Yankees sweep Red Sox, take sole possession of Wild Cards lead
BOSTON – Watching the bigger Yankees carry the offensive load this weekend at Fenway Park, one remembers that the barrage of extra-base shots is precisely what was envisioned three winters ago, when Giancarlo Stanton proudly presented a new pinstripe jersey and proclaimed that he will soon “feel sorry for the baseballs”.
Stanton was a reigning MVP then, and the Yankees saw him alongside Aaron Judge in the heart of the batting order, making life miserable for opponents. After a myriad of injury-related delays, the massive duo are finally living that dream, pulling off an eighth-inning rally on Sunday that propelled the Bombers 6-3 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The judge doubled two runs and Stanton erased a two-run homerun on Lansdowne Street as the Yankees took control of the AHL Wild Card chase, dealing knockouts to former teammate Adam Ottavino. It was a savage epic that featured several dropped pop-ups, a pinched reliever and hitter chess match, and a dropped third strike that could have changed everything.
“We’re not afraid to make it interesting, for sure,” Stanton said. “But what I will say is that we have definitely kept the confidence. This is what is most important. We could have let him slip away and let them steal one over there, but we kept pushing and knew there was a chance until the last pullout.
Completing a three-game sweep and winning their sixth straight game, the Yankees (89-67) now lead the Red Sox (88-68) by one game for first place in the AL Wild Card with six games left. to play. The Blue Jays (87-69) are two games away from New York after claiming a 5-2 victory over the Twins.
In what manager Aaron Boone described as a “noisy” post-game clubhouse, the Bombers toasted their wild weekend, then said there was still more to do.
“I like the state of mind,” Boone said. “I think everyone in this room understands that we haven’t done anything yet, but it’s fun to fight with them and compete like they are.”
Begin the discussion of that rivalry tilt Sunday in the sixth inning, when right-hander Clay Holmes put the side out on 11 shots. The Red Sox sent left-hander Travis Shaw as a pinch hitter to open the next frame, tempting Boone to replace Holmes with left-hander Joely Rodríguez.
Boston responded by sending in right-hander Jose Iglesias, who scored a single. Christian Vázquez’s sacrificial fly tied the score, and after third baseman DJ LeMahieu dropped a crass popup to extend Kyle Schwarber’s at-bat, left fielder Joey Gallo saw the routine fly de Schwarber tearing himself from his glove to bring in the third round in Boston.
“Just one of those pieces you like, ‘What just happened?’” Said LeMahieu. “I’m glad we were able to come back and win the game. “
The Red Sox came close to five strikeouts from the win when pinch runner Tyler Wade was sent off attempting to steal second base for the first of the eighth inning, but LeMahieu walked and Anthony Rizzo smoked the most ball. touchdown of his career (115.2 mph, per Statcast) for a double, putting the runners on second and third with one out.
Against Ottavino, Judge made a mistake near the first base camera that Bobby Dalbec could not trap. The judge then swung and a foul tipped a 1-2 fastball that came out of receiver Vazquez’s glove, extending the at-bat.
“I felt like a cat,” Judge said. “I felt like I had nine lives up there.”
The judge didn’t miss the next one, throwing him into space in left center field for a shot. The judge pumped his right fist and roared, momentarily unaware that his left little finger was hanging down at an odd 90-degree angle. Recalling previous experiences on the basketball court, the judge reinserted the dislocated number into his knuckle.
“The biggest mistake wasn’t getting your feet first,” Judge said. “I don’t care too much. I don’t really need it to hit, so I think we’re going to be in good shape.
When play resumed, the sizzling Stanton extended the Yanks lead by punishing an Ottavino slider for a 448-foot run that wiped out the green monster.
“Wow,” LeMahieu said. “Big circuits. He’s had a really great year, but when it matters most he gets his best moves.
Stanton joined Babe Ruth (1927), Lou Gehrig (’31) and Mickey Mantle (’54) as the only Yankees to win at least three home runs and 10 RBIs in a three-game series against the Red Sox, and the only Yankee forever led in 10 RBIs in a three game streak at Fenway Park.
No better time for Stanton to admit that he actually doesn’t feel sorry for the baseballs. Never.
“Not really,” Stanton said. “They don’t feel sorry for me when I’m not well.”