Magical. That’s the best way to describe the 2018 New York Yankees. You think they’re dead. The best closer in baseball is coming into the game to shut the door and this squad simply doesn’t blink. Every night it’s a different person coming through. On Tuesday it was Stanton, Judge, and Severino. Tonight it was Gardner, Judge, and Jonathan Holder. This lineup 1-9 can beat you in so many ways, and tonight they kept fighting and fighting until the Red Sox caved. It was an incredible night in The Bronx.
Rick Porcello got the ball tonight for the Sox, having pretty much had the Yankees number most of his career. Tonight he struggled. Right off the bat, Brett Gardner led off the game with a double. Aaron Judge quickly singled him in and the Yankees took the lead on four pitches.
Mitch Moreland came up in the next half inning and crushed a two run homer to right giving Boston a 2-1 lead. Tanaka is always good for a killer homer and Moreland was tonight’s lucky winner. His pitch count quickly rose to the 60s by the 3rd and I began to wonder how the Yankees would get possibly 15 outs from the bullpen, which was used the night before after already being shorthanded.
Giancarlo Stanton came up in the 3rd with two men on, down a run and ripped a go ahead double, giving the Yanks a 3-2 lead.
That was Stanton’s 10th hit already against the Sox in just five games and his 6th and 7th RBIs versus Boston. Yes, he hasn’t put up the crazy offensive numbers so far, but if you mash against Boston no one will ever say a bad word about you I promise you that. A Hicks sac fly gave New York a 4-2 lead, but was soon given back when Benintendi crushed a homer to right.
In the top of the 6th Tanaka was out of the game, and in to replace him was Chad Green. I will say, Tanaka lasting as long as he did was a big plus considering how many pitches he had through just three innings. Getting him into the 6th allowed Boone to get just enough outs from what he had to work with. Although Green got out of the 6th allowing just a sac fly, he made a big mistake in the 7th to Hanley Ramirez with the Sox down one.
If there is ever a person on the Red Sox you don’t want to hang a slider over the heart of the plate to, it’s Hanley fucking Ramirez. Hanley launched this ball into outer orbit and sucked the life out of Yankee Stadium. I know he doesn’t put up the all world stats he used to, but seeing Hanley at the dish scares the living shit out of me. That ball was destroyed.
The Yankees would go quiet in the bottom half of the 7th, allowing the Sox an opportunity to get some much needed insurance runs. Chasen Shreve entered the ball game and returned to his horrible self we’ve grown to despise. The fake Chasen Shreve who had a 0.75 ERA for the better part of a month + is long gone. The terrible Chasen Shreve who cannot get a batter out to save his life has returned to our lives. Oh joy! Shreve committed baseball’s greatest sin and walked the leadoff man, Mitch Moreland. Eduardo Nunez followed with a double, setting the Sox up with 2nd and 3rd and nobody out. With a well-rested Craig Kimbrel ready to cook for potentially a 6 out save I knew the Yankees only chance here was to miraculously hold the Sox lead at 1.
After getting Devers to strike out, Boone took the ball from Shreve and gave it to the one man I somehow have less confidence in….Jonathan Holder. The Yankees unreliable, last resort entered with a 6.23 ERA, granted he had not given up an earned run since April 6th. Earned runs did not matter here. Holder would have to shut this door right then and there without allowing Moreland to score from 3rd. He came up as clutch as maybe he ever will striking out Christian Vazquez before getting Benintendi to ground out to Didi with the bases loaded, after intentionally walking Betts. It was a David Roberson-Houdini-esque escape. The lead was still at 1 and the Yankees had as good a chance as ever considering the recent events over the last three weeks.
Carrabis said to the camera there was no time left. I said 6 outs is a goddamn eternity with this team and they simply do not say die….EVER. Matt Barnes started the 8th and gave up a leadoff double to Neil Walker. As shitty as he was a week ago, all Walker has done is come up with big hit after big hit. We were certain to DFA this man seven days ago and now I think he needs to start at first until Bird is back. What a fucking turnaround for the vet.
After an Andujar ground out moved Walker to third, Gleyber Torres walked. That was it for Barnes as Cora went to his all-world closer Craig Kimbrel for the game’s final five outs. Brett Gardner stepped to the plate, having doubled twice already in the game, and came through in the absolute clutch ripping a go ahead two run triple over Mookie Betts’ head. Kimbrel knew immediately once the ball left Gardy’s bat he was doomed.
The Bronx Zoo was ROCKING. It was pure pandemonium in the stands. The place was shaking as this team had battled back from the dead again, this time against the impenetrable Craig Kimbrel. Carrabis slapped my phone out of my hand at the end of the video and I cannot wait for the footage to be cut up later to see it from Tommy Leigh’s angle. It was the most perfect moment imaginable.
Next up was Aaron Judge, needing just a lazy fly ball to the outfield to give the Yankees a two run cushion heading into the 9th. He had plans for a little bit more than that.
Judge hit a fucking laser to dead center. From a spectator’s point of view this ball was no less than 10 feet off the ground. It was the hardest hit home run Kimbrel had ever surrendered. The Red Sox were dead. Craig Kimbrel was dead. Jared Carrabis was dead.
We had broken him. The King of Fenway was a broken soul. He was in utter disbelief that the Yankees had dismantled his beloved machine of a closer with his stupid arm dangling as he waits to get a sign. It’s gotta be the most asshole thing in all of major league baseball the way he dangles that goddamn arm to try and intimidate hitters.
Anyways, a real closer came into the game for the Yankees in the top of the 9th and shut the door, striking out the side in the process. Just like that the Red Sox historical 17-2 start that paced them 7.5 games up in the AL East in April was gone. They are now a second place baseball team as the Yankees have now won 17 of their last 18 games. That’s just fucking insane to type out considering who they’ve faced. They went to Anaheim and swept the New York Angels. They went into Houston and took three out of four against the defending champs. They came home to face the first place Indians and swept them. And now they’ve taken the first two against the Boston Red Sox. It’s a type of run the 1998 Yankees never went on and they’re one of the best teams in this franchise’s long history. We knew this team was locked and loaded, but what they’re doing to the best of baseball is unbelievable. For a May 9th baseball game I’ve never witnessed a stadium be as loud as this crowd was when Gardner’s triple flew over Betts’ head. What a moment, what a game, what a baseball team. It’s 12:50 in the morning, I’m still in the office, the cleaning crews are here and I don’t think I’ll go to sleep after that one. I may go home and just watch it all over again. Full speed ahead, get out the brooms tomorrow with the Fat Man on the hill.
If you missed it earlier, make sure to watch our awesome recap of Tuesday night’s game and definitely make sure to tune in later on Thursday for this game’s footage. It’s can’t miss stuff.
Also, Tommy Smokes and I are hopping on the mics early on Thursday to record another episode of The Short Porch. Make sure to subscribe and tune in as we recap the wild two days between these two teams.