Guess what, gang? I think the Yankees are back. I don't really, but I'm sure that's what the non-baseball side of the front office is telling itself today after the Yanks rattled off their third straight win against a tough division opponent. The beat the Orioles up 7-1 last night at The Stadium.
Starlin Castro has been a disappointment since mid-April and I feel like a dope for honestly believing that coming to the Yankees was going to help him break out, but he came up big early last night to get the Yanks the lead. Didi Gregorius drew a 2-out walk in the bottom of the 2nd and brought Castro to the plate. He actually laid off a few pitches in the dirt to work a 3-0 count and then took a fastball for strike 1. Vance Worley threw him another fastball 3-1 and Castro was all over it, smashing it into the second deck in left field. His power hasn't been a disappointment.
Those 2 runs were surprisingly plenty for Nathan Eovaldi, who worked the first 5 innings scoreless in his return to the rotation. He got into trouble in the top of the 6th when he walked the #9 hitter, following that up with a single, a double to score a run, and another walk to end his night. It was Anthony Swarzak's job to get out of the bases loaded jam and he did so by getting Mark Trumbo and serial Yankee killer Jonathan Schoop to pop out.
That gave the Yanks a chance to tack on and they didn't waste any time. Brian McCann walked to lead off the bottom half of the 6th, Didi singled with 1 out, and Starlin drove them both home with a double to right. That pushed the lead to 5-1 and a late Chase Headley 2-run dinger made it 7-1. Swarzak worked another 2 scoreless innings and the 6-run cushion was enough for Nick Goody to not gag it away in the 9th.
- Huge night for Starlin. 2-4, 2 XBH, 2 runs scored, 4 RBI. It's games like this one that make idiots like me fall in love with him. The big time potential is always there and always easy to see when he shows it.
- It wasn't a great finish, but it's hard to argue with 5+ innings and 1 run allowed from Eovaldi. Maybe somebody out there saw enough to convince them to trade and acquire him.
- Major props to Swarzak for the job he did. Joe didn't have the big 3 available and Swarzak gave him 8 outs, including the first 2 big ones to escape a bases loaded, 1 out jam.
- Also give some props to Rob Refsnyder, first baseman in training, for making a great running catch on Trumbo's pop up in the 6th and smartly throwing the ball home to hold the runner. That was a legit Web Gem play.
- 2 more hits for Didi. Ho-hum. The 1-5 spots in the lineup went 2-14, albeit with 4 walks.