Heading into the weekend, there was a sense that the four-game series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in Boston could provide some of the most compelling regular season matchups in recent memory.
With Aaron Judge recovering from a wrist injury and Gary Sanchez's heinous season put on hold for a quick trip to the disabled list as well, New York's offense has looked pedestrian at times. Boone said: "They hope it's a pain-free situation".
Astros 2, Dodgers 1: Justin Verlander struck out 14 over 7 2/3 innings and George Springer had a two-run double as Houston won at Los Angeles in the first game between the clubs since last fall's World Series. He walked the bases loaded, which meant reaching the major league RBI leader, J.D. Martinez, with two outs.
Red Sox: C Blake Swihart went on the 10-day DL due to a strained right hamstring. "Four home runs in two days, that's incredible". Jackie Bradley Jr. scored from first on a throwing error by third baseman Miguel Andujar to send the game into extra innings. First baseman Greg Bird was unable to scoop the short hop.
Manager Aaron Boone said Happ is no longer contagious.
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Boone insisted this is "a test", and that his team is united and tough-minded and will persevere and be made the better for it.
Fast forward, Boston suffered through losing campaigns in 2014 and 2015 but bounced back in 2016 with an American League East crown and 93-69 record. If so, and the Yankees end up facing the Red Sox in the AL Division Series, his answer to any questions before that series ought to be, "My crystal ball was shattered in August...no further comment". "And I'm not saying the Yankees need to start a fight by any means, but I'd love to see more fight, more action, more Paul O'Neill attitude and sometimes you want a guy in the room to stand up and not necessarily throw a chair, but get in somebody's face and show some emotion, some passion". Meanwhile, with five straight losses, New York's hold over the top spot in the wild-card standings is down to just 2.5 games over Oakland.
The Patriots spent a day at Fenway Park to enjoy some lawn games during their June minicamp, a nice break from the rigors of their on-field training. But the Red Sox are going historic - on a 113-win pace - while the Yanks are going the wrong way. "That's why I take my ground balls, just in case". The next assignment won't get any either, as he's slated to take on the Red Sox in Boston on Friday. No second-place team in the majors now trails the first-place club by more than the Yanks do the Red Sox.
Safe to say, the Yankees' weekend could not have possibly gone worse.
As devastating as this sweep was to the Yankees - especially given the gut-punching manner in which they lost the finale - they are trying hard to forget it in time for Monday night's series opener at the Chicago White Sox. If they felt an 0-2, backdoor sinker had intent, well the first pitch of the game went right at the head of the best player in baseball.