Game 89 Quick Recap: NYY 4 SEA 3

Sorry for the late recap.  I was out getting free t-shirts at the Brewer game and celebrating a little too hard post-game.  Part of that celebration was due to A-Rod’s game-winning home run for the Yanks, a big hit to save a second half-opening win over the Mariners.

If it wouldn’t have been for the existence of Kyle Seager, Masahiro Tanaka would have had a spotless performance last night.  Seager got to him for a solo home run in the 3rd to get Seattle on the board and a 2-run shot in the 5th to give them the lead.  Other than those 2 hits, Tanaka was on point last night.  7 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts.  Probably not good enough for some NY sports writers, but plenty good enough for me.

The Yankees bookended their 4 runs with solo homers, Chris Young‘s to start things in the bottom of the 2nd and Alex Rodriguez‘s to pull back ahead in the 7th.  …

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2015 MLB All-Star Game Recap: AL 6 NL 3

Teix ASG 2015

Arm sleeve game on a hundred thousand trillion. Courtesy of Getty Images

The whole thing was kind of a farce without A-Rod involved, but the American League and National League squared off last night in Cincinnati to decide whose league would unfairly be granted home field advantage in the World Series.  Thanks to some bookend power and a deep pool of devastating relievers, the AL was able to nab the win and grab that World Series advantage for the Yankees come October.

Mike Trout led off the game with an at-bat that screamed “I’m the best baseball player on the planet and nobody forget it.”  He fell behind NL starter Zack Greinke 0-2, took an outside fastball for a ball, then waited on another one and drove it the other way for a solo home run to right field.  It was almost like he was setting Greinke up for that from the start.  1-0 AL.

The NL manufactured a run in the bottom of the 2nd with a Paul Goldschmidt single, a throwing error, an advance to third on a groundout, and a 2-out RBI single by Jhonny Peralta to tie the game, and it looked like we were settling in for a low-scoring affair as Greinke and AL starter Dallas Keuchel gave way to the gaggle of top-tier arms waiting behind them.  …

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Game 88 Recap: Yankees 8 Red Sox 6

Refs vs BOS

Somebody just earned himself a fancy new suit from Mr. Rodriguez. Courtesy of the AP

It’s gone a tad under the radar, but that’s 7 wins in 10 games and 3 straight series victories for the Yankees going into the All-Star break.  They closed out this road series in Boston with a hard fought and sloppily-finished victory today and head into the break with a 3.5 game division lead, 5 in the loss column.

Nathan Eovaldi got the ball this afternoon, and his outing was about as textbook Nathan Eovaldi as it could have been.  He worked around 1-out hits in each of the first 2 innings, but needed over 40 pitches to do so.  When the lineup turned over in the 3rd, the Red Sox hitters were keyed into what he was doing and he couldn’t put anybody away.  5 base hits in a 6-batter span, the last 2 in 2-strike counts, plated 3 Boston runs and gave them a brief 1-run lead.…

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Game 87 Quick Recap: BOS 5 NYY 3

Last night’s game started the same way Friday’s did, with Alex Rodriguez smacking a 1st-inning home run to give the Yankees an early lead.  This game didn’t end the same way though, with the Sox getting to Ivan Nova and the Yankee offense never getting going in a series-evening loss.

Nova got through the 1st inning 1-2-3, but he was battling through almost every inning from there on out.  He needed a big double play to work around leadoff double-single in the 2nd, gave up multiple hits in the 3rd and 4th, and got hit for another double in the 5th.  The run against him in the 3rd wasn’t all his fault.  John Ryan Murphy threw a ball into center field to move Alejandro De Aza to third base and he scored on a groundout in the next at-bat.  The go-ahead runs in the 4th were all on Nova.  David Ortiz hit a leadoff on a meaty fastball and Hanley Ramirez followed up with a 2-run homer.…

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Game 86 Quick Recap: NYY 5 BOS 1

Big Mike and Buchholz.  The pitching matchup was a really good one on paper last night.  Unfortunately for Boston only Big Mike was able to live up to that matchup, as they lost their ace early to an elbow injury.  The Yankees used that unexpected pitching change to grab a comfortable lead and ride Pineda’s strong start to a series-opening victory.

Pineda was sharp, even if he did have at least one runner on base all night.  The Sox put men on in each of the first 4 innings, but Pineda was always in control and shut them down with his strong fastball-slider combo.  Mookie Betts got to him for a solo homer in the 5th and that was the only black mark on Pineda’s line.  He struck out 6, didn’t walk a batter, and left with 2 outs in the 7th as Joe went to the ‘pen to face Betts again.

The top of the 4th was when the Yankees won the game.  …

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Game 85 Recap: Yankees 6 Athletics 2

Tanaka vs OAK

A master at his craft. Courtesy of Getty Images

I said I wanted the Yankees to go at least 4-2 in these last two series before the break.  They got halfway there this afternoon with a series-clinching win over the A’s behind a strong start from Masahiro Tanaka and an All Star-caliber performance by 2015 American League All Star Brett Gardner.

Things didn’t look promising for Tanaka early.  He seemed to get rattled by a catcher’s interference call to start the top of the 2nd and gave up a double to Billy Butler in the next at-bat to tie the game at 1.  A walk and another double made it 2-1 Oakland and got the NY tabloid guys’ fingers ready to type out another “the sky is falling!!!” post on Tanaka for tomorrow morning.  The 2-seamer appeared to be the problem pitch, and Tanaka’s command in general seemed a tick off again.

And then he went on to retire the next 18 batters he faced in a row.  …

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Game 84 Recap: Yankees 5 A’s 4

Teix HR vs OAK

Insert gluten-free joke here. Courtesy of the AP

From one starter who struggles to get through 6 to another who struggles to get through 6 without getting shelled, the Yankees were on the wrong side of the odds again heading into last night’s game.  But their luck changed quickly after a discouraging start and they held on late to even the series.

That discouragement came thanks to the Ace Formerly Known as CC Sabathia, who gave up 2 runs on 5 hits before he recorded his 5th out of the game.  Almost all the contact generated off him was extremely hard and it took a little luck for him to get out of the 1st inning unscathed.  Roth was out to talk to him and Joe had Bryan Mitchell up in the ‘pen for him in the 2nd, so that’s a sign of how little leash CC has left these days.  Hard to say he hasn’t earned it.

But the big guy managed to get it together long enough to stop the bleeding in the 2nd, and once he did that he actually settled in and gave his team a decent start, by his present day low standards that is.  …

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Game 83 Recap: A’s 4 Yankees 3 (10 Innings)

Betances vs OAK

Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees followed up a string of 20 games in 20 days with 2 scheduled off-days in 5, and kicked off their final short series of series before the All-Star break last night against the Oakland A’s.  They got whooped pretty bad by the A’s the last time they faced them out in Oakland, and they were facing Oakland’s best starter last night.  While they didn’t get peak Sonny Gray, they were unable to take full advantage of that early and coughed the game up late.

It was clear from the first batter of the bottom of the 1st that Gray wasn’t his usual sharp self.  Brett Gardner singled to lead off and Gray walked Chase Headley on 4 pitches to put the Yankees in business.  After 2 outs by A-Rod and Teix, Brian McCann and Garrett Jones came through with back-to-back base hits to give the Yankees a quick 2-1 lead.

That lead could have been more if A-Rod or Teix came through, and it would have been more than a run if Nathan Eovaldi could have had a clean top of the 1st.  …

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Game 79 Recap: Yankees 3 Angels 1

High Fives vs LAA

Courtesy of Getty Images

The Yankees were guaranteed a losing road trip when they dropped the second game of this series on Tuesday night.  It was all about saving face and not getting swept in the finale last night, and to their credit the Yanks were able to do enough to prevent that.  They matched the offensive output of their previous 3 games and got a solid all-around pitching performance to get the W.

It wasn’t exactly an offensive outburst for the lineup.  They got their first run in the top of the 3rd the hard way.  Didi Gregorious led off with a single, moved to second on a Stephen Drew sac bunt, third on a Brett Gardner groundout, and home on a Chase Headley ribbie single.  If you can’t mash ‘em, manufacture ‘em, I guess.  The second run came much easier in the 6th, as the heart of the order came up for a third time against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Jones smashed an 0-2 fastball into the right field seats for a solo home run.…

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