Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It was easy to get lost in the blur of the drama on Tuesday night, as the Yankees edged the Red Sox, 3-2, on the strength of two Giancarlo Stanton home runs. This was May baseball at its most theatrical, after all.
But as the Yankees completed the remarkable accomplishment of pulling even with Boston after falling 7.5 games behind on April 20, two underlying factors suggested that the they could be on their way to dominating the summer.
Before the game, Sox manager Alex Cora slipped in the major news that David Price would not make his scheduled start on Wednesday. Price, who began this season with 14 consecutive scoreless innings before stumbling a bit, is essential to his team. If he is a top-of-the rotation starter, the Red Sox rotation is deep and formidable. If he is not, it is thin.
"We're going to gather all the information tomorrow and we'll get back to you guys," Cora said. "Hopefully he'll be back with us throughout the trip. To be honest we talked a little bit about it, the feeling is he's going to be back with us during the trip."
If Price does not return promptly, his team will be left with a major worry at a terrible time. The Yankees have already changed the entire season by erasing the Sox' 17-2 start and resetting the division race -- and they did it without much help from last year's National League MVP, who is in the process of reviving his season.
There has never been anything really wrong with Stanton. By all accounts, he's healthy, and he's the same person who hit 59 home runs less than 12 months ago. Early in his Yankee tenure, he appeared to be pressing, chasing too many pitches outside the strike zone. Rival evaluators predicted that the only real problem would come if Stanton continued to struggle deep into May, and get lost in his head for much of the season.
Aaron Boone has maintained that Stanton will be fine, because he is simply too talented. That is now proving true; look at at his numbers on May 9 -- .828 OPS and eight home runs -- and they're below expectations, but not terribly so. Not to mention that he slugged the Yankees to a win in their most important game of the young season, while Price was headed to the doctor.
Everything came up Red Sox in April, but May and beyond could belong to the Yanks.