It might be just the second game out of the All-Star break, but it might have been the biggest win of the season for the New York Yankees. The Yanks lost their first game of the second half to the Boston Red Sox 4-2 with another lackluster performance from their offense. It also put them seven games back in the AL East standings. A loss today would have put them eight out and on the verge of being swept by the first place team in the East.
But Hiroki Kuroda would have none of that, shutting down the high-powered Red Sox hitting lineup, only giving up two runs in seven strong innings. Kuroda was helped out with two Red Sox runners being gunned down at home, but he was what he has been all season long: outstanding. Kuroda has been a stopper the whole year; when the Yankees are in a slide, albeit only one game this time, he has come to the mound and put them in a position to win the game.
Did this win save the Yankees season? It has yet to be determined, but it was a win that they needed badly. It wasn’t one of the prettiest games, a lot of base-running blunders were involved, but it was a win nonetheless. Kuroda got the win, David Robertson got the hold and Mariano Rivera got the save; just the way manager Joe Girardi would have scripted it. It also puts the Yankees in position to win the series, which would be a great start to the second half of the season, especially facing the rival Red Sox.