Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mystique & Aura Were Dancing The Night Away…

Credit:  Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Despite CC Sabathia pitching like this is truly his final year in Pinstripes, the Yankees staged a very improbable and dramatic comeback to beat the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.  

Mark Trumbo’s grand slam in the sixth inning off reliever Bryan Mitchell had me switching channels to check out what was happening with the NFL Draft.  At 9-1, I was fairly confident the Yankees would be falling to two games behind the O’s in the AL East standings when the night was done.  Fortunately for me, none of the current 25 men on the Yankees roster shared my opinion.  

Yesterday before the game, Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes made this observation about CC Sabathia:

“It's hard to judge CC Sabathia, seeing as how he's a different pitcher than he was just a couple of years ago. However, I believe his final ERA this season will be closer to 5.00 than it will be to 3.00 (he's currently at 2.70).”

While I agreed with Bryan’s comments, I just didn’t expect it to come true on a single night.  By the time CC was pulled last night in the sixth inning, his season ERA had ballooned from the aforementioned 2.70 to 4.34.  CC’s line was very ugly…5 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 7 runs, 2 home runs.  It doesn’t matter that he managed to strike out 6 batters.  It was an awful night for CC and most nights, it would have been one for the “L” column.

Although the Yankees scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth, which included a two-run homer from Aaron Judge, to close the gap to 9-4, it looked like the Orioles were going to have a monster inning in the seventh.  They scored a couple more runs off Mitchell to push their lead to 11-4 and had the bases loaded with one out.  In perhaps the best pitching performance of the night, Jonathan Holder came on to thwart the O’s and the end the inning without further damage by retiring the always dangerous Manny Machado and slugger Mark Trumbo.  

When Jacoby Ellsbury hit his first career grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to bring the score to 11-8, it still felt like it was too little too late but the door was cracked.  It was a game again.  Coming into the bottom of the ninth, it still felt like the 11-8 score was too much to overcome.  With elite closer Zach Britton on the Disabled List, the O’s had to go to Brad Brach for the attempted save.  After picking up a run on a force-out, Starlin Castro launched an improbable game-tying two-run home run from his knees.  

The game moved into extra innings and Aroldis Chapman held the O’s in check in the top of the 10th despite allowing a single to Mark Trumbo.  He racked up his second strike-out of the frame by ending the O’s threat on a called third strike to Chris Davis.  

Enter bottom of the tenth.  Orioles reliever Jayson Aquino came on to replace Brach, and proceeded to walk the first two batters (Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka).  Chase Headley had an opportunity to be the hero but struck out swinging as he chased a few high pitches.  Next up, Matt Holliday, a member of the New York Yankees for a grand total of 21 games.  Aquino opted to throw a soft change-up to Holliday with his first pitch.  Big mistake.  Game over.  Yankees win, 14-11.  Wow, games don’t get much more exciting than this.  For new players to the Bronx, there is often a long adjustment period.  For Holliday, he decided that patience is not a virtue and decided to go ahead and carve his own piece of history into the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium three weeks into his new Pinstriped career.  It was an incredible game.

The Yankees and Orioles are tied for the AL East Lead with 14-7 records entering today’s action.  I know, it’s still early and it is a long season, but this Yankees team is very fun.  It’s been fun since the trading deadline last year and has continued.  Aaron Judge ended up hitting two home runs on the night which I didn’t really address in this post.  He is rapidly becoming ‘must-watch’ with every at-bat.  Matt Holliday’s accolades for Judge were overflowing in his post-game comments.  We are clearly watching the blossoming of a Yankees superstar before our eyes.  Had Judge homered in the bottom of the ninth instead of walking, this game would have been on continual replay on the YES Network.  

Have a great Saturday!  It will be tough to top Friday night, but let’s take this series today.  Go Yankees!

3 comments:

  1. ok ok ok, it's easy to say "This team is so much fun!" when we have the best record in baseball. It's easy to say it when we just came from a 9-1 deficit and shocked baltimore in an extra innings win. It's easy when we crushed that team today. It's easy when you shut out boston, especially when your opponent is chris sale. a day after a gem from a future yankees hopeful.

    There's sooo much talent in our system right now, we obviously want them all to succeed. Yesterday, I found myself getting a little bent over disappointing starts to sanchez, bird, kaprielian, torres, rutherford, frazier. As judge, sevs, and jomo are off to great starts- yes, JOMO is off to a great start, considering he was a total wildcard for a SP spot.

    Judge probably wont .300 with 77 homers. sevs might not go 7 innings of 1 run ball every few days. but there's a ton of potential, and it's not even firing on all cylinders. most of us wrote off 2017 for a disaster season. I expected bottom 5 records, to be honest. But if Starlin Castro is one of your worst hitters, rookies hit homers, sevs throws changeups, montgomery stays in the rotation, and we stay competitive, this will be an off the charts season.

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  2. Must admit it is nice to see a young team on the field day after day. These kids don't know they are suppose to loose until they are 27 years old then they can win...at times, it seams as though the Yankees management thinks our farm is made up of players that can only make it in the show unless they are 26/27 years old.
    Bring a kid up at 27/28 give the team only five or six years of their best years whereas, at 23/24 years old you have an adjustment couple of months then they get it...or not! If not, call up another player...we have enough good players to stock two teams!

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    1. I agree red, but we haven't faced such a situation.

      Frazier is sucking at AAA, not forcing the issue. Hicks should be playing more than gardner, but I imagine Brett will get back to his 0.265 Ave self. My guess-refs is traded, Wade to 40 man- headley won't hit so well for the season, and I bed Wade takes some at bats. Besides him, we are probably a year away from torres being a 21 year old ready to outperform a major leaguer. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for frazier to force the issue now-but he is too busy talking about carrot top and showing videos of his workouts.

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