Bernie Williams played the National Anthem on his guitar, the Yankees took a first inning lead, and then it was all Boston.
The offense was silenced in a 4-1 loss to Boston on Friday night in the Bronx. Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge doubled to begin things for the Yankees. Then the Bombers were held to two hits for the rest of the game, including a bunt single by Chase Headley.
Doug Fister came into the game with a 3-7 record and 4.53 ERA but held the Yankees to one run over seven innings.
“I think it’s the late movement he has,” Joe Girardi said. “The movement going both ways, changing speeds.”
with Girardi adding that Fister “kept it off the barrel.”
Fister’s performance was proof that you don’t need to blow out a radar gun to win. And this wasn’t the first time the Yankees offense has sputtered on this homestand, which began with Seattle pitching limiting the Yankees to one run in 11 innings.
The Yankees scored seven runs in three losses to the Indians, with three coming in the final inning of a 9-4 loss.
And tonight, 27 of the final 30 batters were retired, with Fister dealing and Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel pitching 1-2-3 innings.
“Our rotation’s done a pretty good job but we’ve had some trouble scoring runs,” Girardi said. “And it’s going to be important down the stretch that we get some guys going.”
Judge drove in a run with a double in the first and flew out to the warning track in the eighth. “I thought Aaron’s at-bats were pretty good tonight,” Girardi said. “Hopefully that’s a sign of things to come, and we get some other guys going and we could score some runs.”
New York would prefer to save its best for last instead of scuffling at the plate and wasting good efforts from starting pitchers. Jaime Garcia was a tough-luck loser on Wednesday, giving up two runs in six innings. And Sonny Gray gave up four runs in seven innings tonight, although he was victimized by three home run balls.
The Yankees now trail the Red Sox by 5.5 games in the AL East. And Chris Sale is looming, even if the Yankees have had success against him this season.
It’s said that hitting is contagious, but it seems so is slumping. Gary Sanchez has had a tough week since the Detroit fight and was hitless in four at-bats on Friday. Todd Frazier has hit 21 homers in 2017 but is batting ninth in the order, and struck out in both at-bats on Friday.
And the Yankees had to watch Eduardo Nunez continue his resurgence in Boston as he delivered a two-run homer. Nunez is the last Yankee to hit a home run in the playoffs, a dinger he hit off Justin Verlander in Detroit in Game 3 of the 2012 ALCS.
The Yankees are trying to make it back to the postseason, but they’ll need the bats to come back to life.