The Red Sox took over the division lead in the AL East with Wednesday’s 5-2 victory over the White Sox. They’ve put together a solid run lately, winning eight of their last ten games, averaging almost six runs scored per game in that stretch. They currently have a seven game lead over the last place Yankees.
Porcello breezed through seven scoreless innings Saturday against the beleaguered Yankees lineup. He struck out six and didn’t allow an extra base hit all night. Even before the Sox pummeled New York’s middle relievers for six runs in the sixth and seventh inning, it didn’t feel like the Yankees ever had a shot.
Big Mike’s performance that start was infinitely uglier than his pitching line indicates. He threw 50 pitches in his first two innings and had more than 90 by the end of the fourth. It was hard to watch Pineda struggle through that outing. Nothing at all is working for him at the moment. He was expected to be a front of the rotation starter for this team, and unless he figures out a way to get back to being that guy, the Yankees chances of contention this year are small.
As depressing as the series sweep was, it was nice to see the Yankees knock Price around Sunday. Price finished the night as the AL leader in both hits and earned runs allowed. The ERA continues to soar, now up to 6.14, but his peripherals remain on point, so his FIP of 2.88 is actually below his career mark. With three vintage Price starts and three disasters in 2016, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen when he takes the mound again Saturday.
Eovaldi followed up the best start of his Yankee career with his worst of 2016, allowing 10 hits, six runs, and three walks against the Red Sox, all season highs. Another 8-7 slug-fest seems unlikely for the second go-round given the usual caliber of Price and Eovaldi’s work on the mound.
Wright has dominated the Yankees in his three career appearances against the team, limiting them to a 1.50 ERA in 18 IP. This current crop of Yankees has a combined .136/.224/.318 slash mark against him, although both Beltran and Teixeira have taken him deep. His biggest weakness is that he walks a ton of batters, 4.2 per nine in 2016 and 3.6 per nine for his career. The Yankees haven’t hit for much power this season, but they’re a patient group of veterans who will take their walks.
With all the talk of demoting Severino to the minors, this could be an important start for the 22-year old. GM Brian Cashman recently acknowledged that sending down Sevvy was a possibility, telling reporters, “If we feel that’s what has to take place, that’s definitely an avenue that’s open. Hopefully it doesn’t have to come to that, but if that’s what’s in his best interest, and therefore our best interest, that’s something I have no problem doing.”
– In Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the White Sox, Carson Smith threw nine pitches in his 2016 debut. He was activated Junichi Tazawa threw 23, and Matt Barnes threw 22.
– Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel each posted a scoreless inning in Wednesday’s 5-2 victory, throwing 11 and 12 pitches respectively.
– The Red Sox pen received a workout Thursday after starter Henry Owens was pulled in the fourth inning. Heath Hembree threw 43 pitches, Barnes had 23, 19 for Tazawa, and another 34 for Robbie Ross. Boston is currently carrying eight relievers, so they have more than enough depth to soak up games like this.
We are all pretty familiar with what the Red Sox offense can do after they scored 20 runs off of Yankee pitching in the previous series. David Ortiz and Christian Vazquez hit game-winning homers off of Dellin “The Mountain that Pitches” Betances on Friday and Sunday. Jackie Bradley had five RBI over the weekend, while Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts each added three.
Here’s a look at how the Red Sox lineup has performed this season (minimum 20 PA) ranked by True Average:
– Brett Gardner is day to day with a sore elbow since being hit with a pitch Wednesday. Ben Gamel was called up to provide some outfield depth.
– Alex Rodriguez was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a right hamstring strain. He’s expected to miss several weeks. He’ll join Greg Bird and Mason Williams on the 15-day DL, while Bryan Mitchell and Branden Pinder are residents of the 60-day DL.
– Aroldis Chapman is expected to return to the team Monday after the conclusion of the series against the Sox when his 30 day suspension for violating the league’s domestic violence policy is finished.
– Pablo Sandoval underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Tuesday. He has been on the 15-day DL since April 11th.
– Boston also has a pair of young starters on the 15 day DL who are well on their way to rejoining the team in Joe Kelly and Eduardo Rodriguez. Kelly is expected to make a rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Friday, while Rodriguez completed his second on Tuesday. Kelly was placed on the disabled list April 20th with a shoulder impingement. Rodriguez has been out since spring training with a dislocated knee.
– Brandon Workman, currently rehabbing from June 2015 TJ surgery, is their only player on the 60 day DL.
Lead photo: Evan Habeeb / USA Today Sports