BOSTON -- The metal squares slotted across the left-field scoreboard told the most important part of Tuesday's story, with the Red Sox handing the Yankees a 14-1 loss, but the advanced data swirling through Fenway Park provided a few reasons for the visitors to be encouraged.Despite the thunder produced by
BOSTON -- The metal squares slotted across the left-field scoreboard told the most important part of Tuesday's story, with the Red Sox handing the Yankees a 14-1 loss, but the advanced data swirling through Fenway Park provided a few reasons for the visitors to be encouraged.
Despite the thunder produced by Boston's batting order, including a nine-run sixth inning, the three hardest-hit balls of the evening belonged to the Yankees' duo of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. It didn't do much for the final score, but it could be a sign of things to come.
"Much better," Stanton said. "I saw the ball better. I was on time. It was good progress. We've got two more [games] here. I'll pick up where I left off today and get it going."
Judge dispatched a fifth-inning Chris Sale fastball to the seats in center field for a solo home run, marking Judge's third blast of the year. The 116.3-mph rocket that traveled a projected 444 feet by Statcast™ was Judge's third hit of the evening off Sale, who had retired Judge in all 12 of their previous showdowns, with 10 strikeouts.
"Getting that first one out of the way was nice," Judge said. "It's just about sticking to your plan. You've got to be aggressive with a guy like that. He's got good stuff and he knows it. He's going to use all of his pitches, use them in different counts. You've just got to be ready to hit at all times."
Though Stanton fanned in his first two plate appearances, falling to 4-for-39 with 21 strikeouts since his two-homer performance on Opening Day in Toronto, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that he saw signs of improvement even in the whiffs.
"I actually said something when he struck out -- I thought he looked, timing-wise, much better," Boone said.
Stanton said that he has been watching video of his at-bats, but he is also trying to block out distractions.
"Make sure I'm not trying too hard and trying to do too much, which could subconsciously creep in no matter what," Stanton said. "That's the main thing. Just get a good pitch to hit and don't worry about the outside noise. … I just felt like there was a lot going on, maybe focusing on too many things. Not trying too hard, I don't think."
Stanton's fog lifted in the fifth inning. The reigning National League MVP mashed a Sale fastball into center field for a single, coming off his bat at 115.5 mph. Returning to the plate in the eighth, Stanton saw a full-count Christopher Johnson heater that he cracked for a double, smoked toward left field at 114.7 mph.
"Early in the season when you're taking your lumps a little bit, you do look for some things within the game that you can hopefully build on," Boone said. "The fact that Giancarlo had two strong at-bats and hit the ball hard his last two times, hopefully for him it's something that helps him settle down."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.