Yankees’ Juan Soto played some mind games in the Dodgers’ 11-inning win

NEW YORK – Shohei Ohtani’s dog may be called a “decoy,” but Juan Soto was the real decoy on Friday night.

The Supersonic player was kept out of the lineup after discomfort in his left forearm forced him out of Thursday night’s game against Minnesota. For 16 hours, Yankee Land sweated bullets and bit her nails, but the worst-case scenario didn’t happen. Imaging showed Soto’s pain was just inflammation and not structural damage. The team, its fans, and Soto breathed a collective sigh of relief. However, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone decided that a day off wouldn’t be the worst idea.

And so, the most anticipated showdown of the regular season, a potential World Series preview, continued without one of its biggest stars.

For 10 innings, the Yankees and Dodgers traded zeros despite a starting matchup that, on paper, looked like a mismatch. It was the Dodgers’ $325 million flame-throwing star Yoshinobu Yamamoto against a gentleman named Cody Poteet who was thrust into duty by a flurry of ill-timed Yankee injuries. Yamamoto was overpowered, Poteet was cautious, but the result was the same: a series of goose eggs.

But in the top of the 11th, after a few moments of high-wire play, Dodgers outfielder Teoscar Hernandez broke things open with a two-run double to split the gap to left field. The Yankees took a one-out lead into the bottom half on Aaron Judge’s single, but neither Giancarlo Stanton nor brawler Anthony Rizzo could find success against Los Angeles reliever Johan Ramirez.

The Dodgers escaped the opener of this three-game series with a thrilling 2-1 win.

See also  Giants trade Ross Stripling to Athletics for utility man Jonah Cox - NBC Sports Bay Area and CA

“It was a great game,” Boone admitted afterwards during his press conference. “Good pitching, good pitching, hard hitting. Both teams had chances to break through but couldn’t, and it was a very good game.”

When asked if his ailing star was available to bat, Boone smiled sheepishly, shook his head and said, “Not tonight.”

Throughout the evening, Soto was a fixture in the upper echelon of the Yankee dugout, from time to time wearing batting gloves and with a bat in his hands. In the end, it’s clear that Boone, Soto and the Yankees did not plan, under any circumstances, to insert the free agent into the game. The season is long and full of horror. Soto needed a day, and the Yankees didn’t want the Dodgers to know that.

“We have a plan.” Soto told reporters after the game, noting that his in-game aversion was just his way of staying sane. Boone revealed that Soto didn’t even do a single swing or warm-up during the match. It was all a mystery, and it didn’t matter in the end. The Dodgers won because they executed. This was also a game that called for Juan Soto. Multiple things could be true.

The whole scene, Soto or not, was certainly unique.

This is only the third time the Dodgers have traveled to The Bronx for a regular season series since interleague play began in 1997. MLB’s new balanced schedule will make these homecoming trips a biennial event for the Dodgers. Perhaps, over time, the frequency will reduce the brilliance. For now, there is still nothing new on the scene.

See also  Manchester City beats Atletico Madrid in the Champions League

For a century, the story of baseball flowed through these two franchises, before and after the Dodgers left Brooklyn for SoCal in 1957. For the next 40 summers, the two clubs never saw each other as they made history in their respective leagues. Special aspects of the country. Every so often, the baseball gods send the two powers to the same World Series for a high-stakes coastal reunion.

This current series, given the current state of these franchises, has a bit of a classic fall vibe. The Yankees and Dodgers entered Friday night with the top two championship prospects, Per FanGraphsAnd Any sports book Worth a damn. Describing this match as a potential World Series preview is both exciting and plausible. The Yankees have the best record in MLB. The Dodgers have the best roster in MLB. No one will be surprised.

An announced crowd of 48,048, the Yankees’ largest paid attendance this season, crammed into the house that Jeter built. Long lines wrapped around themselves outside the home plate gate in the yard just minutes before the first pitch. Crowds of invited and assorted guests stayed on the warning track during batting practice. A large media contingent overwhelmingly filled the press box to the brim. The late-night wind, ever so slightly crisp, conjured up thoughts of fall weather.

But the decisions made on the evening were a reminder that it is still June and these matches still mean relatively little. In October, Soto will be in the starting lineup, his sore arm full of medical treatments. At the very least, he would have struck out Rizzo in the 11th. However, even if Soto had been available, it is unlikely that Boone would have made such a harsh statement, replacing what is assumed to be one of his key players.

See also  49ers expected to have big fan presence on road vs. leaders - NBC Sports Bay Area and California

There is such a thing as living for tomorrow.

Teoscar Hernandez, 37, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, celebrates with teammates Jason Heyward, 23, and Andy Pages, 44, after a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, June 7, 2024, in New York.  The Dodgers won 2-1.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Whether Soto will play when these two clubs get things back on track for the second game on Saturday night is a completely different story.

“We’ll check in tomorrow and see where we are,” Boone said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *