In their last three games before the All-Star break, the Yankees will play a series from Friday to Sunday against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Yankees have gone 8-8 in their last 16 games, but the Red Sox, who looked like they would stay in last place a few weeks ago, have gone 11-5 in their last 16 games and have won five of their last six games.
Boston (41-45) is now 5.5 games behind the Yankees (46-39) for first place in the AL East after being 10 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the division 20 days ago. Even though the Yankees have a three-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the division, this series is so much more important than one would have thought three weeks ago because if the Red Sox, whose offensive has started to hit like they are capable of, sweep the series they will only be 2.5 games out of first.
The Yankees are coming off of a series when they won two out of three games against the Athletics. Their starters both allowed two earned runs in their two wins over Oakland, and Michael Pineda will look to continue the momentum tonight when he takes the mount in Fenway. The Yankees offense has been much better than it was the previous two seasons, and then will look to continue to hit well at Fenway against the Red Sox pitching staff, who have the worst team ERA in the league.
Pineda is coming off of a start on July 4 when he had full command of his pitches as he threw seven shutout innings at Yankee Stadium against the Rays. He has bounced back well from allowing eight runs in 3.1 innings to the Phillies on June 22, as in his start on June 28 he only allowed two earned runs in eight innings while striking out eight. Pineda has a somewhat high 3.79 ERA this season, but he has held the opposition to two earned runs or less in 10 of his 16 starts this season.
The Red Sox offense has really improved recently since they have scored five runs or more in five of their last six games, which includes games where they scored 12 and eight runs.
In Friday’s game, Cole Figueroa, who hit two doubles in his Yankees’ debut on Thursday, will start at third instead of Chase Headley for the second consecutive game, and Garrett Jones will get the start in right field.
Red Sox starter Clay Bucholz has been outstanding in his previous four starts as he has allowed one, one, one and zero runs respectively.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series in Boston:
RHP Michael Pineda (8-5, 3.79)
RHP Clay Buchholz (7-6, 3.27)
7:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network
RHP Ivan Nova (1-2, 2.65)
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 3.69)
7:05 p.m., FOX
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (8-2, 4.45)
LHP Wade Miley (8-7, 4.50)
1:05 p.m., YES Network and TBS
The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 9-5 in Boston in Derek Jeter‘s final game in a Yankees uniform. He hit an infield RBI single in the third inning before he took himself out of the game and was replaced at first base by Brian McCann. He said that he wanted to go out after getting a hit and that’s exactly what he did.
It was fitting that his last hit of his career was a single because he had hit 2,594 singles before that in his career. He hit a ball that bounced high off of the plate and had to hustle to get to first. He drove in Ichiro Suzuki for the team’s third run of the game. He hustled to get to first so many times in his career, which makes it make sense that the last time he got on base was as a result of him giving all out effort.
“I told Ichiro to hit a triple, so he hit a triple,” Jeter said. In Jeter’s first at-bat, he hit a hard line drive that Jemile Weeks had to leap to catch and then he was able to drive in his 1,311th run in the third inning. Jeter finished his career with the sixth most RBIs in the storied history of the New York Yankees. Jeter was also able to accumulate 11 seasons with 190 or more hits.
Jeter realizes that some think less of him because of new sabermetric stats, which has led to criticism, but Jeter is happy to be remembered for the team he played for, his hustle, championships and consistency.
“You want to be known as someone who had respect for the game, respect for your teammates, respect for the fans, respect for the media,” Jeter said in his final press conference. “I played the game hard. But for me, I’m happy being known as a Yankee. That is the only think I ever wanted to be – was a shortstop of the New York Yankees. Being remembered as a Yankee is good enough for me.”
The Yankees were also fittingly able to win Jeter final game. It was his 1,629 win as a Yankee. They won since the offense was able to score four runs off of Clay Bucholz and five runs off of reliever Craig Breslow.
Ichiro, in what might have been his last RBIs as a Yankee, tripled to deep center in the third to drive in Jose Pirela and Francisco Cervelli. For the fourth run of the inning, Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in McCann.
In the seventh inning, Breslow allowed five earned runs without recording an out. After Cervelli and Chris Young both singled, Pirela doubled to center to send them both home. Eury Perez singled to left and then John Ryan Murphy singled to center to score Pirela for the seventh run.
Drake Britton came into before Austin Romine hit, but of the runs that he allowed were charged to Breslow. Romine doubled to deep left center to drive in Perez and advance Murphy to third, and then Chase Headley singled to right to score Murphy for the ninth run. In the later innings Joe Girardi had Murphy, Perez, Romine, Antoan Richardson and Brendan Ryan all come into the game.
Michael Pineda gave the Yankees one final dominating start before likely being the number two starter behind Masahiro Tanaka next season. Pineda pitched 6.1 very effective innings, only allowed three hits and one run. He recorded 10 strikeouts, and he retired the side in order in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings. Pineda lowered his ERA to an outstanding 1.89, and he was able to allow two runs or less for his 12th time out of 13 starts.
Pineda’s single to Allen Craig in the seventh would be his only earned run because he would score with Esmil Rogers pitching. Rogers allowed four runs on one hit after the game had basically already been decided.
The Yankees will be losing their captain and that leadership will likely have to come from CC Sabathia, McCann, Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Yankees unfortunately did not make the playoffs in Jeter’s final season, but he did win five championships and made the playoffs in all but two of his full seasons, and he was able to finish the season with one or more hits in nine of his last 10 games. He finishes his career as the best shortstop of the live-ball era.
After Derek Jeter hit the game-winning walk-off hit to beat the Baltimore Orioles in his final home game on Thursday, the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Friday. Jeter’s walk-off was an inside out single to right that he has hit countless times in his career. David Robertson had the best blown save of his career in the top of the ninth to set up yet another clutch hit from Jeter.
After Brett Gardner sacrificed the fast Antoan Richardson to second, Jeter’s “Jeterian” single to right scored Richardson to win the game. Jeter leaped towards the sky after the run scored, walked back out to his position at shortstop to get one more view and then Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada fittingly came onto the field to greet their longtime teammate. It was a storybook ending to end Jeter’s career playing in front of the home fans in the Bronx.
Jeter even surprised himself with how the game ended. “I wouldn’t have believed it myself,” Jeter said. “I can honestly say I don’t think anyone played harder.” Jeter said that he is aware that other players have more talent, but his effort each and every day helped take him to the top. For the first time in his career, he asked to have Friday’s game off because he was so exhausted from Thursday and everything that happened after it.
“I don’t know if I could play tonight if I wanted to play tonight,” he said. “Last night was as special as it gets.” He said that if he wasn’t going to play his last game at Yankee Stadium, the next best place is Fenway Park because of the rivalry. He will be the DH on Saturday and Sunday out of respect for the Red Sox.
“He had such a special night last night,” Chris Capuano said. “I think everyone can understand him just wanting to take a day.”
Jeter also hit a double to left in the first for his first RBI of the game. Hiroki Kuroda allowed only two runs in eight innings in what might have been his last start as a Yankee. He had a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts and didn’t fall apart like he did the last two seasons.
On Friday, Jeter received a “Derek Jeter” chant from the crowd even though he was only in the dugout. The Red Sox fans also proved that they recognize greatness since they booed when Jeter didn’t pinch hit in the ninth. The Yankees were able to get the win even though five rookies started the game. No one in the lineup had played more than 47 games for the Yankees this season.
Chris Capuano, who pitched in the beginning of the season in the bullpen for the Red Sox, did not allow an earned run in 6.2 innings pitched. He is a pitcher who the Yankees will likely consider for a spot in their bullpen next season. Allen Craig’s run in the second was unearned because Chris Young made an error on Craig’s single earlier in the inning. Capuano, who is 36, threw 91 pitches, struck out five and didn’t allow a walk.
Shawn Kelley, who allowed Rusney Castillo’s homer in the seventh, really faltered in the second half of the season. He has a 4.53 ERA, and his ERA in August was 7.59 and in September it was 4.70. Capuano might be a better option than Kelley next season. David Robertson, who was able to convert his 39th save of the season in the ninth, is in the last year of his contract and the Yankees could choose to let the cheaper Dellin Betances be the closer next season.
The Yankees had seven hits off of three Red Sox pitchers. Steven Wright, a relief pitcher who was making only his second start, allowed two unearned runs in five innings. Eury Perez struck out in the second but advanced to first as a result of a passed ball by Dan Butler. Francisco Cervelli’s single scored Perez and then Cervelli scored later in the inning on a throwing error by second baseman Mookie Betts, who is normally a center fielder.
In the seventh inning, Zelous Wheeler hit a sacrifice fly to score John Ryan Murphy to give the Yankees their third run. The Yankees need to win their last two games to match their 85 wins from last season.
The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 14-5 at Fenway Park on Thursday as CC Sabathia pitched six innings and allowed only two runs while striking out eight batters. He has dominated in his last two starts after struggling in his first three.
Sabathia won his third game of the season and was helped by only allowing three hits. He struck out his 1,031st batter in this game, which puts him in 10th place on the Yankees all-time list.
“The two-seamer was good, the changeup was good and I was just trying to put up zeros,” Sabathia said. “With guys swinging bats like that you just want to get in the dugout as soon as possible.”
The Yankees won two of the three games in this series and have now won five of their first seven against the Red Sox.
The Yankees scored runs in six different innings, had five players have two or more hits and were helped by five Red Sox errors. The Yankees were led by rookie Yangervis Solarte, who was 2-5 (to improve his average to .310), and drove in a career-high four runs.
This is what Derek Jeter had to say about Solarte: “He has played extremely well. He has a lot of confidence and he seems extremely comfortable.”
Felix Doubront did not have it for the Red Sox as he threw 73 pitches before being taken out of the game with two outs in the third.
In the first inning, to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, Alfonso Soriano’s double to deep right center scored Carlos Beltran.
After a wild pitch that bounced before it got to catcher David Ross, Brian Roberts advanced to second and Brett Gardner to third with no outs in the second. Yangervis Solarte’s double that was hit just past Brock Holt at third drove in Roberts and Gardner. To make the score 4-0, Doubront’s second wild pitch of the inning sent Solarte home from third.
The three runs that the Yankees scored in the second were off of only two hits. Dustin Pedroia’s error at second trying to convert a double play allowed Roberts to get to first.
Mark Teixeira led off the third with his first homer of the season. His homer bounced back onto the field after just clearing the top of the Green Monster. Roberts’s single to center scored Gardner after he easily stole second and third.
For the third run of the third, and seventh of the game, speed helped manufacture a run again as Jacoby Ellsbury’s single scored Roberts after he stole second.
In the bottom of the fifth, Sabathia retired Boston in order. One of his two strikeouts in the inning was getting Mike Napoli to go down looking. Sabathia is figuring out how to pitch with decreased velocity.
In the eighth inning, the Yankees scored their final run off of another Boston mistake. This time, Edward Mujica’s wild pitch allowed Roberts to score his fourth run of the game.
In addition to Solarte, Ellsbury had three hits and three RBIs against his former team, Jeter had two hits and two RBIs, Gardner had four runs scored and two steals and Roberts and four runs scored and a RBI.
After traveling back to New York, the Yankees, who are now 13-9 and in first in the AL East, will play the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night at Yankee Stadium. The Angels are 10-11.
Hiroki Kuroda, after allowing three runs in 5.2 innings in his last outing, will get the start for the Yankees. C.J. Wilson will pitch for the Angels.
The Yankees start a three-game mid week series against the Boston Red Sox Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m at Fenway Park. In the four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium from April 10-13 the Yankees won three of the four games against their long time rivals.
Joe Girardi’s team will come into the series with momentum as they have won six of their last eight games. The one major setback is that it appears that starter Ivan Nova will have season ending Tommy John surgery based on elbow soreness that he had during the the fifth innings of the team’s 16-1 loss to Tampa. He will need Tommy John surgery as a result of a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. The 11-8 record that the Yankees have is a game better than the surprising second place Toronto Blue Jays.
John Farrell’s team, on the other hand, will come into the series as a mediocre team that has been hurt by injuries to third baseman Will Middlebrooks and outfieleder Shane Victorino. Boston (9-11) split their four-game weekend series against the Baltimore Orioles and lost all three games that the played against the Milwaukee Brewers from April 4-6. The Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros are the only teams in the AL with a worse record than the Red Sox so far.
In Tuesday’s game, Masahiro Tanaka will start his first game at the historic Fenway Park. His 2.05 ERA and 28:2 strikeout to walk ratio are both outstanding and he has pitched a combined 22 innings in his first three Major League starts. He is coming off a start where he shutout the Chicago Cubs for eight innings while striking out 10 and only walking one. His splitter, which keeps hitters off balance, has definitely lived up to expectations so far this season.
“I’m sure the fans will be heated up a bit and it should be a good experience going up on the mound that day,” Tanaka said, when asked about the atmosphere at Fenway.
Jon Lester, who has been the best starter so far for Boston, will get the start for the Red Sox. He has a 2.17 ERA this season and like Tanaka, his 29:4 strikeout to walk ratio is impressive. However, factors that could help the Yankees are that he has a 4.57 ERA in his last three seasons against New York and a 4.46 ERA at home but a much better 3.67 ERA on the road.
On Wednesday’s game, the 25-year-old Michael Pineda will start for the Yankees and he will be opposed by the veteran John Lackey. Pineda’s ability to command his fastball, slider and changeup has led to his 2-1 record and 1.00 ERA in three starts. Lackey has allowed six runs in each of his last two starts, which gives him an unimpressive 5.25 ERA.
For the series finale on Thursday, CC Sabathia (2-2, 5.19 ERA), who is coming off his best start of the season where he allowed just one run earned run in seven innings pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays, will get the start for the Yankees. He had a 6.48 ERA against the Red Sox from 2011 to 2013. Felix Doubront (4-4, 5.48 ERA) will get the start after allowing three runs in 6.2 innings in his start against the Yankees on April 13.
Two positive signs on the injury front for the Yankees are that first baseman Mark Teixeira returned from the disabled list on Sunday, and went 2-6, while closer David Robertson is scheduled to return from his 15-day DL in time for Tuesday’s game. This will help the bullpen as it will give it more depth and it will allow Girardi to find consistent roles for Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, Matt Thornton and David Phelps.