Entering a two-game set at Fenway Park this week, all we asked was for the Yankees to play like the first-half Yankees, and for the Red Sox to play like the 2022 Red Sox and not the 2018 vintage.
As all of you know, you can toss out the records when these two teams play each other. That’s especially true at Fenway, where the walls seemingly close in and the Manfred Runner in extra innings counts as an automatic run and not just a baserunner when the Bombers come to town.
Dropping two games to a below-.500 Red Sox club would be less than advisable in the middle of a tight AL East race (that doesn’t involve them), and would only have set the Yankees up for further questions when the two teams met again next week in the Bronx.
As luck would have it, the Yankees did just enough to win an extremely tight first contest, thanks in large part to Aaron Judge’s two home runs and Gleyber Torres‘ clutch double. The second game on Thursday? The Red Sox did more than enough to lose, and the Yankees held on once again.
Two-game sweeps are better than one, and with an off day Thursday, that means we have a full 24 hours to laugh at Boston’s shenanigans before it’s back to business. In other words, please gaze upon Torres’ tie-breaking, three-run little league homer as many times as you need to. Take a long lunch break. Your boss won’t mind.
But it gets even better. Michael Kay hilariously called Torres’ shot exactly what it was: a little-league homer. Dave O’Brien and Dennis Eckersley in the NESN booth? As you can hear on the home call (linked here), they weren’t quite so excited about the defensive breakdown. It was mostly sounds.
Gleyber Torres’ little-league home run called by Boston announces is music to Yankees fans’ ears
Pause it? There. 11 seconds. You can pinpoint the exact moment Eck’s heart ripped in half.
As catcher Connor Wong’s throw careened down the first-base line towards the ball boy’s gum bucket, it was fair to wonder exactly what was going on — or, as Eck put it, “Oh NOOOOO!”
Wong had a layup third out on the base paths there to help rookie pitcher Brayan Bello escape further trouble. Bello was great! And, to his credit, he escaped his first Red Sox-Yankees showdown without an earned run on his ledger.
Sadly, he couldn’t get out alive without having to watch all this carnage. At least Bello only pitches every fifth day. These announcers are in it for the long haul. No wonder Eckersley decided to retire after the season.
The Sox will head to Yankee Stadium for a four-game set next weekend, but the Fenway portion of this season is officially over. Which is a shame. After all, we vastly prefer “Everything Falls Apart Circus Fenway” to “The Crowd is Alive, I Can Hear ‘Em Breathing” Fenway, and Yankees fans were treated to a delicious 2012 vintage wine (or is it “whine”?) on Wednesday night.