**Sorry for the lame Judge pun, but everybody is doing it, and if I know anything about life, it's if you just use the excuse, "everybody is doing it", you actually can't get in trouble.**
Throughout the 4 game series at Fenway Red Sox pitching kept Yankees monster outfield (emphasis on monster) Aaron Judge pretty quiet offensively. Although he's the new Gary Sheffield, in the sense that I'm terrified he's going to hit a ball 800 feet every time he swings the bat, for the most part, the Red Sox pitching staff kept him at bay. Only one hit in the four game set (and it was a shitty infield single).
Then in the top of the 8th inning there was a 94% chance of that changing. David Price pitched very well all night, in a few spots he got in some trouble but he kept the Yanks off the scoreboard. Leading 3-0 in the top of the 8th with a man on first base, and 1 out David Price was at 103 pitches. In the broadcast the discussion was about whether or not Price should've been left in to face Aaron Judge.
First pitch, Aaron Judge gets a hold of it and takes the ball for a ride to the triangle in CF, the deepest part of Fenway. From that crack off the bat it looked like Judge just made this ballgame a hell of a lot more interesting, and gave critics a reason to pick apart David Price's otherwise brilliant start.
Then JBJ happened.
My immediate reaction after that play.
JBJ saves the day yet again. If he doesn't make that play the Red Sox 3-0 lead is a 3-2 lead, and this game is faaaar from over. The reaction from David Price is how do you say, priceless? (I'm a fucking loser)
I say this all the time and I'm sure being a Red Sox fan gives me a huge bias, but Jackie Bradley Jr is the best defensive outfielder in all of baseball. I don't even need to watch other teams to know that, there's no way another man can replicate what he does on a nightly basis. Even with this outstanding catch, given the circumstances in the game, he's still cool and collected AF, which to me makes what he does even more impressive. Anytime a fly ball is hit, if it isn't a HR it's probably an out with Benny, Mookie and JBJ. Together they cover a ton of ground. (Sound analysis by Ole Dozie, there) Jackie, covering the most. I know I just showed a highlight of the catch, but check it out again with all the sabermetric nerd, statcast shit. Look at how Jackie handles this ball. (lol)
If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times, the fact that Jackie Bradley Jr has never won a gold glove shows how irrelevant that award is. JBJ having 0 career Gold Gloves is like how Led Zeppelin has 0 Grammys.
When you watch this guy play center every night you'd think it'd make what he does routine, but it just makes you appreciate it more. You almost never see Jackie mess up on a play. I feel like his only errors are ever throwing errors. I swear every game I go to he makes at least one spectacular catch. He had a great sliding grab against the Tigers earlier this year at a game I was at, and a few years ago against the White Sox he made one of the best plays I've ever seen live, I was in the bleachers that game so I had a great view on this one.
There isn't a better defensive centerfielder in the majors than Jackie Bradley Jr. Maybe this will be the year he finally gets recognized for it. Given the circumstances of the previous two games, the Red Sox needed it last night. The difference between a split and losing 3 out 4 is huge, especially when it would've been three straight losses. JBJ made sure the Yankees weren't getting on the scoreboard. With the shutout by Red Sox pitching, the Yankees are the last team to get shut out this season. It should've happened Saturday during when Sale pitched 7 and 2/3 scoreless.
As for the game itself and series as a whole, despite just getting the split, I feel very confident going forward. You could say it was the Yankees pitching that kept the Red Sox in check, but I feel like it was a lot more of the entire offense being in a slump at the same times, the Sox are having one of the worst stretches of situational hitting in baseball history. They were like 2 for their last 53 with runners in scoring position. We all know this offense has it's limitations and has been really suspect all year, even against the worst pitching. Earlier this season they faced this pitcher on the Mariners, Christian Bergman who in his previous start gave up 10 earned runs in 4 innings, then he shutout out the Sox for 7 innings.
Red Sox starters as a whole actually pitched very well this series against one of the better lineups in the American League.
That's why I think the Red Sox have just a good of chance as anybody in the A.L. to make it to the Fall Classic. Best pitching in the American League. While it hurts to lose two of those games, especially with a start like the one Chris Sale had, if this offense can just be average those games are going to be wins more often than not. Jackie Bradley Jr is the best defensive CF I've ever seen and you know what? Let's end the blog with that catch from last night one final time.