For as much as the Boston Red Sox have struggled, there have been a few games where they’ve hung around for a while before ultimately falling.
And what usually sinks them is some sort of error or misplay that opens the floodgates. Such was the case Friday in The Bronx.
In the fifth inning of the Sox’s series opener with the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Sox reliever Ryan Brasier got the first two batters out, then allowed a single to Gleyber Torres. And with Mike Tauchman standing in next, Brasier threw over to first base a total of three times during the at-bat. But on the third attempted Brasier balked, and it happened with Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland not even holding Torres on.
So, what happened?
“Mitch told (Brasier) he was behind him and Ryan forgot. So, threw over to first,” Sox manager Ron Roenicke explained following the game.
It was a costly mistake.
Torres went to second on the balk, and Tauchman proceeded to rip a double to score Torres and put the Yankees ahead 3-1. The next hitter, Gary Sanchez, blasted a two-run homer to left-center that travelled 457-feet and upped the Yankees advantage to 5-1. They’d ultimately win 10-3.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s Red Sox-Yankees game.
— J.D. Martinez hasn’t been in peak form this season, but he had a particularly troubling night Friday.
The designated hitter went 0-for-4 and struck out each at-bat, including one against Adam Ottavino in which he uncharacteristically didn’t even swing once.
Roenicke chalked it up more to the fact that the Red Sox were facing Gerrit Cole.
“He was chasing,” Roenicke first admitted. “Obviously a great picture that makes you chase a lot more, but every time I looked up at a strikeout it’s on a corner somewhere and it’s great stuff.”
— It’s been an ugly showing on the mound during the Red Sox’s five-game losing streak.
In each of those losses, Boston pitchers have allowed at least eight runs. Now, some of that is due to defensive miscues, but you don’t give up that many runs routinely on accident.
Roenicke was asked point blank if the pitching during the losing streak was “embarrassing.”
“Well I’m certainly not going to go there,” Roenicke responded. “But yeah, we need to pitch better, and like I said some of it is we’re not making plays when we need to make plays. If we can get the pitchers some more outs you give them a chance to extend and get longer in the game, but we need to do everything a little better. We need to pitch better, we need to play better defense, we need to hit better. So we just don’t have it working real well right now.”
— One of the bright spots in the game, again, was Alex Verdugo, who launched a solo homer in the top of the fourth off Cole.
It was a nice piece of hitting from Verdugo, who displayed some nice patience against Cole before putting one in the right-field seats.
“It was one of those things, I think my approach at that particular time was really good,” Verdugo said. “I just was trying to get the fastball out, see it deep and maybe hit it up the middle. And I happened to see a curveball pop out of the hand a little bit and as I was going to it I was really able to really keep my bat path and keep everything where it needed to be and ended up clipping it.”