A TEAM THAT COULDN'T
GET THE JOB DONE ...
David Price and a spectacular catch
by Jackie Bradley Jr, allow the Sox
a split with the Yankees
July 14, 2017 ...
David Price threw the pitch and grimaced,
hearing what he described later as being the loudest noise he ever
heard from a ball coming off a bat.
Such was the swing Aaron Judge put on a high fastball in
the eighth inning on the second game of a doubleheader. Jackie Bradley Jr.
turned and ran, but not too fast. He wanted to make sure he had his steps timed
to arrive at the fence just when the ball got there. When he got in position, he
turned so his back was against the wall and jumped just high enough to catch the
ball and bring it back over the metal railing.
Matt Barnes, warming up a few feet away, put both hands on
his head in disbelief. The sellout crowd roared, having witnessed one of the
best catches ever made at Fenway Park.
After the Sox finished up a much-needed 3-0 victory against
the Yankees in the second game of a day/night doubleheader, Bradley didn’t feign
modesty. He said he made sure to align his feet and jump parallel to the wall,
not into it. The height of his jump had to be perfect, too.
Mookie Betts, who was 3 for 4 with a home run
and two RBIs, could only laugh.
What Bradley, Betts and Price provided came at the right
time. The Sox lost, 3-0, in the first game on Sunday. They needed a boost.
Before Betts’s two-run homer off Masahiro Tanaka in the third inning, the Sox
had gone 24 innings without scoring.
Price (5-2) scattered seven hits over eight innings and
struck out eight without a walk. It was his strongest start of the season. He
had a 3.39 earned run average, allowing three or fewer earned runs in nine of
his 10 starts since recovering from an elbow strain. Craig Kimbrel put two
runners on in the ninth but struck out Chase Headley to finish the game. He had
In the first game, Yankees lefty C.C. Sabathia and three
relievers allowed four hits.
Sabathia (8-3) worked six innings and allowed two hits. He
has faced the Sox twice this season and thrown 14 shutout innings. Tyler
Clippard, Chad Green, and Aroldis Chapman handled the final three innings.
It was an embarrassing offensive performance. The Sox
grounded into 14 outs, had six infield popups, and struck out six times. They
also failed to take advantage of seven walks. The Sox were 0 of 11 with runners
in scoring position and in the last nine games were 5 of 64.
The first inning was typical. Betts and Xander Bogaerts
drew walks to put Sabathia in immediate trouble. Then Andrew Benintendi swung at
the first pitch, grounding into a force at second. Chris Young, batting cleanup
against the lefthander, grounded into a double play.
Red Sox starter Rick Porcello allowed three runs — one
earned — over six innings. He gave up nine hits and struck out six without a
walk. He left trailing, 3-0. Porcello (4-12) has a 3.31 earned run average in
his last five starts, which represents marked progress considering his ERA was
an unsightly 5.05 on June 17th.
A costly error ruined Porcello’s day in the fourth inning.
With one out and a runner on first, Clint Frazier grounded to shortstop.
Bogaerts bobbled the double-play ball and the Yankees had two runners on instead
of the inning being over. Austin Romine followed with a single to load the
bases. Ji-Man Choi’s sacrifice fly gave the Yankees one run. When Ronald
Torreyes singled to left field, Frazier beat the throw from Benintendi to the
Porcello finally ended the 25-pitch inning, covering first
base on a grounder to the right side. As he walked back to the dugout, Porcello
took the ball and threw a popup into the stands behind the dugout in disgust.
The Sox have scored two or fewer runs in 10 of Porcello’s
20 starts, getting shut out five times.