Yankees 3, Red Sox 1: This team from New York might pose a problem
|04.26.17 at 10:26 pm ET|
While everybody was worrying about suspensions, clubhouse rifts and Twitter updates, the Yankees came to town. It proved unfortunate for the Red Sox.
This New York club, which many discounted coming to 2017 because of no significant starting pitching upgrades, offered the Fenway Park faithful a taste of why it might make life uncomfortable for the Red Sox. It was just one, 3-1 win for the Yankees Wednesday night, but it was enough to highlight what may becoming an American League East reality.
If Luis Severino pitches like he did on what was admittedly a less-than-perfect hitters night — not giving up a run over seven innings — that’s a problem for John Farrell’s club.
The Yankees’ weakness still isn’t exactly a no-holds-barred strength, with their starters coming into the two-game series carrying a middle-of-the-road 4.05 ERA. But really what would put them in the conversation for the top tier in American League East would be to find some top of the rotation talent.
That’s what Severino offered the impression of on this dreary night.
Perhaps the results were more a product of an anemic Red Sox attack. That would be a fair take considering how punch-less they have been too many times this season. Seven of the Sox’ 20 games has seen them score two runs or less. They are now hitting just .119 with runners in scoring position over the last six games.
But even if a couple of the Yankees’ starters step in the manner that Severino did, all the pieces are in place for Brian Cashman’s club. As was evident in Aaron Judge’s seventh homer of the season — a two-run blast off Rick Porcello — there should be enough offense to keep up appearances. The did have the third-best OPS in baseball coming into the night.
And then you have the game-enders, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman, whose existence works if they can actually pitch with leads. That blueprint was available for viewing Wednesday night, although Chapman did allow a run in the ninth before ultimately stranding the tying run at first. (The lefty fireballer ended his uncomfortable night throwing 33 pitches.)
The narrative could very well change in a hurry thanks to Chris Sale’s start Thursday night. He does, after all, hold the best-ever ERA of any pitcher in baseball against the Yankees.
Still, this one offered a glimpse of what might be. And that should be a wake-up call for those just looking forward to next week’s latest showdown with the division-leading Orioles.
Porcello pitched well, but not well enough. The righty starter allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine and walking four. The 118-pitch outing put his ERA at 4.75.
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