Saturday, April 23, 2016

Gardner Walks Off Rays,3-2

       A day after the Yankees took game one of a series for the first time this season, the boys in pinstripes looked to lock down a series win in game two against the rival Rays. Attempting to put a small winning streak together, the Yankees sent Masahiro Tanaka and his 3.04 ERA to the mound. Opposing New York for Tampa Bay was Blake Snell, a 23-year old rookie making his major-league debut in Yankee Stadium, facing his childhood idol, Alex Rodriguez. Smell grew up and was drafted out of high school in Washington, where he followed his favorite team, the Seattle Mariners, and their two superstar players, Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.. However, it would be a Yankee outfielder that would play the role of superstar in today's game.

     How about this for a change… I get to write about how the Yankees score 1st in a ball game. In the bottom of the first, after Gardner and Ellsbury made two quick outs, Carlos Beltran walked and Mark Teixeira moved him to third on a squared up base hit to right center. With runners on first and third and two outs, the rookie over-threw a breaking ball and it got passed Hank Conger, allowing Beltran to score from third, making the game 1-0.

     Tanaka would begin the game with three perfect innings. It was in the fourth inning where he ran into some trouble, beginning by serving up a hit to Logan Morrison, ending a 0-19 slide for the first baseman. Two batters later, Corey Dickerson lined a double into left field, scoring Morrison and tying the game at one. In the top of the fifth, Tanaka served up a solo shot to Kevin Kiermaier, giving the Rays a 2-1 lead and making the picture of record, at that point, the rookie Snell. The rookie would leave the game in the bottom of the sixth, with his first final stat line and impressive 5.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 unearned run and 6 strikeouts.

     In the bottom of the seventh, The Rays made good on their promise to throw a myriad of left-handed pitchers at the Yankees. Enny Romero, a southpaw, replaced the lefty Snell, And lead off the seventh by walking Brian McCann. After recording the first out, Romero was replaced by another left-handed pitcher, Xavier Cedeno, Who proceeded to immediately walk Chase Headley. With runners on first and second, to star from last night, Jacoby Elsbury, reached on a catchers interference call, loading the basis for the Yankees. The next batter, Brett Gardner, lined a bullet off of the body of the pitcher Cedeno, ricocheting the ball off to no-man's land and scoring McCann from third, tying the game at two.

     After a scoreless eighth and top of the ninth, the Bombers would send up Gregorius, Ellsbury and Gardner to try to win it and send fans home happy. The first two batters recorded outs in rather quick fashion. But, not as quickly as the ball got out of the ballpark when the hero who tied the game earlier, Brett Gardner, launched it into the right field bleachers, walking off the Rays, sealing their second straight victory. Walk me off, Brett!! Atta boy!!

     The Yankees will look to sweep their first series of the 2016 season tomorrow, beginning at 1:05 PM.
 

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