A different type of storm came over Saturday night’s Red Sox-Yankees game after a fan in New York decided to throw a ball at Alex Verdugo.
As Verdugo engaged with the section of fans the ball was thrown from, Red Sox manager Alex Cora frantically pulled his team off the field to calm them down.
“I know my left fielder, I know Alex, and he needed time to grieve, you know? And to get his thoughts,” Cora told reporters after the game. “And it seemed like nobody was listening to me.”
According to Verdugo, he’d thrown a ball in the stands between innings after his warm-up. The ball was intended for a young Sox fan. Instead, it came back to him when his back was turned.
“There was a little Red Sox fan right in that little corner, I tried to get it to him and, obviously, yanked it two feet to the right and just happen to end in some Yankee fan’s hands,” Verdugo explained after the game.
“I come to expect it when I’m out here, you know, the trash-talking, the bringing up family members, the having everybody chant, excuse my language, ‘(expletive) Verdugo’ and all these things; I’m used to that. I don’t care. That’s cool.
“There’s just no reason to be throwing stuff back onto the field ever, you know, there really isn’t. Yeah, I lost my cool there for a second. I was pretty pissed, but having some time to think about it now and to calm down and relax, it is what it is.”
With fewer choice words, Cora echoed his player’s sentiment.
“This is just a game, it’s a game,” Cora said. “This is not like life and death, you know? It’s not this drama that people want and the fact that people come to the ballpark and they’ve decided to throw a baseball to one of the players; I was in shock that that happened.”
Here are other notes from Red Sox-Yankees:
— Jarren Duran’s Major League Baseball debut was a silver lining in the loss.
He took the first pitch he saw from Gerrit Cole for a base hit, and it resulted in a run that got the Red Sox on the board for an early 1-0 lead. Duran, who started in center field, went 1-for-2 with a run and a walk at the plate.
“That was good, good swing,” Cora said of Duran. “His three at-bats were good, really good. You know, he picked some pitches. The last one was a big one, in a big spot there against one of the best pitchers in the big leagues. He was able to slow down the game, and it was fun to see him scoring from second on that base hit. It was a good night for him.”
— Despite the loss and, more importantly, the weather, Nathan Eovaldi looked pretty good on the mound for Boston.
He went five full innings, giving up two hits and a run in his final frame of work. He’d had a few baserunners on to that point, though, thanks to a walk and two hit batters. The ball was soaked, but he struck out seven.
According to Red Sox Notes on Twitter, Eovaldi is the first Boston pitcher to throw at least five innings and allow one or fewer earned runs in seven consecutive starts against American League East opponents.
— The Red Sox have one more to play against the Yankees on Sunday before moving on, though Thursday’s postponed game technically decides the series.
First pitch on Sunday is set for 7:08 p.m. ET.