are now 8-18 at Fenway Park over the last three seasons, their worst record at any American League ballpark since 2016.