BOSTON — A new age manager, Alex Cora relishes the opportunity presented by bullpen games.
So with David Price scratched (wrist), Cora opted to go the opener route, handing the ball to freshly-signed reliever Jhoulys Chacin.
It couldn’t have gone any better. The Red Sox ‘pen was dynamite, and they knocked the Yankees off in last night’s series opener, 6-1.
Here are five takes from a mostly dry evening at Fenway Park:
1. Welcome, Jhoulys
Designated for assignment by the Brewers last month, Chacin hadn’t pitched since July, but his first appearance in Boston was quite impressive. The veteran threw two perfect innings, striking out Aaron Judge, Didi Gregrorius, Gary Sanchez and Edwin Encarnacion.
Just as we all expected, right?
2. ‘Pen follows suit
From there the next six relievers were just about lights out, too.
Josh Taylor, Marcus Walden, Ryan Weber, Darwinzon Hernandez and Bobby Poyner all threw scoreless innings. Andrew Cashner gave up the lone run, a solo homer in the fifth, but the Yankees couldn’t get any traffic on the bases for most of the night. They finished with just three hits.
3. Celebrates in style
On his 34th birthday, Mitch Moreland curled a three-run shot around Pesky’s Pole to open the scoring in the fourth. It was his first homer in almost a month, and just his second since returning from the injured list in July, but Moreland knew it was gone right off the bat.
4. Bogey-Devers double
Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers entered last night tied for the league lead with 48 doubles. They exited still tied, but one closer to 50, as they each hit a two-bagger off the Green Monster.
Bogaerts’ was particularly lethal, as it drove in a pair of insurance runs.
5. Try again tomorrow?
Though it worked to perfection last night, it’ll be interesting to see how the Red Sox relievers respond this afternoon. With no starter available, Cora is going with another bullpen game, and it’ll be significantly tougher given the strain of back-to-back outings in less than 24 hours.
Follow Chris Mason on Twitter at @ByChrisMason