Red Sox fall to Yankees 3-1 despite strong effort from Rick Porcello
Coming into Tuesday night’s game against the Yankees at Fenway, Rick Porcello was looking to build off of his comeback game against the White Sox last week in which he earned a 3-0 victory with just five hits and five strikeouts. Porcello was on the shelf for almost a month with a triceps injury prior to that start, but came back with a new attitude and a new approach according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford.
Porcello did indeed continue to build off of that start, and in fact, looked even stronger on the mound versus New York despite earning another checkmark in the L column. Some analysts and even Porcello himself have discussed how he got away from his sinker and his “bread-and-butter” groundball outs, but on Tuesday night, he was collecting outs by way of the K.
He started things off with two strikeouts in the first and striking out the side in the second. SS Didi Gregorius was able to get the first hit of the night for NY, but Porcello was able to get old friend Stephen Drew to hit into a double play to end the inning. Although Carlos Beltran singled in the fourth, Porcello was in full command adding two more strikeouts and easily getting out of the inning.
Porcello would finally get into a little trouble in the fifth when Alex Rodriguez led off the inning with a single. After tallying up a couple more K’s over 3B Chase Headley and 1B Greg Bird, Gregorious reached second after an error by Sox 1B Travis Shaw. That would prove costly when Mr. Drew drilled a double to deep center over the head of Mookie Betts allowing two runs to score.
Porcello would get back to work in the sixth and seventh working quickly, adding a couple more strikeouts and getting out unscathed. After striking out Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury in the eighth to earn his thirteenth strikeout of the night, Brett Gardner would earn his thirteenth homerun of the season with a solo shot to give the Yanks a 3-1 lead at the time. Porcello would finish the inning to end his night. It’s unfortunate that his night had to end that way, but Porcello was on fire Tuesday night – 8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO.
The Red Sox offense didn’t offer much support for their starting pitcher. They did outhit the Yankees 8-5 on the night, but they couldn’t find a way to string enough together to get some runs. Michael Pineda, who most Yankee fans would consider the ace of the staff, looked solid on Tuesday night. He coasted through the first couple innings, but allowed the only Sox run of the night in the third. After Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled, Pablo Sandoval was able to drive him in with a single.
Pineda would start to gather up some strikeouts of his own getting four total in the fourth and fifth innings despite allowing another JBJ double that Boston couldn’t capitalize on. After an easy sixth inning, that would be the end of the night for the young man from the Dominican Republic. His final line – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 SO.
With lefty reliever Justin Wilson on the mound, Shaw would strike out and Rusney Castillo would ground out. Brock Holt was able to grab his only hit of the night to keep the inning going. Yankees manager Joe Girardi would then elect to go with the right-handed Dellin Betances, who gave up a single to Blake Swihart immediately. Unfortunately, Jackie Bradley couldn’t keep up his streak of doubles on the night and instead struck out swinging.
Mookie and Xander Bogaerts would each get singles in the eighth, but after Betts was caught stealing at third on a debatable call in which his foot came off the bag for a slight instant, David Ortiz would strike out to end any chance of a rally.
Then another familiar face did some damage in the ninth with former Sox relieve Andrew Miller came on for New York to close things out – and that is precisely what he did. He did drill Castillo allowing him to take first base, but he was too much for Boston and was able strike out the side (Shaw, Holt, Swihart) to give the Yanks the 3-1 victory.
The two AL East rivals will be back at it tomorrow for a late afternoon game at Fenway. Righty Masahiro Tanaka (10-6, 3.62) will get the start for New York and will take on 23 year old lefty Henry Owens (2-1, 4.03), who will look to continue his win streak after earning two victories over the Royals and Mets in his last two outings. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05pm.
*Porcello’s 13 strikeouts tied Pedro Martinez for the most strikeouts for a Sox pitcher facing the Yankees at Fenway. Yeah … let that sink in.
*The eighth inning incident with Mookie being called out at third with both runners on the move was a major play in the game. If both runners are safe, then David Ortiz is up with two men in scoring position and one out. However, the ump made the correct call because his foot did leave the bag for a moment while the tag was still applied. Hopefully, Betts learned his lesson and will call timeout next time, but there wasn’t much he could have done differently other than that.
*David Ortiz looked lost at the plate on Tuesday night going 0-4 with four strikeouts and dropping his average to .265. His final strikeout in the eighth with a man on was the final nail in the coffin.
*Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr continue to rake and were the only Sox offensive players to earn two hits. Bogaerts is now hitting .316 and Bradley has his average up to .287.
*Red Sox and Yankees pitchers combined for 28 strikeouts on the night and Rick Porcello gave up the only walk of the night.
Porcello has returned to the mound as a changed man in his last two outings. Even though the Sox lost to the Yankees, Sox fans have to be encouraged by what they’ve seen from him recently. He looks to have finally found command of his fastball and was not only working his sinker, but had his fastball and two-seamed fastball working all night long. Yankee batters looked baffled at certain points of the game, and he earned some of his strikeouts with batters swinging and some of them with batters simply getting frozen by a nasty pitch. If Porcello can continue this progression for his last few starts of the year heading into 2016, it would be huge for this team who still doesn’t have a definitive ace and is looking to cement a solid starting staff.
The Red Sox bullpen only had to combine for three total outs, so there wasn’t a ton to choose from, but Noe Ramirez gets the nod here. Ramirez was just recalled Tuesday prior to the game and delivered getting two outs on two strikeouts when the Sox needed it to stay in the game at the time. With the Red Sox bullpen struggling this season, this has to be seen as a positive and should earn him a look fromTorey Lovullo
in the near future.
JBJ continued his tear that began in the month of August. He looked solid in the field again and notched two doubles on the night with some aggressive, intelligent base-running helping him out. He didn’t earn any RBI and struck out to end the seventh inning with two men on, but he still was the most productive batter on the night for Boston.
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