Red Sox observations from weekend series against New York Yankees

NEW YORK - APRIL 17: A general view of an empty Yankee Stadium before the New York Yankees game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on April 17, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 17: A general view of an empty Yankee Stadium before the New York Yankees game against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium on April 17, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees concluded an exciting weekend series in New York. Now both more on to Boston for this coming weekend. Here are some of my observations from the latest series.

Observations from the latest New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox scrum. The division is all about New York or Boston to each fan base.  No one really cares about the O’s, Jays or that team that plays in that joke in Florida.

The Yankees will likely have an advantage in the season series, but are they the better team?  I think not.

Eduardo Rodriguez is becoming that rare and enjoyable pitching talent known as a “Yankee Killer.”  Maybe not quite in the tradition of Frank Lary, but still, a 4-1 record and 2.31 ERA is impressive. Can E-Rod actually remain in one piece for an entire season? Rodriguez is capable of being a number two on a staff.

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And for the Yankees, I present Luis Severino, who will eventually win a Cy Young Award – or just a perpetual second to Chris Sale.  The 23-year-old right-hander is certainly the lynchpin of the New York staff. A 10.5 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 describe control and a fearsome fastball. Stay healthy, my friend.

In another age, Red Sox fans would chant “Nomar’s better” whenever Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter came to bat. Of course, they were wrong and today I can chant “Didi’s better.” Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is as solid a player as one will find.  A .300 hitter with some quite decent pop.

The surprise of the Yankees for me is Aaron Hicks. A fourth outfielder type with a low batting average and occasional pop until this season.  What changed? Did Hicks suddenly just “Get it” and become a budding star?  Is Hicks being judiciously used and profiting from it?

In 2016 I saw Dave Kingman, Richie Sexson and even Chris Carter all disguised as Aaron Judge. How wrong was I! Or was I wrong? Based on what I have seen since the All-Star break, Judge may just be that – a prodigious right-hand power hitter that will ring up 200 K’s. Time will tell if this is a prolonged slump by Judge or a look into the future.

Gary Sanchez was wildly successful in 2016 for the Yankees. A power hitting right-hand catcher is rare and Sanchez blasted out 20 home runs in just 53 games last season. This year pitching is catching up, defensive indifference has led to a benching and the strikeouts are climbing, but Sanchez still has a bundle of bombs. I’ll gladly take him off New York’s hands. I fear Sanchez more than Judge.

This is C.C. Sabathia‘s last year with New York and it has been somewhat of a revival. A balky knee is, however, a continual problem. Sabathia will have pitched nine seasons for the Yankees and four would be considered worthy of his contract. The other five – not so.  A warning for signing David Price that was ignored.

Add Masahiro Tanaka to the list of replacement parts for NY.  Tanaka has been especially effective against the Red Sox, but now he is on the DL – a fairly consistent track record during his Yankee years. If Tanaka chooses to opt-out of his contract the Yankees will be saving some dollars to place elsewhere since that arm may be shredded.

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The test of time has shown the Red Sox made the right decision not signing Jacoby Ellsbury.

Thankfully the Red Sox passed on Todd Frazier, an all or nothing hitter.

Ronald Torreyes contributed significantly to two losses earlier in Boston. Questionable decision-making skills and playing skills. Nice bat – lousy glove.

I am just not that impressed with Aroldis Chapman. Red Sox should have cleaned him up on Friday night. David Robertson would be a better option for me.

I was surprised that .277 was Brett Gardner’s highest full season average.  Gardner is still a solid player who I would not mind seeing in Boston. Seems he has become a mini version of Brady Anderson this season.

Jordan Montgomery looks like a future star who will consistently win 15 games for New York. I also said the same about Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy.

Next: Devers, Benintendi silence Yankees

Following the exchanges between New York and Boston fans on social media, I have come to the conclusion that Yankee fans are – like their team – in second place.