Monday, July 2, 2018
Yankees-Red Sox in 2018: No Mercy, No Edge
Okay, before we go any further, allow me this one thing.
AARON. FREAKING. HICKS!!!!!!
Okay. Back to this previously unbiased post.
I was going to say that for the first time in recent history, Yankees-Red Sox hasn't really been a month-by-month handoff of 1st place. It's not really a 'well, the Sox are great in June, but they lose 7 games and the Yankees have a 6 game lead for a week in July' kind of season. And no, I'm not gonna say something like 'this is the closest they've ever been to each other', because...in 2003 and 2004, they were within clawing distance forever. But...not only are both teams fantastic, but neither one can overpower the other for very long. Most of the season has consisted of both teams either tied for first, or within 1 game of each other. It's been close the entire time, to the point where 1st and 2nd places are honestly just temporary distinctions at this point.
Right now, as both teams round the All Star break, it's looking like Boston has the edge on All Star starters; J.D. Martinez is a lock at DH, and with the incredible home-run hitting (and average) season he's having, I won't dispute it, even if Giancarlo Stanton's also a candidate (I surmise he might sneak onto the reserve roster); Mookie Betts is leading all outfielders in votes, over the 2 million mark, and again, as he's having his best season yet, I'm not arguing. Aaron Judge is also 3rd in outfield voting, which means he's getting in, even if, truth be told, he may not deserve it as much as he did in 2017. Gary Sanchez is close in voting to Wilson Ramos, but with Gary's recent injury, it's not happening. And while ASG-wise, Boston has more players leading the league, the Yankees' stars have outvoted the Red Sox' stars in 5 categories, regardless of the fact that they won't get the nod. I will surmise, though, that the Red Sox will nominate more pitchers (as Sale, Kimbrel and Porcello all deserve it, and unless Betances keeps his streak going, I don't see anyone other than Chapman and Sevvy getting on).
Things are so even, but in a very respectfully competitive way. It's not bloodthirsty like it was in 2003-4. Bench coaches aren't getting pummeled yet. Unless someone does break away in the next few months, we may be getting this til the end. I don't know if we'll need a 1978-esque playoff game to settle it, but...we're gonna need more than just regulation, I think.
Coming Tonight: The big hip rookie from Washington, doing all the homer-bashing and average-hitting that Bryce Harper apparently can't do this year.