Yankees vs. Red Sox Score: Judge, Stanton strike big blows late as New York wins critical game against Boston

Aaron Judge New York Yankees
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The New York Yankees went into Boston and swept the Red Sox this weekend, tilting the AL wild card race in the process. The latest victory came Sunday night in a wild 6-3 decision on Sunday Night Baseball.. Let's break down what we saw and what it means. 

Yankees cough up lead with a case of the drops

Heading to the bottom of the seventh inning, it was a 2-1 Yankees lead and hadn't been all that exciting of a game. That all changed rather quickly. The Red Sox ended up tying it on a sac fly. Then, with two outs, Kyle Schwarber took the bat to pinch hit. He hit a lazy pop up in foul territory down the third-base line. Yankees third baseman D.J. LeMahieu dropped it, giving him new life. He ended up hitting a pretty routine fly ball to left field that should have ended the inning, but Joey Gallo dropped that and it scored the go-ahead run. 

And the craziness was just getting started. 

Red Sox return the favor and then Yankees drop the hammer

In the top of the eighth, an Anthony Rizzo double put the Yankees in position to take the lead with runners on second and third and one out. Aaron Judge stepped to the plate. He also hit a lazy pop up, this one down the first-base line, but Red Sox first baseman Bobby Dalbec whiffed and gave Judge new life. Judge then appeared to strike out, but catcher Christian Vazquez dropped the ball and that gave Judge a third life of the at-bat. He then scorching a double to left center, giving the Yankees back the lead, this time 4-3. 

And then Giancarlo Stanton hit his third huge home run of the series. 6-3 Yankees. 

Controversial dropped third strike call? 

Here's what happened on the would-be third strike to Judge: 

Rule 5.05 (2) says the hitter is still alive if: "The third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing (1) first base is unoccupied, or (2) first base is occupied with two out." In this case, Judge got a piece of the ball, so it was simply a foul ball. The only thing we really have to go on here is "not caught." It's tough to judge it in slow motion, but it certainly seems like there's a case to be made that "caught" instead of "not caught" was the case here before Vazquez dropped the ball when he went to grab it with his bare hand to throw it back to the pitcher. 

Regardless, the Stanton homer makes the discussion a touch less relevant, in addition to being able to say Dalbec should've already caught the ball to retire Judge. 

Good Yankees pitching

Starter Jordan Montgomery allowed just one run in his five innings. Clay Holmes struck out all three hitters he faced in just 11 pitches. Chad Green got through his 1 2/3 innings without giving up an earned run and we should point out one of the three Red Sox runs came after two defensive drops. 

Wild card fallout

The Yankees now hold the top wild card spot in the American League with the Red Sox being one game back. The Blue Jays and Mariners both won on Sunday, too, which means they creep just a bit closer to the final spot. The Athletics are technically still alive, too. Here's a snapshot: 

  • Yankees, 89-67, +1
  • Red Sox, 88-69, --
  • Blue Jays, 87-69, 1 game back
  • Mariners, 86-70, 2 GB
  • A's, 85-71, 3 GB

The Blue Jays host the Yankees for three games to start the last week of the season. The Mariners host the A's for three games as well. That's all kinds of fun. Meanwhile, the Red Sox should be able to recover, as they face the Orioles. 

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The Yankees have swept the Red Sox in Boston and now hold the top wild card by one game. The Red Sox are in the second wild card spot with the Blue Jays one game back, the Mariners two back and A's three back. The Yankees and Blue Jays play each other this week. So do the Mariners and A's. The good news for the Red Sox is they only have to deal with the Nationals and Orioles this coming week, though they better take care of business. This is a crowded field. 

September 27, 2021, 2:56 AM
@RedSox via Twitter
September 27, 2021, 2:56 AM

Red Sox last chance here with Alex Verdugo, Christian Vazquez and then the top of the order against Aroldis Chapman, who has certainly had his issues at times this season 

September 27, 2021, 2:44 AM

and Giancarlo Stanton with another smash. He's hit one every game this series. It's now 6-3 Yankees. 

September 27, 2021, 2:11 AM

"the third strike called by the umpire is not caught, providing (1) first base is unoccupied, or (2) first base is occupied with two out."

That was caught, I firmly believe. Of course, Bobby Dalbec also missed a pop up in foul territory earlier in the at-bat  

September 27, 2021, 2:10 AM

oh good lord! Aaron Judge appeared to be struck out, but catcher Christian Vazquez dropped the ball on the transfer from his glove to his bare hand to throw the ball back to the pitcher. And then Judge crushes a double in the gap to put the Yankees back on top, 4-3. I'm gonna have to find the rule, but that certainly appears to be a bad call by the umpire to extend the at-bat. 

September 27, 2021, 2:08 AM

the action isn't slowing down. Urshela walked and pinch runner Tyler Wade came in. Wade tried to steal second, but slowed up and didn't even slide until he fell down while being tagged out. LeMahieu walked and Rizzo doubled so now it's second and third with one out for Judge. The Red Sox are bringing in Adam Ottavino

September 27, 2021, 2:00 AM

oh my word. Schwarber tried to fly out to end the inning but Joey Gallo dropped it and Verdugo scored. Then Schwarber was thrown out at second to end the inning. Looks like the run scored in time so it'll be 3-2 Red Sox when we start the eighth. My oh my. 

September 27, 2021, 1:45 AM

file this one away. Kyle Schwarber just hit a lazy pop in foul territory and DJ LeMahieu dropped it. New life for Schwarber with a chance to give the Red Sox the lead 

September 27, 2021, 1:43 AM

A sacrifice fly from Christian Vazquez has tied the game. Aaron Judge threw the ball home and it wasn't very close, meanwhile Alex Verdugo on second base should have taken third due to the throw going home. Instead, he stayed at second. Having that go-ahead runner on third base with one out would've been huge. Big missed opportunity there is the subhead following the "Red Sox tie the game" headline. 

September 27, 2021, 1:37 AM

it's now a moot point with the wild pitch advancing the runners to second and third. No out. Red Sox trail 2-1. Bottom seven. Getting exciting! 

September 27, 2021, 1:34 AM

a Jose Iglesias single was followed by a drag bunt single from Alex Verdugo and the Red Sox are in business. Everyone who has heard much of A-Rod in the ESPN booth knows he's now clamoring for another bunt. 

September 27, 2021, 1:32 AM

Yankees reliever Clay Holmes just struck out the side with 11 pitches. Fine work. He's been such a huge pickup (they got him from the Pirates at the trade deadline). 

September 27, 2021, 1:13 AM

Wow, what a tease job by the Red Sox. They had two runners on with two outs for Rafael Devers. He cracked one to deep right center, but Aaron Judge caught it on the warning track to end the threat. 2-1 Yankees through five innings. 

September 27, 2021, 12:59 AM
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