Friday, April 22, 2016

Elsbury, Nova Lead Yanks Over Rays, 6-3

      On a beautiful Friday night at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees would begin their three-game series with the division rival Tampa Rays. On the bump for the pinstripers was Carsten Charles Sabathia, who was in desperate need of a good outing for his offensively reeling team. Taking the mound for the Rays was southpaw Matt Moore, bringing along his 2.95 ERA and 10 strikeouts in his last performance. Before the game started, theYankees seemed very calm and relaxed, as if they had some sort of "closed-door meeting" before they came out onto the field.  Regardless, whatever they did worked. A fluke injury, a couple of rare steals and a glistening long-relief appearance help snap the Yanks five game slide.
     After an uneventful top of the first, Sabathia found himself in some trouble. After recording the first out to start the top of the second, Sabathia proceeded to walk Steve Pearce, gave up a hit to Steven Souza Jr., and walk Tim Beckham. Logan Forsythe opened up the scoring by lining a double to left field, scoring Pearce and Souza. However, unlike the previous seven ballgames, the Yankees fired back in the bottom of the inning. After Teixeira led off the inning with a single, Brian McCann plated the both of them with a blast to right field. And you could hear a collective exhale from Yankee fans everywhere, "finally". Then, in the top of the fourth, Forsyth got to C.C. again, serving up the second double to the second baseman, who was driven in by a Brandon Guyer single, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead. On that hit, Aaron Hicks injured himself diving to try to catch the base hit. He was replaced in the top of the fifth by Jacoby Ellsbury, which would open the door for the Oregonian to make his presence felt in tonight's game,
     In the top of the fifth, Sabathia would record the first two outs in short order, only to depart the game after allowing a walk to Souza and giving up a hit to Beckham. Coming in to save the day was Ivan Nova, and did he ever deliver. Nova did not allow a hit to Tampa in 2.1 innings, striking out two in the process.
     While Ivan was pitching his behind off, Jacoby Ellsbury and the Yankees were working to get the lead back. In the bottom of the fifth, the newly inserted Ellsbury got a two-out single, moving to scoring position on another single by DIdi Gregorius. Matt Moore would get called for a balk, moving both runners into scoring position. Then, for the first time since 2009, Ellsbury stole home on ball four to Brett Gardner, tying the game at three. In the bottom of the following inning(6) Carlos Beltran and Mark Teixeira both singled. The Yankees would get their first lead of the game on a hit by their clutch backstop, Brian McCann. scoring Beltran, making it a 4-3 ballgame.
     And then, as if seeing a steal of home wasn't enough, Mark Teixeira stole second base on newly inserted catcher Hank Konger. It was at that point that I knew they were going to win. The fleet-of-foot first baseman and McCann would come around to score on another clutch hit by Jacoby Ellsbury, who was thrown out trying to stretch a double into a triple. This made the score 6-3, where it would remain for the rest of the night. The backend of the bullpen, Betances and Miller would strike out five of the six batters they faced, locking down the game and putting an end to their five game losing streak.  
     Here's to hoping they keep it going tomorrow, in game two of the three-game set, beginning at 1:05 PM.

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