They could not hide from the cold math.
The first variable in the Yankees’ playoff-clinching scenario Tuesday night at the Stadium involved beating the Red Sox, but the visitors hung up a six-spot against Michael Pineda in the first inning, pretty much rendering all the other playoff variables moot right off the bat.
The Yankees have five games left in the season; their magic number sitting still at two as the Wild Card lead is down to 3.0 games with the loss. Since August. 14, the Sox have a run differential of plus-79. For the most part, that has been a good thing. The Red Sox tries to tug one gaming earlier once they can have a three-game clean along the going to see Orioles on Sunday. Rodriguez finished his first season with 121 2/3 innings for the Red Sox after throwing 48 1/3 with Triple-A Pawtucket. We’ve been doing that all year. “The last couple weeks, that’s something that we’ve been talking about. That’s like our little goal we have”. The takeaway here is that the math justifies the optimism your eyes want you to feel. Michael Pineda had a poor start on Tuesday, putting his team in a six-run, first-inning hole.
Rookie catcher Blake Swihart drove in a career-best five runs with two home runs. He delivered a less than impressive season finish with.249/.291/.426 batting line along with 19 home runs and 53 RBI over 105 games. By the middle of the first inning, that possibility looked all but over. “I like our team a lot, I like where we’re at; we just need to relax and play our game”. I know how heavy they were for me and he didn’t make them look so heavy.
“It was nearly unbelievable”, Lovullo said. He got a cushion from a solo homer by Betts in the fifth inning, and Swihart added a two-run shot off Bryan Mitchell in the eighth.
Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 with an RBI single and Adam Eaton went 2-for-4 and hit a two-run homer to lead the White Sox. Four of them began the season with Triple-A Pawtucket.
All that coming with just one out on the board for New York, but the momentum died suddenly with both Deven Marrero and Jackie Bradley Jr. going down to end the frame. “Just come back and play good Yankee baseball, and we will”. “It seems to be working”. Here’s how it all went down. “They really set the tone”.
Rick Porcello shut out New York for seven strong innings after four first-inning runs. “He was up.” New York’s offense sputtered after getting four runs. To cap off the inning, Dustin Ackley hit his fourth home run as a Yankee, bringing the team within two runs. “Really, that mound visit kind of locked me back in”. “He told me to make a few adjustments, get the ball down and stop making mistakes”, Porcello said with a smile.
“Sometimes, you leave the bullpen and it takes you a while to find your stuff”, Girardi said. Pineda (12-9) fell behind 6-0 just 24 pitches in and wound up allowing seven runs and seven hits over six innings.
Pedroia came up with two on and one out and drew a walk to load the bases. “I don’t think it was a long first inning”, Porcello said.
But Girardi said he was discouraged by Pineda’s inability to straighten himself out before the first inning was over. “It was a very gratifying game for myself and the way we swung the bats”. Pineda retired the next nine batters he faced, while Porcello worked around an error in the second and put up a 1-2-3 third. Pineda would finally falter again in the fifth, hanging a slider to Mookie Betts who blasted it to left field for his 16th homer of the year, but would manage to pitch through the sixth despite his bad start.