Friday night in Fenway Park, two of the AL wild card contenders and two of baseball's biggest rivals squared off. It was a one-sided affair pretty much from the get-go. The Yankees beat the Red Sox, 8-3. Here are the takeaways both from this game and the wild-card implications across the American League.
Cole dominated for five
This was a pitching matchup between the players I ranked second and third, respectively, in the AL Cy Young race Friday morning. One of them performed like it on Friday, at least for more than half the game. Yankees ace Gerrit Cole got through five scoreless innings before allowing a three-run homer to Rafael Devers in the bottom of the sixth. Overall, giving up three runs in six innings isn't a huge outing, but it was enough to gain the victory here and ultimately that's all that matters. One starter gave his team a chance to win this one. The other ...
Eovaldi totally roughed up
Red Sox All-Star Nathan Eovaldi likely didn't inspire much confidence here in a possible audition to face the Yankees in a wild card game or even a game 163 playoff to get to the wild card. Eovaldi couldn't get through the third inning after allowing seven hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. He gave up seven runs, six of which were earned. It wasn't a bunch of fluky stuff, either. He got hit hard, giving up two doubles and a home run. He got only three swings and misses.
The big blow of the night for the Yankees offense was a three-run shot from Giancarlo Stanton:
AL wild card race update
It's not just the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL wild card race. The Blue Jays entered the night just one game behind the Yankees and the Mariners were only two back (the A's are four back but need a miracle at this point, so we'll leave them out). With this win, the Yankees pull to within one game of the Red Sox for the top spot while simultaneously pulling the Red Sox back closer to missing out on the playoffs.
The Blue Jays, however, appear to have missed an opportunity so far in Minnesota. They've now lost their first two games of the series to the last-place Twins. The Mariners kept pace with a win over the Angels and have now caught the Blue Jays. Here is how things stand right now.
- Red Sox, 88-66, +1
- Yankees, 87-67 --
- Blue Jays, 85-69, 2 GB
- Mariners, 85-69, 2 GB
As such, we have four teams within three games of each other fighting for two playoffs spots with barely over one week left.