Red Sox

McAdam: Chris Sale and Mookie Betts are struggling and so, not coincidentally, are the Red Sox

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

The stage seemed set.

On their first visit of the season to New York, the Red Sox appeared to have things going in their favor.

The Yankees' Injured List, getting longer by the hour, was the lengthiest it's been, with their lineup featuring no fewer than five players who wouldn't have started had the team been healthier.

On the mound for the Yanks was James Paxton, whose last start in Houston resulted in him being shelled by the Astros for five runs on eight hits in just four innings, leaving Paxton to wonder if the Astros had been stealing signs.

And for good measure, the Red Sox had recalled catcher Sandy Leon, who in the last two seasons, for all his offensive shortcomings, had served as a security blanket of sorts for ace Chris Sale. Surely, Leon's arrival would coincide with a big turnaround for Sale and provide the Sox with a jumpstart as their five-game road trip began.

But none of that mattered once the game began.