Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Bronx Was Burning:
ARod Leads 14-Run Barrage Over Boston

Originally published 4/15/15

By Barry Millman
It took six games for the Bombers to live up to their nickname. But when they finally dropped their load, it made a hell of a bang.

Closing out a dismal opening week that saw them score just 17 runs in their first five games and playing before a national audience on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, the Yankees rocked Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz with a seven-run first-inning barrage and never looked back on their way to a 14-4 win.

The decisive blow was a three-run double by Alex Rodriguez that made it 4-0.  He later walked with the bases loaded to finish with four RBI to lead all hitters on the night.

His .300 batting average, six RBI and .417 OBP are tops among the team's starters. 

Chase Headley, Brian McCann and Stephen Drew homered, and every Yankee starter had at least one hit and crossed home plate to score at least one run. Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius, the only two starters who didn't drive in a run, scored three times between them.

Overall, the lineup hit 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Masahiro Tanaka looked  better in his second start, throwing a lot more fastballs and raising his velocity a couple of ticks, sitting 91-92 mph and hitting 93 on several of the 25 four-seamers he threw. 

He briefly lost command of his offspeed pitches in the fourth inning, throwing two wild pitches and walking two, and was victimized by a Stephen Drew throwing error, leading to a 38-pitch inning that dampened any hope for a deep start. But his final line of 5 IP, 3 ER, 4K 3BB was a step forward from his Opening Day meltdown and dropped his ERA by two runs.

After Tanaka's exit, relievers David Carpenter and Scranton callup Kyle Davies burnished the bullpen's stellar reputation with four combined scoreless innings of work to slam the door on any Boston hopes of a comeback. 

You can see the official box score here.

For a team that started the night with a single win and is about to hit the road for eleven days, it was about as good a getaway game as one could hope for.
And for a couple of hours, at least, it raised hope there could be more of the same to come.

2-4. 156 to go.

What's next: Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards  Monday, April 13  7:05 pm