Bronx, N.Y., June 1, 2019; Yankees 5, Boston 3 — Another week, another two series wins by the Yankees, a development they ensured by taking their second straight game from the visiting Red Sox, this one by a 5-3 score. Early, this one followed Friday night’s template, with Boston taking a 1-0 lead in the second, and the home team quickly responding with a three-run rally.
But the Sox put up more of a fight in this one. First, rather than taking the lead on one loud hit, a home run, they put up the initial score on three singles, with Xander Bogaerts crossing on the first of three one-base hits by catcher and ninth-place hitter Sandy Leon. The visitors battled all night, stroking 11 hits, more than double the five they managed Friday.
And when the Yanks took a lead, they responded quickly, scoring two in the fourth, on a homer from Bogaerts — who also had three hits — and Leon’s second rbi. Yankee Friday starter J.A. Happ barely made it through five innings, with last out help from Gary Sanchez’s pickoff of Eduardo Nunez from second base. Yankee ace (this year) Domingo German failed to finish four when this game was tied.
The Yankees had 11 hits of their own, most of them early, as they put together five singles to plate three off Rick Porcello in the bottom of the second. But what they did do in very similar fashion to how they played the previous evening was to deploy multi-inning shutdown relief pitching. Chad Green used one pitch to close the fourth and, though tested by two hits in the fifth, he pounded his way through on back-to-back strike outs. Both of these came with the potential go-ahead run on third base.
The 46,000-plus crowd, almost one thousand larger than the one on Friday, was therefore subjected (treated?) to a more tense and contested (and longer) battle, though you wouldn’t have guessed it from their several-inning love affair with The Wave. The Sox would come to rue their failure against Green. The Yanks had gone down quietly in the third and the fourth, and Luke Voit’s one-out single in the fifth — the second of three, all to right field, for Luuuuke — represented their first baserunner since the three-run second. Aaron Hicks was out on a roller toward third against an infield shifted toward right, and Yankee fans were heartened by having Voit in scoring position with two down and Sanchez coming to the plate. But Luke’s base location proved to be moot, because Gary drove a 2-2 Porcello offering into the Yankee bullpen in right. Sanchez’s 18th home run on the season broke the tie, 5-3 Yanks.
First Luis Cessa, and then Tommy Kahnle, were warming during the frame, and once the Yanks took the lead, Aaron Boone went A game, Kahnle, for the sixth. After a strike out and Leon’s third single, trapped by Voit at first but he couldn’t make a throw, Mookie Betts singled to right. Kahnle retired the lefthanded Andrew Benintendi, and Boone called on “crazy motion” Adam Ottavino to face J.D. Martinez. Number zero’s strike out of the Sox DH ended the visitors’ next to last chance. Jonathan Holder and Zack Britton retired six over the seventh and eighth, with Zach using his sinker to get a 4-6-3 once he issued a one-out walk.
Aroldis Chapman came in in search of his 17th save, a number that proves that he has been effective. But Aroldis has a flair for the dramatic, as this top of the ninth would demonstrate. Ten pitches in, he had walked Betts, surrendered a single to Benintendi and fallen behind power hitter Martinez, 1-0. Pitch 11 was a double play ball to short, followed by a bouncer to first, with Chapman receiving Voit’s throw for the 27th out, and the 5-3 final.
So a tighter game? Yes. More Yankee fan agita? Well yes, at least for some of us. But a ninth consecutive series win has been achieved, with a refurbished CC Sabathia going for the sweep Sunday night. The last time the Yankees won nine straight series, it was the otherworldly 1998 season. Heady times. And so hard to grasp, with this team having experienced an incredible litany of injuries to key players.
So what do you do? Dance in the aisles, and bellow at the top of your lungs? Check. Arrange to attend as many games as you can? Double check. Express your glee to fellow fans, and to friends and loved ones, even miid acquaintances? Of course. But the words can become repetitive, lose some of their magic, over a long, long season.
I suggest incorporating a few magic utterances into your speech. Nonsensical syllables, if you insist, and do it in a musical way. Embrace your inner poet. In that vein, it was on this day in 1968 that Simon and Garfunkle’s hit song, Mrs. Robinson, with its iconic reference to Yankee idol Joe DiMaggio, became the number one hit in the country. Can’t contain your joy? Imagine yourself speaking to Mrs. Robinson. Go ahead tell her (and all of us).