NEW YORK — The Red Sox rode into New York playing for nothing but paychecks, pride and the opportunity to convince anyone watching that they might be worthy of roster spots on a major league team next year.
The Yankees were playing like a team that’s going somewhere.
Their red-hot offense finally cooled off Wednesday, when they had entered having scored 90 runs in 10 games, but their pitching staff held the Red Sox to just 16 hits in three games, including just five hits Thursday, when the Yankees picked up a 2-1 victory thanks to a go-ahead home run from Jacoby Ellsbury.
Ellsbury has largely been a disappointment in New York, where he’s made about $21 million a year since the start of 2014. Playing in just his 61st game of the season, he entered with a pedestrian .277 average and .712 OPS, but demolished a seventh-inning breaking ball from Red Sox rookie Eduardo Rodriguez to ensure the Yankees with a series victory.
Rodriguez had been fooling the Yankees with his off-speed offerings in the early portion of the game, when he allowed just one run on an RBI double from Alex Rodriguez in the third inning. Then he turned to his heater as the game went on and the Yankees could do little against it.
By the seventh, he was still throwing 95 mph when he struck out Brendan Ryan to begin the inning. But Ellsbury connected on a hanging slider for his fifth homer of the season and just his 21st in two years as a Yankee.
Rodriguez finished seven innings while allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out five.
Two runs was enough as the Yankees continued their dominant pitching performances in the series. After Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino impressed in the first two games, it was CC Sabathia who delivered a vintage performance from the mound Thursday, looking nothing like the pitcher who has a 5.34 ERA and instead slicing through the feeble Red Sox’ lineup in six innings of work.
The 35-year-old Sabathia, who hasn’t thrown a pitch above 94 mph since 2013, according to BrooksBaseball.net, struck out David Ortiz with the bases loaded on a fifth-inning sinker that registered at 94 mph. Sabathia struck out eight, allowing just one run on a two-out single by Rusney Castillo earlier in the inning.
The Red Sox put up a chance in the ninth against …Read More