Boston’s bullpen spoils E-Rod’s strong start, Martinez comes through with a timely home run.
Featured image courtesy of Zimbio.com: (May 9th, 2018 – Source: Elsa/Getty Images North America)
Boston did not make it easy on themselves earning a win Thursday night. The Sox won 5-4 behind strong starting pitching from Eduardo Rodriguez. Mookie Betts turned in another great hitting night and Hanley Ramirez came in clutch in the early innings. After an hour-long rain delay, the shaky bullpen allowed the Yanks to tie the game. J.D. Martinez came in to save the day with a solo home run to right field and Craig Kimbrel slammed the door to put the Red Sox in a tie for first place.
E-Rod put up a strong start against the rival Yankees. He went five strong innings only giving up one hit which was liner off of Rafael Devers‘s glove. He collected three walks, however, two of them were to Aaron Judge. Eddy finished with eight strikeouts. His fastball topped out at 92 MPH and he mixed his off-speed pitches well. He used his changeup and slider for a combined 55.9% of his pitches. His fastball was used 43.9% of the time.
Mookie came into Thursday night with ownage on Yankee starter C.C. Sabathia. He started the day 6 for 20 and improved to 9 for 24 with a 3 for 4 day including a walk. He also collected a stolen base in the top of the 4th inning.
In the top of the first, Mookie led off the day with a double. Andrew Benintendi grounded out to move Mookie to third. HanRam drove Mookie in and picked up an RBI on a groundout to Didi Gregorius to make the score 1-0.
Betts collected his second hit with a single in the top of the third inning. Benny biceps(Benintendi) hit a double to put runners at second and third. Ramirez drove in Betts again for his second RBI on an infield single. Benintendi scored on an error by the Yankee top prospect Gleyber Torres. Boston’s lead was 3-0 at the end of the inning.
Hanley continued to drive in runs in the top of the 5th with a solo home-run into the left-field bullpen, making the lead 4-0.
After an hour-long rain delay, Cora took E-Rod out of the game and went to his bullpen. This is when the game got a little hairy. Cora put in Matt Barnes in the 6th and he pitched a good inning. He only gave up one walk.
The bottom of the seventh is where the bullpen let the Yankees come all the way back to tie the game. Heath Hembree started the inning and only got one out before loading the bases. Joe Kelly came in and could not find the strike zone and walked Brett Gardner to make the score 4-1. Judge hit an RBI single, making the score 4-2. After another walk by Kelly, the score was 4-3. Christian Vazquez dropped another ball while behind the dish which tied the game at 4-4.
Martinez immediately came up to the plate in the top of the 8th inning and took the lead with a solo home-run to right field.
Kimbrel slammed the door in the 9th inning in order to notch a win. With the win, the Red Sox are now in a tie for first place in the AL East with the Yankees.
The bullpen has become a growing concern for the Red Sox. Thursday’s game was just the latest example of how the Sox bullpen can turn a game on its head quickly. Boston should look forward to the returns of Tyler Thornburg and Steven Wright, in hopes to sure up holes in the bullpen.