The next season was the same spring song and dance with regards to his body, only this time, Sandoval lasted just three games before a shoulder strain turned into season-ending surgery (though in that span, he did manage to break his belt on a swing). The Yankees get an opportunity to chip into their bitter rival's 3 1/2-game lead atop the division when they visit the Red Sox on Friday night in the opener of a four-game series.
Is this the best option for the Red Sox? Boston will be looking to improve their standing in the ultra-competitive AL East and walk out of the series with a lead larger than 3.5 games.
Deven Marrero also put together a string of good at-bats before the break - he went 9-for-20 (.450) with a.955 OPS and seven runs in eight games - and Rafael Devers looks could soon be knocking on the door, too. It will take pressure on both Barnes and Kelly, and we all know to win in October, you need a dominating bullpen.
Sanchez's monstrous two-run homer, which landed on Lansdowne Street beyond the Green Monster seats in leftfield, highlighted a three-run fifth that gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead. One problem is the lack of oomph - only 92 home runs, last in the league, compared to the Rays (133) and Yankees (132).
Puig's blast to center field at Marlins Park lifted the Dodgers to their seventh straight win with a 6-4 victory.
Check out Katie's Yankeemetrics post for more fun with numbers.
The Red Sox had been 0-38 this season when trailing entering the ninth. I'd ask for specific good fortune for Eduardo Rodriguez. It was Sanchez's 14th homer. That has been enough for a stingy pitching staff that has led the team to an ERA of 3.82, fourth best in the Major League Baseball and second best in the AL.
Wasn't the Fourth of July a wonderful day, Red Sox fans? "When you look at when we've taken off, it's really with them at third base". It's hard to see this offense as anything less than potent, but they're still waiting to truly break out. It may not be the top priority for the Red Sox, but the rumors may become more relevant before July 31.
By several measures, Sale has been the best pitcher in baseball this year. He's now sitting on a 4.75 ERA (97 ERA+) in 119.1 IP, and he has allowed 4+ ER in 7 of his 19 starts (and 3 ER in 6 more).
Pivetta was coming off his two best outings of the season. T.J. Rivera and Michael Conforto each homered as the Mets provided deGrom with plenty of run support, but the pitcher helped his own cause with a pair of singles and one RBI. Price is 4-2 with a 3.91 ERA. He missed almost two months, so that's understandable - but he didn't look like the Price of old a year ago, either. It's the open sore on the bottom of the Red Sox' foot that has been continuously neglected. NY entered tied for the major league lead with 17 blown saves. On the flip side, Chase Headley is 2-for-14 with six strikeouts and Matt Holliday 1-for-6 (with a homer) against Pomeranz.