And after reaching the post-game interview room, the 24-year-old right-hander learned he was credited with the victory.
“It’s really weird without the fans,” he says. “Honestly I think it might have been good to relax that way, although I would love to have the fans, especially with the rivalry with us and the Red Sox. ”
Aaron Judge had a career-high fourth game in a row, putting New York in the lead in the first inning with a 455-foot drive through Zack Godley (0-1) left center. Gio Urshela went 5-0 in the second with his first career grand slam, a change attempt.
The night Masahiro Tanaka came back from a concussion, New York extended its winning streak to five and improved to 6-1 in its best start since 2003. That’s the equivalent of 16-3 on a season of 162 games.
“Guy made his league debut on a Saturday night against the Red Sox, he came in and he wasn’t scared and he attacked the batters with his fast pitch,” said Yankees outfielder Mike Tauchman, who had three hits. “This is another weapon that we now have out of our enclosure. ”
Nelson’s phone was filled with so many text messages he said he could facetime with his girlfriend, call his family, then shut the device off for the night.
If times had been normal, girlfriend Abi would have been at Yankee Stadium with daughter Henley, who is about to be 11 months old, and a group of friends from Panama City, Fla. Plus, of course, grandparents Marie and Ronnie.
“Growing up and so on, they never missed a game,” he said. “They never missed a game growing up, no matter what. ”
A Gulf Coast State College product selected in the fourth round of the 2016 entry draft, Nelson threw a third strike against his first hitter, Xander Bogaerts.
Nelson, who was able to secure the vacancy when Tommy Kahnle tore a ligament in his elbow, pulled out four and walked two. His mix of 41 shots included 31 fast balls, six changes, two curved balls and two sliders.
“You saw the high speed fastball play really up the zone, a really good change,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone.
In the first six games, Nelson aspired to reach the mound.
“As soon as the phone rings, I get more nervous,” he says. “Really waiting, it was killing me, for sure. ”
Tanaka was hit in the head by Giancarlo Stanton’s line practice during the July 4 practice. Launched with a Kevlar liner in his cap, he only lasted 2 2/3 innings and 51 throws, tiring on his second time in sequence.
“I was not happy with my order,” he said through a translator. “I think there was rust there. ”
His fastball hit 94.3 mph.
“It’s as good a speed as we’ve seen on his fastpitch in recent years,” said Boone.
Bogaerts chased Tanaka with an RBI brace, and a second point scored on the play when shortstop Gleyber Torres lost a throw for a mistake.
Southpaw Luis Avilan followed and had four consecutive strikeouts before Nelson entered to start the fifth. David Hale finished the six-hitter for his third career save, his first this year.
Urshela also made a sparkling defensive play at third base in sixth, snagging Christian Vazquez’s backhand grounder, stabilizing in foul territory and throwing the volley to first base to beat the slow-footed catcher.
Godley allowed five runs, six his and two marches in 3 1/3 innings as Boston fell to 3-6.
“I don’t think it was as bad as the score,” Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said. “We just need to smack the guys because I know they can hit. ”
JD Martinez was out of Boston’s starting lineup after starting 7 for 37 (.219) with no homers and three RBIs. “I hope that by doing this we maybe have the next two months which will be really good of him,” said manager Ron Roenicke. New bans on the use of video in-game could be a factor. “It probably affects JD a little more than anyone because he uses video more than anyone,” Roenicke said. “He’s one of the few guys, a few players who in the game can watch a video to see what he’s doing wrong and fix it. ”
Gary Sanchez edged Urshela home with a single, his first hit after a 0 for 15 start.… Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi was back in the lineup after a night off. He went 0 for 3 with a pair of steps, dropping to a 2 for 24 (.083) start.
Red Sox: C Jonathan Lucroy rescinded the waivers and was assigned directly to the Pawtucket alternative training site.
Yankees: RHP Luis Cessa (COVID-19) threw two batting practice innings ahead of the game, and Boone expects it to be activated in the coming days.
New York LHP James Paxton (0-1) enters the series final on Sunday after averaging 92 mph with his fastball in his first start in Washington, down from nearly 96 mph last year. Paxton underwent back surgery in February and found that the angle of his arm had dropped. RHP Austin Brice (0-0) makes his first start for Boston after four relief appearances.
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