Series Recap: Yankees sweep the Red Sox and move back into a playoff position
Well, what a difference a month makes. On the fourth of July the Yanks were a .500 baseball team, while the Red Sox had the best record in the A.L. Fast forward to now and the Yanks are a full game ahead of the Red Sox after completing a three-game sweep of their arch rivals in the Bronx. As usual, none of the three wins were easy and all three games seemed to be heading off the rails at one point or another. However, a win is a win and the Yanks just keep getting it done, improving their record to 23-9 since the All-Star break.
The first two games of this series were part of a day-night doubleheader (to the dismay of David Cone) and the Bombers wasted no time jumping on the Red Sox in game one. The Bronx kid himself, Andrew Velazquez, had the series of his life, and it all started with a clutch two run single in the 2nd to get the Yanks on the board. Gumby would soon give up three runs to put the Sox back ahead, but these new Yankees just don’t quit, and in the bottom of the fifth, a Luke Voit bloop single plated two, followed by a missile Giancarlo single that put the Yanks up 5-3. With Chapman still out for this game, the closer role was Johnny Lasagna’s, as he was summoned in the sixth to try and convert the six out save. And, SPOILER ALERT, it wasn’t easy, because why would it be with the 2021 Yankees. Johnny Las worked a picture perfect sixth, however decided to load the bases with no one out in a two-run game, yet somehow got out of it with a line out and two back-to-back punchouts to get the save, and the Yankees the opening win in the doubleheader 5-3.
The night cap of the doubleheader was a pitchers’ duel between former Yankee Nate Eovaldi and young gun Luis Gil, who continued his incredible start to his MLB career, as he has still not allowed a run through 15.2 innings of work. The offense for this one was provided by two swings of the bat, one by Luke Voit and the other by Giancarlo Stanton, solo shots that were more than enough to help the Yanks sweep the doubleheader 2-0 and tie the Sox in the standings for the time being. Gil went 4.2 of shutout ball, leaving him an out away from being eligible for the win. The closer in this game was Chad Green who worked a clean seventh and kept it surprisingly stress free for once.
GET YOUR BROOMS OUT.
There are several angles you could go at when you talk about this game. Yankees going for the sweep, Rizzo and Chapman back from the IL, Yankees can be a full game ahead in the Wild Card standings with a win after tonight. All of those are great storylines and extremely vital. With that being said though, tonight really wasn’t about any of that: tonight was about Andrew Heaney. If you would have told me Thursday night after the Field of Dreams game, that the HEAN DOG would go seven innings of two hit, one run ball against the vaunted Red Sox lineup and be the winning pitcher for game three of our three game sweep?!?!?!?!? I, along with basically every other Yankees fan, would have told you that you are crazy and to put the bottle down. Well pick the damn bottle up because that’s exactly what happened Wednesday night. Heaney was nothing short of incredible. He gave up a home run to Bogaerts in the first and was virtually unhittable after. It was one of the best starts from a Yankees pitcher all season considering the situation, and he deserves all the credit in the world. Another unsung hero who deserves all the credit is Andrew Velazquez, the kid from the Bronx living his dream playing for his favorite team he grew up loving. We all knew he was out there for his glove, but this dude just kept getting clutch hit after clutch hit all series. He nearly drove in as many runs himself (4) as the entire Red Sox roster (5) did this series. He was dynamite at the plate and he capped it off in the field making a phenomenal play to justtttt get the runner at first and complete the sweep. A truly marvelous weekend for AV, who will never forget it.
So, the Yanks will now host the lowly Minnesota Twins for a four-game set from the Stadium this weekend, and you don’t want to get too greedy, but that is a series you NEED at least three, ideally a sweep, as the Twins are beyond awful, especially after being sellers at the deadline.
It has been said at nauseam, but I am going to say it again; this is a different team and it is incomprehensible that this is the same team we have been watching all season. There were probably seven to ten enjoyable Yankee games the first few months of the season, and now every game feels fun, every game feels like we are going to come out on top…but I will say every game is still a three run or less game and our bullpen still gives me heart attacks on the daily, so it’s not COMPLETLELY different but you get what I am saying. This Yankees team is fun again, this Yankees team is winning again, and for the first time in months…this Yankees team is in a playoff spot if the season ended today.
Let’s Sweep the Twins.
Recap by: Matt LuzziFollow @mltlks