Michael Wacha pitched 7 innings of 2-hit shutout baseball to beat Jameson Taillon and the Yanks 3-0 on a summer Sunday night at Fenway.
Wacha had a no hitter going into the 5th, when Miguel Andujar broke it up with a single. Andrew Benintendi got the only other Yankee hit.
“You gotta tip your cap on a lot of those at bats,” said Aaron Judge of Wacha afterwards. “He really worked the edges well with all of his pitches.”
Judge said he wasn’t worried about the Yankee post-All Star Game slide. “Not at all. It’s baseball. You’re gonna go through stretches like this. Every team does. So it’s just about us staying consistent. Don’t sit on our wells, or hang our head. Not happy about it but still a lot of work to be done.”
NY falls to 72-43, 10 games over Toronto (which also lost), 11 games over Tampa, 12.5 over Baltimore, and 15.5 over the now 57-59 Red Sox.
1. Wacha Brilliant
Once upon a time Michael Wacha was a brilliant young 21-year old 6’6 right hander for the St Louis Cardinals who was the hero of the 2013 playoffs — pitching a 1-hitter against the Pirates to advance the Cardinals to the NLCS, and then winning the NLCS MVP by pitching 2 spectacular shutout starts against the Dodgers, carrying St Louis to the World Series. Wacha beat the Red Sox in Game 2 of the World Series, but was beaten in Game 6.
Wacha went on to go 17-7 3.38 in 2015 and had several other good seasons for St Louis while being derailed several times by shoulder problems. After a poor 2019 season he signed with the Mets for a year (1-4 6.62 in 2020) and Tampa (3-5 5.50 last year) where he occasionally showed signs of his old self but for the most part had poor seasons.
He signed with the Red Sox to begin this season and has been his brilliant old self. Just coming off a stint on the 12-day IL, he shut the Yanks out on 2 hits through 7 innings, using a 94-MPH four-seam fastball, 84-MPH changeup, 92-MPH sinker, and occasional 90-MPH cutter.
Wacha won to go 7-1 2.44 on the season.
The Yanks one chance against Wacha came in the top of the 5th, when Andujar singled with 2 outs, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa walked. Kyle Higashioka hit a shot down 3rd, but Rafael Devers made a terrific diving play on it to his right robbing Higgy of a hit down the line, and threw Higgy out.
Smooth and easy for Rafael Devers. pic.twitter.com/W8AO2CMre2
— Red Sox (@RedSox) August 15, 2022
2. Taillon Good
Meanwhile Jameson Taillon, who’s had his fair share of set backs — including Tommy John surgery, hernia surgery, and testicular cancer — was simply good. He pitched 7 innings, allowing 3 runs.
“I feel that last outing I turned a bit of a page,” said Taillon afterwards. “Being a little more aggressive; just being confident, ripping my stuff in the zone. If I’m going down, I’m going down super aggressive — just ripping my stuff in the zone.”
Taillon allowed an early run when Tommy Pham doubled to lead off the 1st, and later came around to score on an Xander Bogaerts groundout.
Taillon engaged in a pitcher’s duel with Wacha — the score stayed 1-0 Boston until the bottom of the 6th, when Tommy Pham led off with a single, and Rafael Devers hit a 433-foot bomb to right for a 3-0 Boston lead.
Taillon was helped in the 7th by a terrific catch in centerfield by Tim Locastro.
Great catch from T-Lo 👏 pic.twitter.com/apSJz0CRHG
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 15, 2022
3. Loaisiga Good
The other good news for the Yanks besides Taillon looking good again, was Jonathan Loaisiga, who pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th — groundout, groundout, lineout.
Little by little, Loaisiga is looking better.
4. Bosox Bullpen Ends It
The Yanks couldn’t get anything off the Red Sox bullpen — Ryan Brasier retired the side in order in the 8th and former Yankee Garrett Whitlock pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning — strikeout, strikeout, groundout for the old ballgame.
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