It was Alex Rodriguez's final game in Boston last night, and Joe was nice enough to let him play in it. A-Rod wasn't a major factor in the outcome, but the Yankees still picked up the W and a series W before heading home for A-Rod's finale tonight.
Michael Pineda got the start and he was far from his best last night. But in an unexpected twist to the usual Pineda story when that's the case, he managed to work through the mistakes and limit damage all night. The Red Sox put 10 men on base against him in 6 innings and he only struck out 3, but Pineda was able to make pitches with 2 outs and escape jams. If he pitched the whole season like he pitched last night with 2 outs, his ERA is probably at least a full run lower right now.
The offense got started very slowly last night. Their lone run came in the 3rd on a towering Austin Romine home run. The legend of the Yankees struggling against lefties is still alive and well because Eduardo Rodriguez handled them quite easily over 7 1-run innings. It wasn't until the game got in the hands of the Boston bullpen that New York was able to strike.
That strike came in the top of the 8th, when the Yankees loaded the bases on singles by Gary Sanchez, Aaron Hicks, and Brett Gardner. Jacoby Ellsbury came up next and lined a ball to left field. Andrew Benintendi appeared to lose the ball in the lights as he attempted to make the catch, and the ball went over his glove for what was eventually scored a 2-run double. A-Rod chipped in with a ribbie groundout to bring Gardner home and Joe turned a 2-run lead over to his bullpen.
Luis Cessa pitched a perfect 8th inning and that brought on Dellin Betances for the 9th. Dellin was not sharp, alternating between losing command of his fastball and curveball at different points in almost every at-bat. The Red Sox put runners on the corners with 1 out on a Sandy Leon double and a walk, but Betances rebounded to strike out Dustin Pedroia swinging and Xander Bogaerts looking to end the threat and the game.
- 0-4 with the RBI for A-Rod. If we're being honest, there were a couple pitches from Eduardo Rodriguez that he should have crushed and used to crush.
- Yankees had 7 hits as a team and 4 of them came in the 8th inning. The only player with multiple hits was... Aaron Hicks, of course.
- Sanchez went 1-4 with a run scored and he gunned Jackie Bradley down trying to steal in the 4th. Bradley looked like he got a decent jump, but Sanchez threw him out by about 800 feet. It's going to be fun to see how many more teams try to steal on him before figuring out it's not worth it. He's 3-5 so far...
- Hat tip to Cessa for working 2 scoreless innings as the bridge to Betances. He's ridden the shuttle more than any pitcher this season and has never really been able to settle into any role, but he's done a good job at the big league level.