The Yankees were unable to complete the sweep on Sunday Night Baseball, losing 5-0 to the Red Sox at the Stadium.
The Yankees came into Sunday night looking for a three-game sweep of the hated Boston Red Sox. They’d won 3-2 on Friday night (after some fireworks from “Big
Baby Papi” David Ortiz), and slapped David Price around for the second time in a week in an 8-2 win on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to get the brooms out on Sunday night. The Sox jumped on Luis Severino early, and the Yankees offense was dominated by a knuckler… C’est la vie.
The Yankees really needed a good outing from Severino. Although he’d had a quality start against the Orioles his last time out, it wasn’t pretty, and he still came in winless on the season with a 6.31 ERA. The Yankees expected a lot out of Sevi this season, and he hasn’t yet delivered. He pitched mostly well in this one, but a handful of bad pitches and the ineffectiveness of the Yankees’ offense helped him suffer his fifth loss of the year.
The game started off very shaky for the 22-year old righty, as he walked Mookie Betts on four pitches to lead off the game. Dustin Pedroia then worked the count full, got a pitch up and hit one of the cheapest Yankee Stadium cheapie home runs ever, just over Carlos Beltran‘s glove in right. Before you could even blink, it was 2-0 Red Sox. Severino settled in nicely after that, retiring the next ten batters (with seven strikeouts), before allowing solo home run to Ortiz in the top of the fourth. He then continued his dominance, finishing the fourth, fifth and sixth innings without another run allowed.
Through 6, he had allowed just the three runs and struck out eight Red Sox with 94 pitches. With Ortiz leading off the top of the seventh, it might have been a good time to send the kid off with a quality start, but Girardi sent him back out, and Ortiz hammered another home run to make it 4-0. Severino got the next two outs before a single by Brock Holt ended his evening. Overall, he allowed just five hits and a walk and tied his career high in strikeouts with nine. Unfortunately, three of those hits left the ballpark. Despite the long balls, I think there was a lot to be happy about in his start though. Hopefully, he can build on this for next time.
The Yankees offense, meanwhile, continued a disturbing trend in support of Severino. Through his first five starts, they’d scored six total runs. When Severino left the game, they’d scored none. They were facing knuckleballer Steven Wright, who had nine straight starts of two runs or less allowed dating back to last year, and came into this one with a 1.67 ERA. He might as well have been throwing chick peas in this game, because the Yankees had no idea where his knuckler was going. It was dancing, and the Yankees had no rhythm.
Through the first six innings, the Yankees had managed just a bloop single by Brian McCann in the first, and a walk by Dustin Ackley in the second, and Wright had just 60 pitches. For a brief moment in the bottom of the seventh, it looked like the Yankees might break through. Starlin Castro doubled off the wall in right to kick things off, and McCann moved him to third with a deep fly ball to right. Then, disaster struck. With Mark Teixeira batting, Wright threw a ball in the dirt that barely got away from catcher Ryan Hannigan. Castro lost his mind for a second, and strayed too far from the base. He was picked off, which basically ended any possibility of a threat. It was very fitting to the rest of the evening.
The Sox tacked on another run on a homer by Betts in the top of the eighth, and it looked like Wright would cruise to the shutout win. However, Brett Gardner touched him up for a solo homer with two outs in the ninth… so there. Wright ended up with just three hits allowed and only 101 pitches, which is still pretty damn good, and pretty damn bad for the Yankees offense.
This was an ugly way to end an otherwise very good series for the Yankees. Let’s take solace in the fact that they won the series, and hope that they use this as motivation to keep the winning going. Also, let’s hope they stop ignoring Robert Refsnyder‘s 12-game hitting streak in Scranton, because they need offensive help, and they need it soon.