When the season began — OK, through the early portion of the summer — this felt like an exact redux of 2009, when Boston whomped the Bombers so badly that most of us wished for an early death. Our only hope was that things could miraculously swing in New York’s direction in the second half, wrapping the season series around its typical .500 plateau and ending in a World Series win like that last instance.
Turns out? We somehow got exactly half of that goal accomplished, but not necessarily the portion most of us would’ve preferred, if given the choice.
Following some of the most heart-rending losses we’ve ever experienced at Fenway Park — non-playoff division — the Yankees managed to win some nail-biters of their own in the late summer, including the one positive memory we’ll ever have of Andrew Heaney.
The 2021 Yankees delivered far more heartache than any 92-win team had any right to, and it all ended with a brutal defeat in the Wild Card Game to … the Boston Red Sox, of course.
But prior to the season clattering to the turf (and Boston eventually joining the Yanks on the couch before the World Series, too), things actually flipped rather spectacularly midway through the campaign.
New York Yankees record vs. Boston Red Sox 2021
The Yankees ended up 9-10 against the Red Sox in 2021, but it took them quite a while to dig out of their half-season hole (a hole of their own making).
The two teams did not play each other until June 4, which definitely feels like a pandemic vestige where ownership was willing to sacrifice attendance/cancellations in April, but wasn’t willing to give up any Yankees-Red Sox games.
The Yanks began their summer sprint 0-7 against the Sox, their first win of the year coming in a six-inning game on July 17 that you might remember because someone chucked something at Alex Verdugo from the left-field bleachers. They won the next night, too, to close the door on a series that featured several COVID absences, Hoy Park, Trey Amburgey and Ryan LaMarre.
But … then things got bleak once again. The Chad Green Meltdown had yet to happen. Same with the Domingo German No-Hitter That Wasn’t. The Bombers lost three-of-four at Fenway to fall to 3-10 on the season.
And, from that point on, they didn’t lose another one until the one that mattered most, going a perfect 6-0 in the regular season before the worst single-game loss imaginable.
Choose to forget the Stanton grand slam if you’d like, or the Judge double/Stanton bomb off Adam Ottavino the next night. We won’t. Celebrate successes where you can find them. Those games ruled as much as the first half decidedly did not.