Break out the brooms, again!
Sox bash Cole; 6-0 vs. Yanks this year
The Red Sox had already done the job this weekend by taking the first two games and another series win over the Yankees, but they clearly weren’t satisfied.
On Sunday, the Red Sox made another statement that this is a brand new twist in the rivalry.
After two consecutive seasons of being dominated by the Yankees, the Red Sox have ripped away full control. It started earlier this month, when they scored a three-game sweep to end their hex at Yankee Stadium, and it continued this weekend at Fenway Park. On a warm afternoon, the Red Sox overmatched Yankees ace Gerrit Cole early and never looked back in a complete 9-2 victory to finish another sweep.
In 2019 and 2020, the Red Sox went a combined 6-23 against the Yankees, but they’ve flipped the script. They’re now 6-0 against their rivals this season, sweeping them in consecutive series for the first time since 2011.
“I think the statement is we’re here to win,” said Garrett Whitlock, the former Yankees farmhand who the Red Sox selected in last year’s Rule 5 draft. “This isn’t just another year for the Red Sox. We have a competitive team and we’re trying to go out there to win every single day and we believe we can win every single day.”
The Red Sox (47-31) retook first place in the American League East by a half game over the Rays, who lost to the Angels on Sunday. In the process, they sent the Yankees, who had entered this weekend as winners of seven of their previous nine games, back to earth, falling to fourth place, 6 1/2 games back of first.
“That’s a serious punch in the mouth,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
This one, surprisingly, was rarely in doubt.
The Red Sox never looked afraid against Cole, who the Yankees made the highest paid pitcher in baseball history in 2019. Kiké Hernandez took the right-hander deep on his first pitch of the game, and Rafael Devers soon followed with a threerun blast as he smashed Cole’s 100 mph fastball 451 feet into the bleachers.
Cole ultimately allowed three homers and a seasonhigh six runs, and matched his shortest start of the year as he lasted just five innings in one of his worst outings of the season.
“Everyone was aware of the importance of this game,” Cole said. “It’s a pretty brutal feeling to let the team down like that.”
Eduardo Rodriguez looked more like an ace, as he completed six innings and allowed two runs while allowing no walks to continue a string of encouraging turns. He pitched a shutout until the sixth, when Aaron Judge hammered a poorly thrown fastball to Lansdowne Street for a two-run homer.
The Yankees threatened again in the seventh as
Whitlock relieved a struggling Darwinzon Hernandez. Whitlock walked pinchhitter Gary Sanchez to load the bases but bounced back to strike out D.J. LeMahieu and got Judge to pop out to end the inning, yet another huge moment for the rookie.
The Red Sox rolled from there. The 34,504 at Fenway chanted, “Sweep! Sweep!” in the ninth as they sent their rivals packing.
“All around, probably the best series we played the whole season,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We played great defense, ran the bases well, we put pressure on them and got timely hitting. …
“It was a good weekend, obviously against a division opponent at home, that’s something we talked about before the season started and we did a good job against them.”
There’s still obviously lots of season left and 13 more games against the Yankees to play, but the Red Sox were relishing this weekend a little more given the opponent. Even Whitlock, normally reserved and who’s only been part of the rivalry for two series, knew it meant a little more.
And they want more. “Any time we get a win against anybody, it’s great,” Whitlock said. “But then obviously, with the history between the Red Sox and Yankees, you love to beat the Yankees any chance you get. To take six of them so far this year, hopefully we take a lot more than just six.”