The Red Sox could use a break.
The Yankees put their northern neighbors through a piece of wood over the past two days, outscoring them by an immeasurable 27-3 margin in a 13-2 win on Sunday.
“Great job by them,” manager Aaron Boone said of his charges. “Obviously it’s been a slightly rough week. To answer last night with today’s, two very emphatic victories, you want to roll in the break feeling good.”
After working tirelessly to come back from a rib injury, Boston knocked Chris Sell out of the game in the first inning when a 106.7 mph line drive cut him, leaving the pinky finger of his throwing hand. Broken. The Red Sox’s bullpen couldn’t stop feeding the Yankees delicious pitches, and the Boston offense scored just four hits from Gerrit Cole.
Take the next few days off, the Red Sox, and check back in on Friday.
The Yankees, on the other hand, are feeling dandy in their All-Star break. The complete destruction of the Red Sox was a fitting way to end the team’s first half, as they now stand at 64-28, the club’s best record through their first 92 games since the illustrious 1998 season. Other than those 1998 Yankees, only the 1927, 1928 and 1939 teams won at least 64 of their first 92 competitions. Each of those four groups wore World Series rings.
When Sell had to leave the game after recording just two outs, Levy really opened up. Boston had to use five relievers in Saturday night’s humiliating loss, and their misfortune on Sunday forced them to use eight. The Red Sox (48-45) ended the first half with double-digit runs in four of their last ten matches.
You know it’s a good day for the Yankees when Joey Gallo leaves the yard. The relentlessly ridiculed outfielder only got into the game in the seventh inning as the Yankees had made such a huge lead, but he used his first bat since Friday to hit his 11th home run of his nightmare year. Interestingly, two of Gallo’s last three homers have come by seven or more runs with the Yankees. Perhaps the key is to use him like a low-leverage reliever, calling his number when the game is already out of hand.
Gallo Aaron came in to relieve the judge, but not before the judge got two more hits and another RBI. He would board a plane to Los Angeles for the All-Star Game with 70 RBIs and lead the league in home runs (33 in his suitcase) and runs scored (74).
It wasn’t Judge, Gallo, or even surface hot Matt Carpenter who played a starring role in Sunday’s Passage. That went to Tim Locastro, who went 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, the home run that limited the Yankees’ eight-run fourth inning and the team’s WWE-style player’s playing belt.
“It took me a year to get it,” he laughed. “Finally got me! It’s exciting.”
In the lineup mostly to give Giancarlo Stanton a day off, Locastro showed little of Stanton’s trademark slugging ability. His shot at the Red Sox’s bullpen should have come with a note saying that for more people to warm up, it’s going to be a long game.
Gallo’s round-tripper in the seventh gave the Yankees two more runs, and the only real surprise after that was that the Red Sox did not use a position player to pitch. The Yankees had no such problem, because Cole was once again brilliant. He played seven innings with 12 strikeouts, starting a double-digit K with at least seven frames in his second straight start. Cole’s day begins with a close shave of Raphael Devers, his arch nemesis who has the most of six tethers, who has killed Cole. An inside pitch for Devers in the first innings sent the Red Sox third baseman onto the field, giving Teal a long stare while his manager spewed some choice words.
The whole ordeal was clearly too much, as the ball was not really close to hitting Devers, and Cole was not bothered by it at all. The Bombers’ ace came back with three straight strikes to retire the wise kid from Boston, the last being a 99 mph fastball in a field that produced a powerful swing and miss.
“I don’t think I understood him,” Cole said of Devers, who finished the game 0-for-3. “I executed the pitches we wanted to execute today. I think we did a better sequence than last time. ,
Right-handed reliever Caleb Ort cut DJ LeMahieu with a fastball in the bottom of the eighth, causing a bit of a stir in the innings. It was a little unclear why LeMahieu was still in the game – Judge and Anthony Rizzo had already been ousted – but he would have plenty of time to ice it before the Yankees return to the field on Thursday.
The first order of business after the All-Star Game is a double-header with Houston, but until then, they can stick a big smile on their faces knowing how well they’ve played up to this point.
“I think we care about each other,” Cole said. “I think we work hard for each other and want the best for each other. We find ways to inspire each other and step up our game when needed.”