Well that was fun, huh?? Today's series/season finale against the Rockies was arguably the greatest roller coaster ride of the no-longer-so-young 2016 season. From up 4 early to down 4 late, and when the ride was over the Yankees came away with a win courtesy of Starlin Castro's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th.
That early 4-run lead came in the bottom of the 2nd and all 4 runs came on one swing. Colorado starter Jon Gray loaded the bases on 2 walks and a Castro infield single and Chase Headley came up looking for a strike to drive. He got just that on the first pitch of the at-bat and he unloaded it into Monument Park for a grand slam. A little of the old power and patience.
That should have been more than enough for CC Sabathia with the way he's pitched for the last month, but today was an off-day for the big fella. He gave 2 of those runs back immediately in the top of the 3rd on a bloop 2-run single by Charlie Blackmon. Sabathia helped set that situation up by throwing away a bunt attempt, and compounded his problems in the 4th by serving up a 3-run homer to Nick Hundley on a poorly located 2-strike cutter. He didn't make it through 5 innings and got tagged for 6 runs, but hey, as great as he's been I think we can give him a pass on this one.
The Rockies' lead ballooned to 8-4 in the 5th when Anthony Swarzak came in to relief CC and gave up a double (CC's run) and a 2-run shot to Ryan Raburn. But luckily Walt Weiss' bullpen is just as crappy as Joe's, and they gave it all back in a big bottom of the 7th. Carlos Beltran got things started with a 3-run homer to pull New York within 1 and Didi Gregorius came through with a clutch 2-out base hit to tie the game up at 8.
That got things into the hands of the late-game crew and for a change they didn't foul anything up. Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman each fanned 2 in scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th, and Starlin wasted little time sending everybody home in the bottom half of the 9th. He hit a no-doubter to left on the second pitch he saw and that was all she wrote. Big moment for Starlin, who's been pretty awful since the first few weeks of April.
- The offense had 10 hits and 7 walks today. Every starter had at least 1 hit except Rob Refsnyder and Brett Gardner drew 2 of the walks.
- Headley's grand slam was actually the team's first of the year, which surprised me. I could have sworn they hit one early.
- Beltran's late homer was his 19th of the year, the same number of home runs he hit last season. He's been absolutely incredible this year, he should be an AL All Star, and he should absolutely be traded ASAFP. If he's still a Yankee by the end of this month, that's a mistake.
- Big day for the big 3. 3 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 6 K. That's more like it.
- Scary moment for CC in the 5th when he stumbled and appeared to roll his ankle on a pitch. Trainers checked on him but he stayed in the game. He came into this start with a sub-1.00 ERA in his last 7 starts, so I'm not going to dissect what went wrong with this one. If he doesn't miss with that cutter, his line looks a lot better. He hasn't been giving up a lot of home runs this season, so every now and then you have to live with it when he does.