The storyline continues to be the same for the Yankees over the last week or so. But unlike this season of "True Detective" or the last few seasons of "Sons Of Anarchy", that storyline is neither boring nor un-entertaining. I think I speak for a lot of Yankee fans when I say I don't mind them beating up on teams and bullying them around the way they have been. They crushed the Red Sox last night in the series opener. Man, what a great sentence to write.
The only thing that added a little intrigue to the game was how long it took for the crushing to start. The Yanks got another 1st-inning run against Boston starter Henry Owens on a Mark Teixeira RBI single, but then the bats went silent for the next 4 innings. They were making Owens throw a lot of pitches, and he was missing badly with some, but they could never string any hits together to really make him pay.
That delay in the crushing made for a slight bit of stress when Masahiro Tanaka gave up 2 runs in the top of the 5th. Mike Napoli doubled to left with 1 out and Tanaka misplayed a sac bunt into an infield single to put runners on the corners. Blake Swihart followed up with a base knock to score the tying run, and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a sac fly to bring the second one home and give Boston a 2-1 lead.
That lead didn't last very long. The Yanks finally got to Owens for a single (Chris Young) and a double (Alex Rodriguez) to start off the bottom of the 6th, and that was it for Owens. Robbie Ross came on in relief and gave up a single to Teix, a double to Brian McCann, and a ribbie groundout to Carlos Beltran to make it 4-2 Yanks. It took Jean Machi to get out of that inning and then the flood gates really opened in the bottom of the 7th. A Xander Bogaerts error on the first play of the inning started what turned into a 9-run frame, highlighted by 2 3-run homers off the bats of McCann and Young. 13 men came to the plate, 6 got hits, 3 drew walks, and it took 3 Boston pitchers to get the 3 outs.
With a 10-run lead the Yanks could cruise to the finish line and cruise they did. After going way out into the over-managing deep end in the top of the 7th - removing Justin Wilson with a 1-2 count and 2 outs for Dellin Betances - Joe stuck with his young, low-leverage guys for the 8th and 9th and they did just fine. Yanks are 12-4 since the ASB and the AL East magic number is down to 51.
- Pretty good start for Tanaka. He went 6+, gave up 3 ER on 5 hits, walked 1, struck out 3. He gave up a solo homer to Pablo Sandoval to lead off the 7th and that was it for him. His stuff and his command were better than the last few times out, but he's still missing a lot with fastballs and those misses are getting tagged every time.
- Seriously, the decision to take out Wilson mid-AB was absolutely bananas by Joe. Wilson didn't look happy coming off the mound and justifiably so. Joe tried to play coy with the media about why he made the move after the game too, refusing to explain himself. The move almost blew up in his face too when Betances walked the batter he came in to finish off. Good thing that 9-run inning came next or there would an army of Joe haters on patrol today.
- Here's the offensive roundup: 5 guys with multiple hits, 3 guys with multiple RBI, and 8 runs scored by the top 3 spots in the batting order.
- Interestingly enough, the bottom of the order wasn't a big part of the action. Didi and Brendan Ryan were the only 2 starters to not record a hit.
- Mark Teixeira went 2-5 with 2 RBI, but he also didn't factor into the big 7th inning at all. He came up twice in the inning and struck out both times. Go figure.
- Chase Headley had his 6th multi-hit game in the last 10. He's up to .278/.330/.400 and has a 12-game hit streak going.