Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, April 29.
If your team gets way behind early, it’s tempting to leave before the game ends. In New York, the idea is to beat the traffic which has always been a major problem at Yankee Stadium. The late Yankees’ broadcaster Phil Rizzuto was known for leaving games in the 7th inning to beat the traffic getting over the George Washington Bridge. Last night would have been the wrong night to leave early for Yankee fans, though the temptation was there. The home team got down 9-1 in the 6th inning. Nobody could have imagined this game would end up a 14-11 victory for the Yankees in 10 innings.
Yankees starter CC Sabathia started the season well enough but in his last two starts it looks like he has relapsed into the pattern Yankee fans have suffered with during the last 3 or 4 seasons. He’s gotten hammered. If you throw one 92 MPH anywhere near Manny Machado’s machete it may never be seen again. Manny hit a two-run double to dead center in the third and a tremendous home run in the 5th to put the Yankees in a 5-0 hole. Aaron Judge launched one of his own in the 5th, the first of two he would hit during the game. With the score 5-1 in the 6th the Yankees needed a shut-down inning from the formerly great Sabathia. What they got was two more O’s base runners before Joe Girardi came out with the hook. He brought in Bryan Mitchel, who loaded the bases before Mark Trumbo unloaded them with a grand slam. At that point the mass exodus began. Whoever remained got an eyeful from the home team. They put up 3 in the 6th, featuring Judge’s second blast of the night and 9th of the young season. The O’s added 2 in the 7th to make it 11-4. They hadn’t lost a game in 11 years when they scored 11 runs, so apparently they sent their bats back to the clubhouse at that point. But an 11-4 deficit isn’t always enough to kill the Yankees. It should be, it usually is, but once in a while something special happens in the Bronx. In the days of day baseball it was called 5:00 lightning. In the 7th, the much-maligned Jacoby Ellsbury hit the game’s second gran slammer making it 11-8. After a scoreless 8th, Starlen Castro squared things with a 3-run home run in the 9th off temporary closer Brad Brach. He’s filling in while Zack Britton is on the DL. To make the comeback complete Matt Holliday won the game with a 3-run shot in the home 10th. Both teams are 14–7 as the 3-game series continues today.
Few pitchers did well in this game. Kevin Gausman, normally one of the Orioles’ best gave up 5 runs in 6 innings. Ex-Yankee Vidal Nuno got just one man out while giving up 3 runs. After Brach blew the save, Jayson Aquino only got one out in the 10th before serving up the winning home run to Holliday. For the Yankees, Sabathia was charged with 7 runs in 5.2 innings on 9 hits and 2 walks. Mitchell gave up 5 hits, two walks and 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning including Trumbo’s grand slam. The next 3 Yankee pitchers-Jonathan Holder, Tyler Clippard and Aroldis Chapman finally quieted the O’s bats which had been booming until then. Holder in particular has been a pleasant surprise in the Bronx along with starter Jordan Montgomery. Not yet 24, Holder was pitching for Mississippi State just 3 seasons ago when the Yankees took him in round 6 of the draft. Since he’s not a lefty it’s surprising he’s already in the bigs and even more surprising that Holder is, well holding his own, shall we say. Clippard held the line until the game was tied, then Chapman was lights out which is business as usual for him.0