Sunday night’s series finale between the Red Sox and Yankees was a spectacle, but not the kind we hoped to see.
Clay Buchholz, fresh from a solid performance on Opening Day, allowed seven first-inning New York runs that all but sealed the Red Sox’ fate in Game 6. Despite getting within striking distance with three Boston runs, Buchholz quickly gave those runs back.
With their club starting the year 1-4, Yankees fans no doubt heaved a heavy sigh of relief with the performance of Masahiro Tanaka, who improved to 1-1, 7.00 ERA on the year. As important in New York was, no doubt, the awakening of the Yankee bats with home runs by Brian McCann (the 200th of his career) and by Stephen Drew.
Red Sox fans, meanwhile, were left scratching their heads as how Buchholz could swing from such a beautiful outing last Monday to this. Certainly, the Yankees lineup, while not the fearsome bunch of years past, is still better than what Buchholz faced in Philadelphia on Opening Day. Never the less, Buchholz has been known to be inconsistent as the following chart of career performance indicates.
Edward Mujica, who on Friday allowed a 2-out, 9th inning game-tying home run by Chase Headley (and thereby initiating what would become the longest game in Red Sox history), gave up a home run again Sunday night, his second in as many appearances.
When all was said and done the Red Sox allowed 14 Yankees runs, the most allowed to any club since a 14-1 loss to the Blue Jays last July 28. Boston had three games where an opponent scored 14+ runs in 2014, just one such game in 2013.
Red Sox pitching, we all know, is suspect but in the cold weather of April the Red Sox anticipated offensive pop has yet to fully materialize. Hanley Ramirez gracefully swatted his club-best third home run of the year. Another small but bright sign was the long awaited first hit of the season for Mike Napoli.
While a sweep of the Yankees would have been satisfying (the last came September 13-15, 2013 at Fenway; the last in New York was June 7-9, 2011), Sunday’s game still counts as just one loss despite the lopsided score.
After the game the Red Sox headed to Boston for the Home Opener with wins in both of the first two series of the season.