“We’re healthy and we’re not playing good baseball,” Red Sox Manager Alex Cora said. “We’ve been inconsistent in every aspect of the game: pitching, offense, defense, base running. It’s on us to clean it up and start playing better.
“When we do that, we’re one of the best teams in the big leagues, if not the best. But at the same time, right now, we’re not. We know where we’re at, we know the way we’ve been playing, and we know the things that we have to get better at. And it’s pretty simple: Get better at everything.”
The Yankees are only 7-9, and Tuesday marked the first time since 1992 that the rivals had played each other at least 15 games into a season with both of them under .500. But this game was the Yankees’ best of the season, with contributions at the plate and in the field from Frazier, Tauchman and Gio Urshela, all reinforcements for the wounded.
“Got to roll with it,” Manager Aaron Boone said. “I’m sure you guys are a little sick of me saying, ‘Next man up,’ but it truly is the case.”
Paxton, who arrived in an off-season trade from Seattle, was supposed to be a headliner, and on Tuesday, he was. It was not the best performance of his career — he is the last major leaguer to throw a complete-game no-hitter, for the Mariners last May — but it was close: eight shutout innings with two hits, 12 strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter.
The last Yankee to fire eight scoreless innings with at least 12 strikeouts against Boston was the Hall of Famer Mike Mussina, in his near-perfect game on Sept. 2, 2001.