Quite the way to kick off the unofficial second half of the season. The second place Yankees come into town with the chance to leave in first place. The Red Sox have their four best starters for this series, and Drew Pomeranz started the first one on Friday. Though he did not toss a quality start, Pomeranz pitched the way you should expect him to, in my opinion. Six innings pitched, six hits, four runs, two walks, and seven strikeouts. He gave up one in the third, and three in the fifth. The biggest mistake pitch came in that fifth inning, when Gary Sanchez took Pomeranz deep and made it a 4-3 game. A double play started by Sam Travis got the Red Sox out of the inning, and Pomeranz would pitch a scoreless sixth. When I say Pomeranz met expectations, I mean that’s how I think most of his outings will go. There’ll be times where he goes seven while only giving up two runs, but there’ll probably be more starts that look like the one we saw last night. After he was one, Matt Barnes got the call for the seventh, and he was lights out that inning and in the eighth. I don’t know what it is about Barnes, but he clearly has an easier time pitching at Fenway Park than anywhere else on the road, which is concerning, but still interesting. Robby Scott pitched the ninth for the Red Sox, and he also bounced back from a rough end to the first half by getting the Yankees in order. So, shout out to those guys in the bullpen locking things down and allowing the bats to win the game.
Speaking of the bats, there were plenty of missed opportunities while Jordan Montgomery was pitching for the Yankees. In the four innings he pitched, the Red Sox got on base a total of nine times, and could only score three times off of him. Two of those runs came off the bat of Hanley Ramirez, who drilled his fourteenth home run over the monster in the third, which gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead at the time. Dustin Pedroia drove in Sam Travis in the next inning, and they struggled to get anything off the Yankees bullpen until Aroldis Chapman entered the game in the ninth. Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia both singled and stole a base to start the inning. The Yankees defense helped the Red Sox a lot, as what looked like a ground out from Xander Bogaerts resulted in the tying run, Mookie Betts, scoring from third because of a Ronald Torreyes fielding error. After Hanley Ramirez was intentionally walked, Andrew Benintendi came up in a huge spot, and Chapman walked him, winning the game without a single ball leaving the infield in that bottom half of the ninth.
A wild way to start the second half to say the least. The Yankees are looking less and less like a contender and Aroldis Chapman is looking like a rattled reliever instead of a dominant closer. The Yankees were 37-23 through 60 games on June 11th. Since then, they have gone 8-19, which has to be one of the worst records in baseball over that span. The Rays could be more legit than the Yankees, only time will tell. But anyway, great way to start the second half, I was pumped up, and it’s Sale Day. Also hearing the Red Sox are trying to get Todd Frazier from the White Sox, so that’s a name to pay close attention to.
51 down, ? to go.