Article by: Zach Henley
Not too long after the MLB visited Mexico and saw the Astros take both games from the Angels, the next stop was London, UK. This time the featured teams were the biggest rivals in all of baseball; the Boston Red Socks and the New York Yankees. Although the teams are storied rivals, they are both having very different seasons. Coming into the UK, the New York Yankees lead the AL East with Boston 10 games back. The Yankees have been battling injuries all season long, but with their excellent farm system, they always have back up for their injured stars. The biggest problem for the Red Socks has been their pitching. Chris sale started the season 0-4 and is slowly recovering. Rick Porcello has not been the same pitcher we saw during his Cy Young winning season.
The atmosphere was electric as both squads took the field in Europe for the first time in MLB history. The fans that packed the stadium were treated to what the US calls, a “slugfest.” After nearly 5 hours of baseball, the teams combined for a total of 30 runs in the first game with the Yankees winning by a final score of 17-13. The second game seemed very calm as into the 5th, the score was only 5-1, in favor of Boston. Powered by a 9-run 7th, the Yankees went on to win the game 12-8. After 2 games in London, the teams combined for 50 runs in only 18 innings.
Some people are not fans of high scoring games such as the games in London, but it is certainly great for the MLB. The MLB’s viewership numbers over the past 5 seasons have shown that people are losing interest and patience in the sport. After the huge showing from both teams and the fans, the international series’ have shown potential to help the MLB grow and has shown that the MLB regular season can still be exciting.
The potential for more places to play at are growing every year. So far, the MLB has played in Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Japan and now the UK. Rob Manfred has said that the trend will continue and potentially go to new places all over the world, as the MLB is trying to expand and diversify their fan base. This is huge for the MLB and other major sports, as most leagues are trying to play overseas every season and expand their fan bases globally. Next season in the 2020 London series, features again 2 classic rivals; the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.
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