It has been a long time since the Red Sox and Yankees played a game like Tuesday’s.
The Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, more of historical interest lately than a practical reality, is front and center again. The Sox arrived in the Bronx just two games back from the Bombers, who have had at least a share of first place in the division for 35 of the last 40 days.
In this electric atmosphere, Boston took on a tough New York team and came out on top. Despite the Sox’ 5-1 lead at one point in the game, the Yankees never felt out of it. And for good reason. At least right now, every batter in this Yankees line up is a threat to go deep. And yet, Boston’s pitchers managed to keep the wolves at bay for a 5-4 win.
Sox Pound 3 Home Runs
Sox starter Drew Pomeranz came away with a win to improve to 6-3 on the season, but it took him a career-high 123 pitches to get through the requisite 5.0 IP. Again and again, Yankees batters drew full counts. Yankees front man Masahiro Tanaka was more efficient, throwing just 62 pitches but giving up five earned runs, including three Boston home runs from Mitch Moreland (his seventh of the season), Hanley Ramírez (eighth), and Andrew Benintendi (eighth). Tanaka was out of the game after 5.0 IP, too.
From there, the Yankees were shored up by 3.1 excellent innings of relief by Chad Green, who allowed no hits or walks and struck out five.
For the Sox it was a parade of relievers: Robby Scott, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes. Scott and Barnes each allowed a run. With a one-run lead in the eighth, John Farrell returned to the well once again, asking Craig Kimbrel for yet another four-out save.
Kimbrel should have gotten out of the inning cleanly but Matt Holliday came around the score when Didi Gregorius struck out on a wild pitch. It was the first inherited runner Kimbrel has allowed to score all season.
Despite throwing 17 pitches to get out of the previous inning, Kimbrel brought his usual electric stuff to the bottom of the ninth. Brett Gardner, Gary Sánchez, and Aaron Judge each went down swinging.
Red Sox pitchers held the Yankees to 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday.
Kelly Dismisses Judge
Kelly’s one memorable inning of work won’t quickly be forgotten. He stared down the major’s home run leader and presumptive Rookie of the Year, Aaron Judge, who had already singled, walked, and doubled in the game. Kelly dismissed Judge, striking him out with a pitch that initially registered between 103 and 104 miles per hour but was later adjusted down to 102.2, matching another Kelly pitch for the highest velocity tracked by Statcast in the majors this season.
The Boston Globe‘s Alex Speier has an excellent pitch-by-pitch recount of the at-bat.
The Red Sox threw 204 pitches last night, the ninth-most in any nine-inning game this season. It was the most pitches by the Sox since 207 pitches on April 24, 2014, also against the Yankees.