Only six innings were played between the division rivals last night, but it was a game to remember. Monsoon conditions. Poor rain management. Replacement rosin bags. Go-ahead dingers. A Yankees team fighting for their lives in July, only a few games from losing all playoff hopes. It’s not something that we’re used to. The first place Red Sox were hungry to put a dagger in the Yankees in front of their own fans and continue their season sweep of their rivals from The Bronx.
Jarren Duran got the party started for Boston in the second inning, singling off Gerrit Cole for his first Major League hit. His parents were going bananas in the stands. It was a truly special moment. Duran then scored from second on a Christian Arroyo bloop single over Gleyber Torres’s glove. The 24-year-old was tracked at 29.3 ft/s per Baseball Savant, which would rank him 11th fastest in the league, tied with Mike Trout and Ronald Acuna Jr. Duran could present himself as the Red Sox long-term solution in the leadoff spot with a strong start to his MLB career.
Gerrit Cole faced large criticism heading into the All-Star break after being the poster boy of the spider tack crackdown and posting a 4.18 ERA since June 1, including allowing five runs at Fenway Park just three weeks ago. However, Cole has recently lifted any concerns that he wasn’t the same pitcher without the sticky stuff. Pitching through the rain, he dazzled against the Red Sox, striking out 11 batters over six innings of one-run ball. He escaped a two-out, bases loaded rally to end the sixth inning, giving his team a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the frame.
Season-changing Home Runs
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Gary Sanchez launched a ball into right field that landed in the first row of the short porch seats just over Hunter Renfroe’s rob attempt. Gleyber Torres then added on to the Yanks lead with another homer into the right field seats. The bleacher creatures were going mad as the back-to-back homers ultimately clinched the game for the Yankees. The game was delayed after the sixth and later called off due to the torrential downpour that had continued for hours on end and would continue late into the night.
Heading into a Sunday Night Baseball showdown, and rubber match, tempers will be hot. A fan in left field threw a baseball that hit Alex Verdugo in the back as Hirokazu Sawamura threw warmup pitches before the sixth inning began. Verdugo, rightfully furious, was pleading for security to get the fan thrown out. Cora pulled the entire Red Sox defense off the field to allow Verdugo to calm down. Cora, already furious at the umpires for questionable calls in the top of the inning, was yelling at the crew to get the situation under control. The inning eventually resumed and the Red Sox would go on to lose as previously stated.
The Red Sox feel they were cheated out of this game by the weather, umpires and crowd coming for their heads. Their concerns are all valid. If the weather forecast showed non-stop rain until three in the morning, why did the umpire crew allow the game to continue beyond the fifth inning with zero chance of the rain subsiding. On the FOX broadcast, Ken Rosenthal mentioned that he had never seen a game continue in field and rain conditions like last night. Pitchers and hitters were slipping with zero footing in the sloppy dirt. Ultimately, questionable rain management is the story of the evening. The game was delayed for almost an hour before it started without a drop of rain falling on the field until the second inning.
The Yankees should be amped up heading into Sunday night hoping to spark a hot streak and climb back into the Wild Card race. It’s no secret that Yankees fans are losing faith. An amazing play by Tim Locastro in the first inning, in which he tore his ACL, could be a spark for the Yankees, who will be missing Locastro for the remainder of the season. The Yankees need to rally around something to get back on track. The madness that Saturday’s game gave us should continue into Sunday night as Martin Perez faces off against Jameson Taillon and a short-handed Yankees roster, ravaged by COVID. The feeling for many Yankees fan is the season begins or ends tonight. They’ve been marked by inconsistency and need to get going sooner rather than later. Do not miss it.