The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees can no longer be considered a rivalry. At least, not this season. Through seven games, the contests between the two storied franchises of Major League Baseball have been decidedly one-sided and Friday’s contest only extended that trend. With their 4-2 victory, the Red Sox went to 5-2 against the New York Yankees this season, continuing their dominion over their supposed rival.
Although the score suggests a spirit of competitiveness in the contest, there was not a single play of the game in which the Red Sox had a lesser chance of winning than the Yankees. It was an impressive achievement that began with starting pitcher Felix Doubront retiring the first three batters of the game and continued with Jacoby Ellsbury hitting a solo home run in the first Red Sox at-bat of the game.
After Ellsbury’s home run, the Red Sox had a 64.1 percent chance of winning the game, and the team spent the rest of the contest making good on that promise. The Red Sox added two more runs in the second inning, thanks to a two-run blast by Jonny Gomes, which took their lead to 3-0 and their win expectancy to 80.9 percent.
During the middle innings, the Yankees seemingly attempted a comeback, but even with the runs the Yankees scored in the fourth and fifth innings that cut into the Red Sox lead, they were still not in control at any point.
The Red Sox were able to maintain their edge due to the pitching of Doubront, who only allowed two runs, one of which was unearned, in 6.3 innings for a stellar game ERA of 1.42. Doubront did walk too many batters, three of the 24 he faced, but he recovered by striking out five Yankees batters and only giving up three hits. His ability to overcome his deficiencies led him to post a win probability added of 0.227.
Red Sox relief pitchers who followed Doubront also pitched well, not surrendering a single run during their 2.7 innings of work.
Finally, the Red Sox really put the game away for good in the top of the eighth inning that followed a Jose Iglesias RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, which gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead and a win expectancy of 86.2 percent. During the eighth inning, with reliver Craig Breslow on the mound, the Yankees did manage to get runners on second and third bases after a Robinson Cano double. However, Breslow quickly shut the door on the Yankees offense by retiring the next two batters and ending the inning.
From that moment, the Red Sox coasted to a victory.
The Yankees have two more cracks at the Red Sox to try to reverse their fortunes, but if the last seven games between the clubs are any indication, the Yankees will find gaining the upper hand a difficult task.