No Sleep? No Bull Pen? No Problem for Surprising Yankees

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Tuesday, May 9.

Memo to all the other major league baseball teams: If you want me to stop writing about the Yankees, then do something as compelling as what the Yankees are doing and I’ll write about it.  The Yankees swept the defending World Series champion Cubs this weekend, and both the Friday and Sunday games were special.  After Sunday’s 18-inning affair it was off to Cincinnati for the Yankees, so sleep was at a premium. Knowing he wouldn’t get much help from the bull pen Masahiro Tanaka went a solid 7 innings as the Yankees beat the Reds 10-4.  Drew Storen, (the same Stanford alum who once smashed his pitching hand against a locker in frustration) plunked 3 Yankees in the same inning-the first time such a thing has been done by a Cincinnati pitcher since 1960 when they were still called the RedLegs. The Bronx Bombers have now won six in a row as they head into tonight’s final game of a brief two-game series in the Queen City.

The Yankees had a 4-0 lead for Tanaka to work with by the home half of the second inning in Cincinnati. Gary Sanchez, fresh off the DL smacked 3 hits for the visitors. Starting pitcher Rookie Davis lived up to his name, making a rookie move by not touching first base on a play in the 3-run Yankee first inning.  Sanchez drove in two of the runs and the third came off the bat of Didi Gregorius. With the score 7-4 in the 8th Matt Holliday and Brett Gardner crushed home runs off Barrett Astin who replaced Storen after he plunked his third man, Chase Headley with the bases full. Following Tanaka, Tyler Clippard who worked Sunday night pitched his way through the 8th.  Tommy Layne, the only Yankee reliever not to work Sunday night handled the 9th inning. At 32, Layne has played at least part of the last 6 seasons in the bigs-not bad for a 26th-round draft choice from a small NAIA college in North Carolina. Tanaka’s strong 7 innings was doubly necessary because the Yankees have their version of Matt Harvey going tonight.  That would be CC Sabathia. Righty Chad Green has been recalled to be an extra warm body in the bull pen.

The Cubs and Rockies are underway as I write this.  Jake Arrieta is the starter for the Cubs. It’s the first half of a day-night doubleheader in Denver as last night’s game was washed out.  John Lackey takes the ball in game 2 against the Rockies’ top rookie Kyle Freeland. The Padres and Rangers will start at 3:40 PM Eastern in a rare day game in San Diego. A.J. Griffin, a San Diego native starts for the Rangers.  It’s his first ever start in his native city.  He faces Jered Weaver whose sell-by date has been and gone. He gave up 10 runs to the Rockies his last time out. The Mets, who pulled out a walk-off 4-3 win last night face the Giants tonight. Zack Wheeler was a first-round pick by the Giants in 2009 and has a 5.68 ERA when he faces them.  He’s on the hill tonight after his Thursday start was cut short, then wiped off the books by rain in Atlanta. The Cardinals send out Adam Wainwright, who along with Sabathia and Weaver should be on a bus headed for a dog track rather than an MLB park. Wainwright has yet to pass the fifth inning in 6 starts and 3 times he’s given 10 or more hits. Justin Verlander has a rare chance to start against the D-Backs tonight. The Angels face the A’s late tonight in Oakland.  Their game last night ended in 11 with the A’s taking their third walkoff win in a row.  The Pirates and Dodgers also square off in a late night game. Ivan Nova faces the Dodgers’ young phenom from last season, Julio Urias.

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