This game amplified how much the Yankees have missed key members of the team that have spent the week on the COVID-protocol Injured List, unavailable to play.
In the decisive 5th inning, when Boston finally broke through against Gerrit Cole — Xander Bogaerts hit a sac fly to right that Greg Allen made a pretty good throw on to home, just missing Enrique Hernandez who scored. Seemingly all of Yankee Twitter in unison noted Aaron Judge (out on the COVID IL) would have thrown him out easily; or Hernandez would have never even run.
Xander Bogaerts gets the Red Sox on the board with a sac fly pic.twitter.com/HvZz6chyzK
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken2) July 24, 2021
In the top of the 6th, Gary Sanchez had to leave the game with a back spasm, and was pinch hit for by.. Rob Brantly. Of course Kyle Higashioka is out on the COVID IL. And it seemed to dawn on all of Yankee Twitter at once how anemic the Yankee bench is. Not only the COVID guys are out — but also Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, and of course Aaron Hicks are all out with ‘regular’ injuries.
In the past week, the Yankees have pulled pitchers out of their sleeve that most Yankee fans had no idea were on the team, like a magic trick. Sal Romano the other night? Asher Wojciechowski starting on Thursday night? That was trippy. Brooks Kriske being relied upon as a savior in late innings on Thursday and Friday? And the Tyler Wade error at 3rd that cost NY Friday night’s game — with Gio Urshela on the COVID IL.
Things are starting to get back to normal as some of the Yanks on the COVID IL are beginning to come back to the team — Nestor Cortes Jr.in this game; Jonathan Loaisiga and Gio Urshela this weekend; Judge on Tuesday, etc.
1. Cole Masterful Again — But Boston Worked Him
Gerrit Cole was masterful again — pitching a shutout into the 5th. But Boston has a good offense and they were working him; fouling off pitches, forcing long pitch counts.
Painting 101 🖌️ pic.twitter.com/C9OHmSB1Ea
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 24, 2021
Cole was at 90 pitches in the 5th, and after allowing the sac fly to tie the game at 1-1 in the 5th (described above), allowed a homerun to Rafael Devers over the Green Monster for a 3-1 Boston lead.
One baseball was harmed in the making of this highlight. pic.twitter.com/sY8T5f4OaT
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 24, 2021
Had Judge been playing right field and thrown the runner out on the sac fly — the inning would have been over.
Cole finished with 5 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 8 strikeouts, in 104 pitches.
2. Anemic Offense
The 3 runs Cole gave up wouldn’t have been a big deal if the Yanks had 5 runs. But the Yankee COVID-peppered lineup was anemic.
NY was facing Boston ace Eduardo Rodriguez — but he left in the 2nd inning with a massive headache (literally) after allowing a walk (to Gary Sanchez), single (to Gleyber Torres), and RBI double to Brett Gardner to give the Yanks a 1-0 lead.
Gardy gets it going. pic.twitter.com/W3rlUtSeBp
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 23, 2021
In the 7th, down 3-1, NY got runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Giancarlo Stanton hit a grounder to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd with 2 out, but Rougned Odor hit the first pitch for a massive popup to shallow center for the 3rd out.
In the 8th, down 6-1, the Yanks got runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 out, but Estevan Florial struck out for the final out.
In the 9th, down 6-1, the Yanks scored a run after 2 were out — Stanton singled and Odor doubled him home.
And that was it.
3. Cortes Coughs Up 3-Run Bomb to Devers
Nestor Cortes Jr.was back from the COVID IL and relieved Cole for the 6th. He pitched 2 innings — unfortunately allowing a 3-run bomb to Rafael Devers over the centerfield wall — his 2nd homer of the game — with 2 outs in the 7th to put the game away.
0 to 💯 real quick. pic.twitter.com/hVgMcuNtmc
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 24, 2021
Justin Wilson pitched a shutout 8th — so that was good.
Two mistakes — one by Cole, one by Cortes — to Devers for 2 home runs — cost the Yanks this game. Plus not having all the players on the COVID IL. And the other ‘regular’ injuries to 4 of their main hitters.