New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are going in opposite directions – .

New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole marked his first start since contracting COVID-19 – .

Look, you never want to overreact to a baseball game – or in this case two games in one day – but after watching the New York Yankees sweep the Boston Red Sox in a double-spread Tuesday and pass Boston in percentage. points in the standings, the obvious conclusion remains: the Yankees are soaring, while the Red Sox are in big trouble.
Ten takeaways from the doubles program, which leaves the Yankees at 68-52 (0.567 winning percentage) and the Red Sox at 69-53 (0.566) – and the two teams tied with the Oakland Athletics (68-52 ) for both jokers.

1. It’s always fun to see hometown broadcasters react to games like this. The Red Sox announcers became more and more depressed as the night wore on and the Red Sox continued to leave the runners on base in the 2-0 nightcap loss, while the announcers of the Yankees were predictable in the midst of victory.

Paul O’Neill: “Who would have thought in mid-July, when you have 10 games back, that you would overtake the Boston Red Sox. What a great day for the Yankees here.

David Cone: “The worm has turned. Yankees sign notice. They are back. “

Hey, they’re not wrong. On July 25, after losing the series final at Fenway Park, the Yankees were nine games behind the Red Sox, who won first place. As of July 26, the Yankees are 17-5, the best in majors, while the Red Sox are 8-14.

To make nine games in just over three weeks is incredible. Books have been written about the famous pennant race of 1978 when the Yankees had 14 games in mid-July and rallied to win the division – but it took them two months to close that deficit, not 22 games. Yes, the Red Sox are still in a good position, but it’s a disheartening mental blow to lose all that ground to the Yankees (and still less than five games behind the Tampa Bay Rays now).

2. New York rookie starter Luis Gil was history in Game 2, pitching 4 scoreless innings to become the first pitcher to start his major league career with three straight scoreless starts. For years we’ve heard about all those Yankees farming system pitchers with big arms, and now we finally have one contributing to the big league squad. Gil, as the old timers were saying, has some electric stuff, with a fastball that the majors have struggled to tackle, having so far only 3 for 22, all in singles.

In the modern vernacular, this means a fast moving ball in the area with a high spin rate. “His fastball is playing,” Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said after the game. “Looks like he’s got a little extra life in the zone. What I like about him is his boast. He has confidence in himself. He never slows down which is great. “

Really, the Yankees only looked to Gil in desperation. Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery landed on the COVID-19 injured list and Domingo German on the regular injured list. The Yankees got around Deivi Garcia – who started in the 2020 playoffs but struggled in Scranton with a 7.08 ERA – and went with Gil, who was only a little better with a 5 ERA. , 64 in eight Triple-A starts. Control had been his biggest problem with 23 walks in 30 minutes, but he did a better job in the majors with seven in 15 minutes.

Either way, as Voit said, Gil provided a big – and surprising – lift. And if he keeps throwing enough strikes, Gil will be a force down the stretch.

3. The biggest strikeout and play in Game 2 came early in the sixth inning when the Red Sox had runners in the first and third with two strikeouts. Brett Gardner had a nice sliding play on Hunter Renfroe’s left center hit to prevent the lead runner from scoring. Bobby Dalbec was next and hit a soft liner at pitcher Wandy Peralta, who knocked him down, rushed after the ball as it bounced towards the third baseline, twisted and thrown perfect at Sees at first base.

“When it hit him, I was like ‘Oh, shit,’, Sees said. “And then I was like, I don’t know where this throw is going to go, and he made the throw of his life. “

Or maybe the biggest result came in the fifth, when Peralta came in to face Rafael Devers with the bases loaded and two strikeouts. He allowed Devers to slowly come back to second to maintain the 2-0 lead. The point here: Wandy Peralta gets big draws for the Yankees.

4. It will be interesting to see how Aaron Boone handles things when Anthony Rizzo returns from COVID-19 IL. Rizzo has been out since August 7 and has batted between games, his first time since landing at IL. Rizzo said he felt the effects of the coronavirus during his quarantine. “It was bad,” he told reporters. “Achy and tired. I would just get up and try to move and get tired and everything hurt. “

When he returns, Rizzo will see Sees back in the lineup. Voir returned from the injured list on Aug. 8 and is .243 / .317 / .486 with three homers and nine RBIs in 10 games.

Sees argued in favor of playing time after the game.

“I was in the top 10 MVPs last year and have been a great player for this organization for the past three years,” he said. “I’m not going to fall. I want to play. Obviously, I know it will be difficult with Rizzo, but I deserve to play as much as him. I led the league in home runs last year. I still feel really good. “

Boone said he would take it day to day, but one solution is to play Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield and use Voit as a designated hitter. Stanton played right field with Aaron Judge as the designated hitter, the eighth time he started in the outfield since July 30, after not playing there at all before. With Joey Gallo able to handle the center field, look for plenty of Stanton-Gallo-Judge line-ups when Rizzo returns.

5. Speaking of Stanton, yes, Yankees fans are frustrated with strikeouts and the lack of home production. He hit his 19th in Game 2, a massive 441-foot blast against Nathan Eovaldi, on a 0-2 curve. It wasn’t a terrible course, at the back of the area, but Stanton came down and golfed. With a line of .263 / .361 / .458 in 2021, Stanton has been better than excellent, but he’s certainly capable of being excellent for 40 games on the home stretch. He’s a big part – literally – if the Yankees are to hold onto a wildcard spot and even chase the Rays.

6. Don’t skip Tuesday’s opener, but the Red Sox had their chances in that one as well. Led 5-3 in the seventh, they completed the goals against Jonathan Loaisiga on three singles without a strike. It looked like the Yankees reliever pen was on the verge of collapsing late in the game, but Boone left Loaisiga in the game. Pinch hitter Travis Shaw hit a hard line – 100 mph – straight to the left fielder, and Loaisiga then fanned Enrique Hernandez and Renfroe for the two innings save. Chad Green closed the second game. But Loaisiga has been the team’s best reliever, and Boone will continue to use him late in games, whether it’s the eighth or the ninth inning. And it wouldn’t be surprising if the combination of Loaisiga and Green stays ahead of Aroldis Chapman on the closest chart when Chapman returns from IL.

7. The Red Sox made some intriguing defensive decisions with the return of Kyle Schwarber. Dalbec opened the first game on first base, despite his continuing difficulties at home. (And Shaw, who just claimed the waiver, started second.) Renfroe played center field in Game 1, while Jarren Duran started there in Game 2. Alex Verdugo played on the left and JD Martinez on the right in both games, with Schwarber in DH. Meanwhile, Hernandez, who had played excellent centerfield defense the first three months until Duran was called up, is now the second baseman.

Of course, the Red Sox have gone through all of their computers and found this alignment to be what they think is the most optimal; but they got worse in right field and worse in center field (at least if Renfroe is playing there) without solving the offensive problem at first base. They clearly feel, at least for now, more comfortable with Martinez in the outfield than Schwarber at first base – and there’s a reason Martinez has mostly been a DH in recent years.

8. The Red Sox offense hasn’t been that bad during that 8-14 streak, hitting 0.276 / 0.347 / 0.445 averaging 4.54 points per game. Not great; not terrible. They need Verdugo to add depth to the lineup. He only has two home runs in his last 50 games.

9. Rookie Garrett Whitlock – claimed from the Yankees in the offseason in the rule 5 draft – has been a paddock weapon all season for the Red Sox, but he’s now battled in two of his last three appearances . He made a blast save last week against the Rays, then suffered loss in Game 1 on Tuesday when he walked a few hitters and both came in to score. It might be nothing, but let’s see if he hits the wall a bit as he nears the 60 innings mark.

dix. So, yeah, a good day for the Yankees, but there’s still a lot of baseball to play. As Boone said, “Summary: It’s good that we’re in a position where we control what we do, we control our season, but we haven’t done anything yet. “

The other result: never, ever leave the Yankees for dead – as ready as you could have been to bury them on July 4th.

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.


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