Dear England: This is a SLUGFEST — June 29, 2019: NY 17 Boston 13

Dear England,

there are many different types of baseball games. There are Shutouts, Nail Biters, Extra Inning games, Blowouts — all kinds of scores and games imaginable. This, first MLB game in England, was a Slugfest.

It started as a Blowout — with the Yankees pouncing on Boston’s Rick Porcello for 6 runs in the top of the 1st inning, capped off by a MASSIVE homerun by Aaron Hicks to right. Yankee Twitter was jubilant. To crush and humiliate the Red Sox with all the world watching. It was now a matter of how much they would crush Boston by.

Shallow Outfield

In the back of your mind, you hoped that Masahiro Tanaka wouldn’t run into any trouble like Porcello did. But he’d just pitched a shutout last week, and should be fine. This was a wide stadium with short centerfield distances — the deepest part of the park was only 385 feet away. Tanaka would need to have his cutter cutting, his slider sliding, his breaking pitch breaking, and the wind at his back.

Before you could turn around, Boston had bases loaded, nobody out, and a run in. And batter after batter, Boston came back — 6-1 became 6-2 became 6-3 and then Michael Chavis hit a 3-run homer to tie it at 6-6. Red Sox nation was jubilant; Yankee Twitter was deflated and disgusted.

Yankee Pen and Old Man Gardner to the Rescue

The Yankee ballpen was called in for Tanaka. Chad Green who was supposed to “Open” the Sunday game, relieved and pitched 2 shutout innings, showing England what a FASTBALL looked like. David Hale pitched a shutout inning, and then it was Nestor Cortes Jr.in to hold ’em.

Meanwhile, Brett Gardner put the Yanks back on top 8-6 with a homer in the 3rd and all was right in Yankee Universe again.

Yanks with 8 Runs in the 4th

In the 4th, the Yanks EXPLODED for 8 runs, capped off by a 2-run shot to the opposite field by Aaron Judge. Yanks 14 Boston 6. The Yanks added 3 more runs in the 5th to make it 17-6. Ballgame. You would think.

But back came Boston. A homer by Jackie Bradley Jr.in the 6th off Cortes Jr. made it 17-7. Cortes got the first 2 outs of the 7th, but then ran out of gas. Michael Chavis hit his second 3-run homer of the game, this one off Cortes to make it 17-10. Tommy Kahnle came in, allowed a single in between two walks, and came out. Adam Ottavino was greeted by a RBI double before getting the final out. NY 17 Boston 13.

In the 8th, Boston loaded the bases with 2 out before Zack Britton got Marco Hernandez on a ground out to Gio Urshela at 3rd. PHEW.

And THAT was ballgame. Aroldis Chapman pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th for the game. The game ended with a spectacular play by the Yankee infield for a double play.

The Offense, the Errors — The Field

It ended up being the second longest 9-inning game in baseball history. Not only did the pitchers stink, but there were many misplays in the field. It almost looked like the players were nervous. There was much speculation the next day on ESPN as to the why. It may have been due to several stadium factors:

  1. The outfield walls — as mentioned above — made for a field that was wide and shallow — with the centerfield fence only 385 feet away.
  2. For most of the game the sun was sitting right behind home plate causing difficulty for the fielders.
  3. This stadium was built for track, and it is built to insulate against any external wind coming in — this may have caused off-speed pitches to not break.
  4. The field is artificial turf and it is a hard artificial turf, causing balls to come to fielders Fast.

Etcetera

  • DJ LeMahieu finished 4 for 6 with 5 RBI to raise his average to a league-leading .342.
  • Aaron Judge went 2 for 4 with the homer and a walk; his average sits at .295. He made two terrific throws from right field to halt Boston runners in their tracks — saving a run in the 2nd.
  • Mike Tauchman came in as a late-inning replacement for Judge, who is recently back from the long injury, and made two spectacular catches in the field.
  • Luke Voit went 4 for 4 but pulled up with a minor pull below his belly after his 4th hit, a double.
  • Didi Gregorius went 2 for 5, 3 runs, and raised his average to .281.
  • Edwin Encarnacion went 1 for 6 with 5 (five) strikeouts.

The Boxscore

https://www.espn.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=401075971

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