Red Sox Recap: Porcello Almost Chokes, Still Beats Yankees
Can a game be a blowout twice in the same evening?
That’s what happened at Yankee Stadium tonight, as the Boston Red Sox went up by a huge lead only to be dashed to just two runs and then kicked back up to six against the New York Yankees. Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello almost gave away the lead, but recovered quicker than his counterpart and took the victory.
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As the Yankees still trailed the American League East division leaders, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Red Sox were playing spoiler on this occasion. And boy, did they ever in front of over 38 500 people in attendance.
Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was being tagged in the top of the first frame. It wasn’t that the Red Sox were bashing balls into the stands, mind you, as much as it was the fact that Pineda couldn’t get anyone out.
After the first two men reached base, Xander Bogaerts grounded into a force out, but reached first and allowed Mookie Betts to score the first run. After a David Ortiz double, Travis Shaw reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Bogaerts. Brock Holt followed that up with a double of his own, sending Ortiz home and making the score 3-0.
Young prospect-turned-starting-catcher Blake Swihart capped off the inning with a line drive home run to right field, scoring Shaw and Holt to put the lead to 6-0.
It should have been an insurmountable lead to start the game. Even our own Twitter account spelled doom for the Yankees’ hopes of winning the division:
The problem was that the Yankees had other ideas.
In the bottom of the same inning, after their first two batters reached base with one man out, Brian McCann grounded out to cash in Jacoby Ellsbury to make it 6-1. The next batter, Carlos Beltran doubled to score Brett Gardner. The next batter after him, Dustin Ackley cranked a two-run homer to score Beltran and make the lead a mere 6-4.
Here’s what our Twitter account said shortly after that debacle:
However, both pitchers seemed to settle down after that barrage to start the game.
It wasn’t until the top of the fifth inning when Pineda slipped again, as Betts smashed his 16th home run of the season to left field on the first pitch. The score was now 7-4.
Sep 28, 2015; Bronx, NY, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Blake Swihart (23) hits a single during the seventh inning of the game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
In the top of the eighth, the Red Sox continued to lace the field with hits, including a second home run for Swihart, this time against Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell, cashing in Holt to make it 9-4. Josh Rutledge capped off the Red Sox offense in the top of the ninth by grounding into a force out for Bogaerts, with the bases loaded, allowing Jackie Bradley Jr. to score and make it 10-4.
- The Red Sox went 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left four men on base. The Bronx Bombers went 3-for-8 and left five on base.
- As a team, the Red Sox had 11 hits, three walks, six strikeouts, and 10 RBIs. Only two starters went without a hit: Travis Shaw and Devon Marrero, who combined to go 0-for-9 with two strikeouts, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Betts started the night and kept the pressure on the Yankees. He went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. His .293 batting average continues to set the table for the rest of the team to knock him in to score.
- Bogaerts continues to lead the team with a .324 batting average, which is incredible if you consider last year’s results. He went 1-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Nobody would have thought that Porcello was going to last 8.0 innings after the first frame looked more like the beginning of a choking session. He allowed four earned runs in the inning and then shut down the Yankees for just six total hits, a walk, and eight strikeouts. With 118 pitches, 80 for strikes, Porcello composed himself from the earlier mishap and controlled the game to pick up the win. Granted, it only made his record go up to a 9-14 total, but his recent performances lead many people in Boston wondering if he may have finally turned the corner on his career as a Red Sox starter. We shall see in 2016 if he’s finally worth all that money.
Sometimes, the bullpen is only asked for one inning. One opportunity to succeed or fail. Machi only faced four batters, after Porcello settled down, but the job given was done right. Machi only allowed one hit while striking out one Yankee batter. It wasn’t a save opportunity, but such is the life of a reliever. He did his job, so he gets praise for the night.
Easily the best performance of Swihart’s young professional career, at least offensively. He went 2-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. Swihart has kept his batting average respectable at .272 and earned much experience behind the plate, catching for the struggling Red Sox starting rotation that has improved from the beginning of the season. Former starting catcherChristian Vazquez
has caught 55 games for the Red Sox before he was injured and sat out this year, and was supposed to be the heir apparent for the position. Now, with Swihart playing 81 games in the same role, producing on offense and helping the defense, Vazquez’s status is much more in the air come Spring Training in 2016.
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