Bronx, NY: Aaron Judge hit a first inning home run off David Price at Yankee Stadium Sunday evening and that set the stage for the Red Sox.
Price was not effective. His changeup had nothing. The Yankees had everything again and sent a message to the Red Sox in the Bronx with a 7-4 win and four-game series sweep.
After the Red Sox dominated Yankees pitching last week at Fenway Park, it seemed they were on a roll and trying to gain some momentum at least for a AL wild card spot in the postseason. But the big three in that Red Sox rotation of Price, Chris Sale, and Rick Porcello have not been anything like they were in their World Series championship season of last year.
Price in the third inning may have doomed the Red Sox season. Gio Urshela got to a changeup and hit a two-run homer to left center field. That led to a six-run inning and the eighth straight loss for Boston.
As could be expected, the defending world series champions are out of words. They remain optimistic to try and turn things around as they head home to Fenway Park for a three-game series with the lowly Kansas City Royals.
Forget about catching the Yankees for first place and divisional title as one series remains between the two teams at Fenway Park in late September.
And what a difference a year makes as Boston left the Bronx trailing the Yankees by 14.5 games in the division. If the Red Sox have any chance of reaching the postseason the wildcard is in range but getting more difficult. Tampa Bay has a 6.5 game lead over the Red Sox for the second wild card spot.
“It’s been tough,” said Price. “Just for myself, the rest of our pitches, our starters. It’s been a tough stretch for us for sure. We haven’t thrown the ball to our capabilities the last eight or nine games and and for the most part of the season and that’s been rough for us.”
This is the longest losing streak for the Red Sox since 2015. During the streak the starting rotation has pitched to a 10.70 ERA and is 0-6.
And for manager Alex Cora, well this has been a different ballgame in his second year. He is not used to the losing having been with the world champion Houston Astros as bench coach in 2017 and guiding the Red Sox to a World Series title last year.
“It wasn’t a good week,” Cora said. “Not only the trip but the whole week, so we’ve got as lot of work to do. We’re in a big hole and obviously we’re very talented but it didn’t go our way this week.”
On the opposite side, the Yankees continued to hurt the Red Sox in winning their fifth straight. They earned their first four game sweep over Boston since August 6, 2009 at Yankee Stadium.
“We didn’t put games together,” Cora said. “We didn’t pitch. Offensively it’s been Ok lately. We didn’t hit with runners in scoring position and we didn’t put pressure on the opposition. So, overall a horrible week.”
Christian Vasquez, 1-for-3, drove in Boston’s first run of the game with a solo home run in the fifth inning. The Red Sox crept back into it, but not hitting with runners in scoring position continued to hurt the Red Sox.
Something the Red Sox were able to do last week in taking three of four was the timely hitting.
Is this a lost season for the Red Sox? This sweep did not help. There is still time to make up ground in the wild card but the pitching and hitting have to come together.
As they left the Bronx there is one thing certain. The Yankees are the better team in 2019 and put more hurt on the Red Sox playoff chances.
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