The Yankees entered this rivalry series 4 games back in the hunt for the AL’s second wild card, with three teams ahead of them for the final spot.
They dropped the first game 9-4, as rookie Shane Greene allowed 6 earned runs in the first 3 innings. Greene has been excellent for this team, but if he continues to struggle as he has of late, the losses will pile up. This is not a Yankees team with the offensive firepower to return from a 6-0 deficit.
On Wednesday night, it was Hiroki Kuroda who once again proved he is a legitimate stopper in the rotation. Criticized for his lack of stamina this season, Kuroda threw 95 pitches while allowing just 1 earned run in 7 innings. He struck out 8 Red Sox, and the power duo of Dellin Betances and David Robertson closed the door, sealing a 5-1 New York
The series came down to Thursday’s rubber mGiven how closely the 2014 New York Yankees
have walked the line between contention and irrelevance, it would not be surprising if their season came down to one hanging splitter.
That ill-fated splitter was thrown by Koji Uehara of the last place Boston Red Sox
, and deposited into the second deck by Mark Teixeira to tie the series rubber match at 4 runs apiece late Thursday night. Two batters later, Chase Headley cranked another Uehara pitch out of the stadium, sending the Bronx into a frenzy as the Bombers walked off.
Headley, a midseason addition by General Manager Brian Cashman, perfectly embodies this team. He is not the most gifted athlete, but he plays hard every day and manages to perform in the most important circumstances, a game the Red Sox played only for pride while the Yankees fought to keep their postseason aspirations alive. It looked bad early, as ageless slugger David Ortiz slugged two home runs early off Chris Capuano, his 31st and 32nd of the season. But Derek Jeter’s two-run double in the third kept the game tight, and set the stage for Teixeira and Headley’s last minute fireworks display.
In a season of ups and downs for the New York Yankees
, extended winning streaks have been hard to come by. Perhaps this latest excitement will jump start this team and its fan base, propelling them to a much-needed series win against the Kansas City Royals. That three game series begins Friday night, as James Shields takes on Michael Pineda.
Despite the series win, the Yankees remain 4 games behind Detroit, and 3.5 games behind Seattle in the wild card chase.
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