Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

5 takeaways from Yankees-Red Sox Round 1

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It’s only one of 19, but the Boston Red Sox certainly made a statement in their first game against the New York Yankees this season.

In a marquee matchup between two teams expected to compete for the American League East title, the Red Sox came out on top in a 14-1 drubbing of their longtime rivals.

Here are five takeaways from the blowout.

Sale was electric

The Yankees were built to feast on left-handed pitching this season, but they struggled against the best southpaw in the American League.

Chris Sale was dominant. He allowed one run off eight hits while striking out eight. He fanned Giancarlo Stanton twice on seven pitches before allowing a single to the reigning NL MVP in the fifth. Sale attacked Stanton with high fastballs, getting four swings-and-misses in the first two at-bats.

Sale also overmatched Gary Sanchez, inducing a groundout and a pop-up – and striking him out swinging with a nasty slider that broke across the plate and landed behind the Yankee catcher.

The only Yankee that really got to Sale was Aaron Judge. The reigning AL Rookie of the Year went 0-for-12 with 10 strikeouts off Sale last season before going 3-for-3 with a 444-foot home run to dead center Tuesday night. The 116.3-mph blast was the hardest home run ever hit off the Red Sox ace.

The other Big 3

While all the talk heading into the season was about Sanchez, Judge, and Stanton, it was a Red Sox trio that stole the show Tuesday.

Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi, and Hanley Ramirez combined to go 8-for-9 with nine RBIs, eight runs, and four walks. The trio reached base in 12 of their 13 plate appearances. New addition J.D. Martinez went 1-for-4 with a two-RBI double.

Betts battled a sore wrist through most of last year, but he’s completely healthy and locked in to start the season. He now owns an eight-game hitting streak where he’s gone 15-for-30 with 13 runs, seven extra-base hits, six RBIs, and two strikeouts.

Severino tipping pitches?

After two dominant outings to start the season, Yankees starter Luis Severino didn’t look like himself against the Red Sox. The hard-throwing right-hander surrendered five runs off eight hits and three walks in just five innings as Boston’s hitters appeared to pick up on something.

The ESPN broadcast showed Severino extending his hands in the second inning before throwing his pitches, which could have been one reason the Red Sox scored four in the first two frames. Severino previously worked with Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Pedro Martinez to avoid tipping pitches and attempted to make his delivery more deceptive. He settled down after the second, allowing just one run over the next three innings.

“I don’t know if I was tipping or they saw something, but the game is not the time to work on that,” Severino said postgame, according to Bryan Hoch of “I need to maybe go to the bullpen or see video, and see what’s going on.”

Severino posted a 3.33 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in four starts against the Red Sox last season.

Stanton still looks lost

After an impressive two-homer debut in pinstripes, Stanton’s slumped. He entered Tuesday’s game 4-for-39 (.103) with 21 strikeouts and one home run over the nine games since Opening Day.

Despite losing most of his battles with Sale, he did manage to hit a double in the late stages of the game off Red Sox reliever Brian Johnson – the first extra-base hit for Stanton since April 4. Though there’s little doubt Stanton will turn things around, his Yankees debut at Fenway Park certainly didn’t go the way he hoped.

Yankees’ bullpen continues to struggle

The Yankees’ bullpen was expected to be a major strength this season, but the relievers have stumbled out of the gate.

When Severino left, the Yankees were trailing by four runs, meaning the game was still in reach for a team with so much firepower.

Heading into Tuesday, New York’s relievers owned a 5.50 ERA. Things only got worse when they were tagged for nine runs (three earned) against the Red Sox, all in the sixth inning. Tommy Kahnle walked three batters and surrendered five runs, and Chasen Shreve served up a grand slam to Betts.

Yankees relievers have allowed 53 runs (45 earned) over 96 innings this season.

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