Just when the New York Yankees seemed to be on the right track of making up ground in the race for the playoffs, the Boston Red Sox come into Yankee stadium and win 9-4 thanks to some big home runs from Xander Bogaerts and Daniel Nava.
The Red Sox aren’t going anywhere this season, but they have made moves to make sure next season doesn’t start so badly. Yoenis Cespedes came from the Oakland A’s on a trade and had a great start to the three-game series with a 3-for-5 day, including one RBI, a double to deep left that pickup the scoring for the Red Sox in the first inning. That was followed by Mike Napoli hitting a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Most of the damage was done early while Shane Greene was pitching for the Yankees. He didn’t last three complete innings, leaving the game with six earned runs and three walks in 2.2 innings. The third inning delivered the blow that pretty much knocked the Yankees out of the game, as Daniel Nava hit a three-run homer followed by Xander Bogaerts, having what might be his best game in his young career, with another home run.
Bogaerts, a rookie, finished with 4-for-5 at the plate and two RBIs. He has been hitting a lowly .130, without any home runs, a .379 OPS and just 4 RBIs since the beginning of August until his impressive performance at Yankee stadium. He had four hits combined on his previous 11 games, having a batting average of .118 through them.
Bogaerts wasn’t the only rookie who had a big game for the Red Sox, as Mookie Betts carried on with his good season to finish with a 3-for-5 and one RBI, hitting his 4th home run of the season in the 4th inning. It’s the first time since 1952 that a pair of Red Sox rookies hit a home run against the New York Yankees in New York. The culprits 62 years ago were Dick Gernert and Faye Throneberry.
So while for the Red Sox this win for the Yankees is something of a beacon of hope for the imminent future, for the Yankees it’s one more step of sliding down, drifting away from making the playoffs. Winning the division seems almost impossible now, nine games behind the Orioles, but the Wild Card spot is now five games away from them, which means that for the first time since the long drought of the 1980’s and early 90’s, the Yankees are going to miss the postseason for two straight years, unless something quite remarkable happens in the remaining 26 games.