In what some were calling the best win of the year, the Yankees Jumped on the Red Sox from the get-go in pounding them 8-3 on a Friday night at Fenway to hold their wild card spot and move within a game of Boston for the top wild card — with 8 games to go.
With a playoff intensity atmosphere before a packed house, Aaron Judge started off the scoring with a huge RBI double to left centerfield in the 1st off Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi en route to a 3-0 lead before Boston ever game to bat. The Yankees knocked Eovaldi out in the 3rd inning, capped by a 3-run homer by Giancarlo Stanton to right-center to make it 6-0 NY.
Meanwhile Gerrit Cole gave the Yanks a good start — with a shutout going to the 6th when he allowed a 3-run homer to Rafael Devers to make it 7-3 at the time.
After that it was biting fingers and the bullpen, which came through.
Toronto lost so the Yanks are now 2 games ahead of them.
1. Yanks Jump On Eovaldi in 1st
Former Yank Nathan Eovaldi came in at 10-8, 3.58 and started the game with 2 straight strikes to DJ LeMahieu. But LeMahieu hung tough and worked the count to 3-2 before ripping a single to right and just like that the momentum turned. Anthony Rizzo took a ball and then ripped a fastball to right for another single to put 1st and 2nd nobody out.
Aaron Judge then hit a 1-2 slider for a double to left center and the Yanks were cooking.
Swingin' to start it up. pic.twitter.com/hNXHyVNYsj
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 24, 2021
Giancarlo Stanton grounded out for a run, and after a Joey Gallo flyout, Gleyber Torres came up big yet again with a 2-out, RBI single and it was 3-0 NY. Yankee Twitter was giddy.
2. Yanks Knock Out Eovaldi in 3rd
Eovaldi retired the Yanks 1-2-3 in the 2nd and looked to be settling down but Anthony Rizzo got him again to lead off the 3rd with a double to deep left. Aaron Judge walked and Giancarlo Stanton stepped up. Stanton had fire and confidence in his eyes — it looked like he was going to hit a homer in the 1st when he hit the groundout — but this time — hit a line shot to right center and over the wall into the bullpen for a 6-0 NY lead.
The G-Man Can. pic.twitter.com/A9nrbcBDT1
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 25, 2021
Then Joey Gallo singled before Eovaldi got 2 straight outs. But Brett Gardner worked an 8-pitch walk to put 1st and 2nd, 2 outs and Eovaldi was gone after 59 pitches.
“He’s an electric arm, so we really had to stick to our plan to make sure we’re not chasing, be on time for his heater, and that’s what we did — we didn’t expand, and we got the barrel to it,” said Giancarlo Stanton afterwards about the Yankees chasing Eovaldi.
Hirokazu Sawamura came in and got Kyle Higashioka to pop up between 1st base and the pitchers mound. But 3rd baseman Rafael Devers and 1st baseman Kyle Schwarber got mixed up as to who would catch it and it fell for a single — Joey Gallo scoring from 2nd as he was running on the play with 2 outs — and it was 7-0 NY.
The first baseme…. IT DROPS! HOWDOYALIKETHAT?? I'm telling you: you can SEE indecision. I could see indecision! pic.twitter.com/77y4bRoErK
— John Sterling Calls (@JSterlingCalls) September 25, 2021
3. Cole Very Good
Meanwhile Gerrit Cole was pitching well — he wasn’t locating his off speed pitches — they kept missing for balls — but was using his overpowering 98-MPH heater to get strikeouts.
He allowed a 2-out double in the 4th but got the final out, and allowed a leadoff single in the 5th but got a big double play to help his pitch count as it was rising.
The Sox finally got to him in the bottom of the 6th — Cole allowed 2 leadoff singles to put 1st and 3rd, nobody out — but struck out Xander Bogaerts for the 1st out. Hope that Cole would get out of the inning unscathed went to the wind when Rafael Devers homered to right — a 3-run bomb to make it 7-3 NY and the ballgame was kind of on again.
Fenway got really LOUD but Cole got JD Martinez on a fly and Alex Verdugo on a groundout to get out of the inning.
Cole’s Cy Young Chances Helped or Hurt?
Cole’s final line: 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 6 K’s, 3 BB’s in 94 pitches — he won the game to go 16-8 3.08 with a 1.04 WHIP. He leads the league in wins. Before the homerun his ERA had gone down to around 2.90 — it will be interesting to see if that 3-run homer to Devers costs him the Cy Young. His main competitor is Robbie Ray who is 12-6 2.72 with a 1.03 WHIP. Ray leads the league in ERA. Cole has one more start; Ray has 2 more starts.
3. Gleyber Day!
Gleyber Torres — who has been red hot — hit a homer to centerfield in the top of the 7th off Martin Perez to immediately tack on a run to the Yanks lead and make it 8-3.
Gleyby One More Time. pic.twitter.com/JkxECp5PDq
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 25, 2021
The Yanks got two more singles off Perez (by Gio Urshela and Brett Gardner) before he settled down and got 3 straight outs.
4. Wandy & His Wand Don’t Lie
Clay Holmes came in to pitch the 7th — he got the first 2 outs and struck out Jose Iglesias on 3 pitches to end the inning — but the ump called the 3rd strike a ball, and Iglesias then reached on an infield single.
Yankee Twitter went ballistic as the replay showed the pitch clearly a strike — and then the next batter Enrique Hernandez singled and all of a sudden Boston had a rally going.
In came Wandy Peralta and his magic wand, to face pinch hitter Bobby Dalbec. With Fenway chanting BOBBY BOBBY BOBBY loudly, Wandy’s wand didn’t lie — he struck out Dalbec on 5 pitches — the last one an 86-MPH changeup that broke low and outside and had Dalbec fishing badly.
— Yankees Videos (@snyyankees) September 25, 2021
5. Go Green
It was on to the 9th, 8-3 NY and Chad Green to the hill with all of Yankee Twitter nervous — Green had pitched well his last outing Wednesday night but has been extremely inconsistent this year, and a league-leading homerun launcher.
But Green struck out the first batter, walked the second, struck out the 3rd batter, and got a can-of-corn flyout to Judge in right for the old ballgame.
- Giancarlo Stanton is smoking hot — he went 3-5 with the homer, 4 RBI’s and is now slashing 32-87-.272 (.355 OBP)
- Gleyber Torres went 3-5 and is slashing 8-49-.261 (.334 OBP)
- Aaron Judge went 1-4 with a walk, and is slashing 36-90-.286 (.372 OBP) — 90 RBI’s despite batting 2nd most of the year.
- Anthony Rizzo went 2 for 5 and made some great defensive plays at 1st base that had Yankee Twitter saying, “he’s our 1st baseman”.
- The Red Sox wore their special yellow “City Connect” uniforms, introduced in April as a MLB special event. The yellow, blue and white color was meant to mirror the Boston Marathon colors, and also to signify diversity — that the Red Sox aren’t just red. The Red Sox wore them during Patriot week. They wore them a week ago and went on a 5-game winning streak (7-game winning streak overall).
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