Series Recap - Yankees @ Red Sox
I had a bunch of other things that I was going to list as the first "Good", but the real winner here was grit. 2 nationally broadcast games over the weekend in which we went down early, it looked hopeless, and guys stepped up to secure the win. The lineup, the bullpen, and the manager all saying fuck it, let's go out there and take it. That's the kind of baseball you get excited about.
Alex Verdugo is THAT dude. It's kind of preposterous that we have JD, Xander, and Raffy in the lineup, yet in a clutch situation there is no one I trust more than Dugie. And honestly, second place might be Christian Vazquez. If you recall the early season recaps, I just said we are one guy getting hot away from being mentioned in the top tier of teams, and we have a rotation of 3-4 guys that fill that role each night.
Speaking of which, Franchy Cordero has been able to do everything we need him to. I get excited when he is the first batter of the inning, because you have a good feeling he'll at least get on. Whether it's a bunt where the pitcher chucks the ball right into his dumptruck ass like last night, or a 900 foot moonshot, also like last night, this guy can hurt you in so many ways. Plus, he is the fastest man alive. Relevant meme from the WooSox twitter:
Trevor Story said "I wanna play in these type of games and I love this team" last night and I had tears in my eyes. My roommate and I both responded "I love you too Trevor", and I saw a lot more people on Twitter had the same reactions. I feel like the narrative that he was a bust after a month may have been a little premature, but hey I might just be crazy.
The young guns looked actually serviceable to very good (except one). I know the numbers aren't reflective of it, and it was still the reason we lost, but Winck held his own, and hopefully he learned his lesson that you can't walk three consecutive guys and let up a moonshot. Outside of that sequence though, he really did look solid against a fucking beast of a lineup. Then, Saturday, Kutter showed that the 5.1 with 1 earned against the Rays was not a fluke, and he can put up those performances against even the best lineup in baseball. 5 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks, 2 Walks. He missed a location that got crushed, but man, that cutter looked fucking awesome and I audibly gasped at it several times. Throw in Kaleb Ort getting Judge and Rizzo out last night and I like what I see from these guys.
Jeter Downs fucking rocks dude. A) he's cool as fuck. B) He's so fast. C) Even when he got called up he wanted to hang out and watch his Worcester teammates which is something I can appreciate. D) His name is Jeter and he was just a major reason why we beat the Yankees in his 2 games that he was up here. That headfirst slide to steal the W on Saturday was quite literally the perfect way to cap off our best win of the season.
The Yankees were thought to be indestructible. We just split a series with them trotting Josh Winckowski, Connor Seabold, Kutter Crawford, and a struggling Nick Pivetta out there. Who did they have? Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery, and Jameson Taillon. I take that split 10 times out of 10.
The Yankees defense sucks!!! That will not win a championship. Between DJ refusing to let outfielders catch balls in the outfield and Donaldson fumbling the ball worse than Tony Romo in the playoffs, this team can't play in the field.
One more thing about the Yankees. I'll get back to the Red Sox in a moment, but I'm not yet done throwing dirt on the Yankees grave. Aside from Michael King, that bullpen is slick trash brother. Yea, their rotation can put together some good outings (only Nestor really did against us and it was still a below average outing by his standards)
Bullpen shoutouts to a few guys - John Schreiber, Matt Strahm, Tanner Houck, and probably his first time in "The Good" since the first series of the season where I just said his flow looked sick as fuck is HeroSaw. A lot of these guys gave us multiple innings of relief against the heart of their lineup and shoved.
I actually have a quick story about HeroSaw that I'd like to share. Tuesday, against the Rays, it looked like benches were about to clear when Yandy Diaz came at Pivetta. The moment shit looked like it was about to go down, HeroSaw jumped the wall like a kid running from the cops. The rest of the bullpen was sprinting out of the gate while the Rays' pen was sitting on their thumbs. I was sitting right behind the Sox's arm barn and got to see it first hand. It was one of my favorite moments of the season. It wasn't lost on anyone who saw it that the entirety of the bullpen was ready to jump at a moment's notice to protect their guys. They got a nice round of applause, and HeroSaw appreciated that I saw him leading the charge. He gave me a wave as I yelled gibberish to him, but he could tell that I had a different view of him than I had prior to that occurrence. Also, something as little as the hang loose to the head towards the bullpen when a guy hits a double means the world to those guys out there. It keeps them engaged, and lets them know that it really is one big team, not just a lineup and a pitching staff like you hear about with a lot of other groups.
Reinforcements are on the way. Sale. Eovaldi. Paxton probably after the break. Taylor. Kiké (although he had a setback and his timeline got pushed). Wacha. Whitlock. When these guys come back, and the starters are where they should be and the relievers are back to the bullpen, this is going to be a team that can get an early lead, and more importantly hold onto it.
We released Hansel Robles! The very definition of addition by subtraction. I'd like to see Brasier sent on the same train up outta here when Sale comes back, but let's take this one shitbum reliever at a time.
Jarren Duran went 0-12 in this series with 7 Ks. YIKES. He also took one of the more absurd angles on a ball I have ever seen, and then tried to save it by laying out and let the ball get by him. Kiké doesn't make that mistake. JBJ doesn't make that mistake. He is not the center fielder of the present.
Dalbec looks downright fugly in big moments. He had a key RBI Saturday, so I won't harp on him too much, but he came up in a bases loaded no out situation against old man Chapman, who has lost all ability to locate, and fucking handed him a strikeout on a silver platter. Send him up there with a pool noodle and you're getting the same result.
Pivetta is hitting a wall. Not what you want to see when he'll make another start against the Yankees, but at least he'll have the All-Star break, and I'm sure once the reinforcements get here it won't feel like he is shouldering the load of the entire rotation.
I don't know what was in the sky this weekend, but I think I may need to intervene. I choose to believe UFOs decided to torture poor Christian Arroyo and Bobby D, causing them to lose track of those baseballs and give us some of the better Red Sox memes of the season.
Seabold was not good. Vazquez was visibly frustrated with his locations. It didn't just look bad, it looked hopeless. Hopefully we send him back down and he can figure out what might be going wrong, but this stint in the Majors needs to end ASAP.