For the first time this season, the rival Yankees and Red Sox squared off Friday night in Yankee Stadium. It went relatively fast as far as this rivalry goes, thanks to not many runs being scored and those that did were all on home runs. The Yankees won, 5-1 (box score). It was pretty uneventful after the fourth with very few threats by either team to score until Brett Gardner's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth gave a little extra breathing room. Let's take a look at some things that stood out in this one.
Judge on a power streak
In the bottom of the third, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge went deep to give the Bombers the lead, 2-1.
This is the third straight game Judge has parked one. We know he can hit them in bunches and it would behoove opposing pitchers to stay away from him. Then again, the order is so stacked it's really impossible to figure out exactly who to pitch to. This is the sixth time in Judge's career he's gone deep in three games in a row. He's never done it four straight games (via James Smyth), so that's something to watch for Saturday.
Yankees lefty Jordan Montgomery has been sidelined since the middle of the 2018 season due to having Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in his elbow. Friday night marked his first start back. He looked really good. Sure, there were blips, but there pretty much always will be. He was throwing noticeably harder than pre-surgery and worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run (a solo Michael Chavis homer) on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He also hit a batter, but some timely double plays -- including a flyout to Aaron Judge in which Kevin Pillar wandered too far off first and paid for it dearly -- got him out of trouble when needed.
Weber not missing bats
Red Sox starter Ryan Weber has now gone seven innings on this young season. He still hasn't struck anyone out. He does, however, have seven walks. He has an 11.57 ERA. This is a good illustration of just how thin the Red Sox rotation is after trading David Price, losing Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery, Rick Porcello to free agency (though he was awful last year) and Eduardo Rodriguez being out due to the virus.
The Yankees are who we thought they were
Heading into the season, nearly everyone in the baseball world predicted the Yankees to win the AL East. Many have them taking the AL pennant and many still have them winning their 28th World Series championship. Small sample? For sure, but so far, so good. The Yankees are now 5-1, sporting the best record in baseball.
So are the Red Sox
It wasn't nearly as much a consensus as the Yankees in first nationwide, but our entire staff had the Red Sox finishing fourth in the AL East. I didn't have them as a playoff team even with the expanded postseason field. Their pitching staff is in tatters. They are now 3-5 and have lost a series to the lowly Orioles.