Bronx, N.Y., June 2, 2019; Boston 8, Yankees 5 — A successful home stand, and series with rival Boston, ended on a down note Sunday night, as the Yankees dropped a sloppily played game, 8-5. But the good news is that the team got its second starting pitcher back from the Injured List, and both pitched pretty well. James Paxton was great against San Diego Wednesday, but only went four innings. And although CC Sabathia took tonight’s loss, he looked strong, and delivered a quality start.
Mixing pitches well, CC struck out eight over six innings, with no walks. He left on the losing side of a 3-2 score, mostly because J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts reached him for singleton home runs, in the first and fourth innngs, respectively. Both J. Happ and Domingo German gave up three runs the last two days, but their offense and defense picked them up. Sabathia allowed just five hits through five, though fans were grumbling at the back-to-back base hits to start the sixth. This produced what may have been his best work of the night, as he pounded back-to-back swinging strike outs, with Andrew Benintendi being easily pegged out trying to steal third base concurrent with the latter.
What could have been the tying rally in the fourth had come up one run short. Starting with a Luke Voit one-out home run, the four-hit plus sac fly attack fizzled strangely, with Gleyber Torres apparently trying to get in a rundown as Aaron Hicks scored from third. The Red Sox would have none of it, defending the play so well that if they had needed two outs, they probably would have been able to tag each runner out.
By the time the home team got another hit, Luis Cessa — on the mound — and Clint Frazier — in right field — collaborated in producing two messy innings that had the Yanks down 8-2. Cessa, taking the ball after CC had walked no one in six frames, promptly issued a five-pitch free pass to start the seventh. One out later, he fell behind Eduardo Nunez 3-0, and then Frazier joined the fun by booting Nunez’s single to right, resulting in a run scored and runner on third. A Brock Holt pinch-hit single scored him, and what should have been another one-base hit to right featured a late-arriving Frazier blocking the ball, resulting in a double and the third run of the inning scoring.
A Yankee following threat came up short, though it did drive David Price from the mound. Torres and Frazier hits set it up, but rookie infielder Michael Chavis made a diving stop on Brett Gardner’ double bid over first to put out the fire. Cessa allowed two hits in the eighth before being replaced by David Hale. One run should have scored, but a second crossed when Frazier played what was ticketed as a double into no man’s land in short right into a triple by letting the first hop get past him. Ironically, he made a perfect throw to third, which was too late because he was just too tardy in getting to the ball. Too bad, because his throws have not been good either.
With lightning and thunder all around, the rains came, intermittently. The Yanks made it closer with a three-run eighth, highlighted by a single, two walks, a Torres sac fly, and a Matt Barnes balk, but 8-5 was as close as they would get. Torres and Frazier had two hits apiece, DH Gary Sanchez had a single and two walks, Voit homered, and the team hit two sac flies, an encouraging way to score runs when the balls are not flying out of the ballpark. CC was good, as was Hale, as it turned out. So it wasn’t all bad. The team still came away with another series win, despite the loss.
I cringe at the thought of making this a bad-baseball story, not for a team that has been playing so well for some time, quite undermanned. I feel for Frazier, who at least will be heading out of town to Toronto as this city is abuzz about his outfield misadventures through the first scheduled off day for this team for some time. Life is good in Yankee land. And Clint had two hits, and his 10 home runs have played a part in this team’s success. But I also can’t help but poke a little fun at the situation as the Yanks head out on the road.
On this day way back in 1835, PT Barnum’s circus began its first ever road trip through the USA. The Yankees head to Toronto with a very good record, and some hot pitchers and hitters as well. But this team showed tonight that it’s capable of making a few circus [mis]plays among all the scoring, and winning. To this point it’s been mostly good, but the day-in, day-out season has also featured some,
Bad News, along with all the Good News