At this point, I’m wondering if there’s anything Matt Carpenter can’t do. The man just can’t stop hitting home runs as a pair tonight brought his season total to 13 in just 30 games. His seven RBI plus a multi-homer play from Aaron Judge and a stellar bounce-back pitching performance from Jameson Taillon propelled the Yankees to an all-out win over the Red Sox, 14-1.
Taillon went to the mound to stop the Yankees’ skid and turn his own fortunes after throwing to an 8.57 ERA in his last four games. He apparently didn’t realize that Rafael Devers is A) very good at baseball and B) hitting every ball Yankees pitchers throw in the out-of-park zone because he grooved a mid-mid curveball first pitch that Devers blasted to the right to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead early on.
The Yankees really got to work in the bottom half against a shaky looking Nick Pivetta. They filled the bases with an out thanks to a Judge single, an Anthony Rizzo double and a Giancarlo Stanton walk. Josh Donaldson finished the game with a soft RBI groundout and immediately allayed fears of a repeat from last night when the Yankees failed to hit a run with loaded bases in both the ninth and tenth innings.
That was just an appetizer for the main course: a mammoth three-bomb to the right of Carpenter to cash in on the work of the players in front of him to get to base. It was his 12th home run in 88 plate appearances as a Yankee, which is better than one home run per 7.5 PA clip, and more importantly, it gave New York a 4-1 lead.
Taillon calmed down after that nervous first inning and eliminated the next 17 batters he faced in the first after Xander Bogaert’s one-out single. He hit the side in the second and was generally much keener at ordering his pitches to the edges of the zone.
It was a little surprising that Taillon was picked after just 79 pitches, given the effortless way he carved his way through the Red Sox roster. However, I also understand that after his recent rocky stretch he’s gotten a good start on the books to carry him through the break and hopefully into the second half. Taillon’s end line: six innings, two hits, one run, and five strikeouts on 79 pitches.
It certainly helps to pitch with a lead, and the Yankees hitters made sure it would stay that way throughout the game. Judge led from fifth place with his 32nd home run of the year and extended the Yankees’ lead to 5-1.
As it turned out, that was just the prelude to another fireworks display from Carpenter. Rizzo and Stanton each hit a single and a double, allowing Carpenter to hit his second three-run home run of the game, this time a wall-scraping Yankee Stadium short porch special to make it 8-1, Yankees.
Apparently Judge wasn’t in the mood to be outdone tonight. He blasted his second home run of the game in the next inning — a two-barrel shot to the left after DJ LeMahieu started a walk. And as if to say to Carpenter, “Anything you can do, I can do better,” that final blast went a whopping 444 feet into the visiting bullpen and gave the Yankees another double-digit offensive break, 10-1.
Judge has now tied franchise home run king Roger Maris for the most pre-All-Star break home runs in Yankees history at 33.
The Bombers had one final outburst up their sleeve in game eight. Carpenter went bases loaded for his seventh RBI of the night and got the first yankee since Joe DiMaggio in 1940 with multiple seven RBI games in a season. He is that too second bat in modern times with over 1,000 through his first 20 starts in a season after Barry Bonds. Isiah Kiner-Falefa ended the goal with a two-run single to truly insult injury at 14-1.
Congratulations also to current Scranton Shuttle veteran Ryan Weber, who played goalless in the last three innings and salvaged his first big league career.
That’s exactly how you react to a frustrating loss in the first game of the series, and exactly the kind of win you want to snag with a mini sled. The Yankees will battle for the series win in tomorrow afternoon’s first-half final, with Gerrit Cole set to take on Chris Sale. The first pitch is scheduled for 1:35pm ET, so join the game thread.