Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday night, July 21.
It actually happened. Just seconds before I began writing this, the Red Sox lost 5-0 to the Tigers at Comerica Park. Earlier in the day in the Bronx, the Yankees beat the Mets 7-6. They gained a full game after the Red Sox lost. Somewhere I’ve heard it said, “A journey of a thousand leagues begins with a single step,” and hopefully today’s win in the Bronx is that single step that can begin what will be a long and weary journey. Meantime, the rumored trade is a reality. The Mets sent Jeurys Familia to Oakland, basically for nothing.
The Yankees’ starter Sonny Gray has had a brutal season, but in his last two outings he’s been able to get the job done. The first was one of their wins against the Orioles the week before the All-Star game. The second of these improved outings was this afternoon. He lasted into the sixth, giving 3 runs, 2 earned. With the Yankees, that usually is enough to do the job. Today the game got closer than it should have owing to a 3-run 9th but they won nonetheless. It was 7-3 when Aroldis Chapman came in to start the 9th. Chapman has been struggling with knee tendinitis and he look ragged as the Mets made a 7-3 game into a 7-6 final score. He walked a man and hit a batter, both with the bases full. Normally you don’t take a closer out, but Yankees’ skipper Aaron Boone pulled Chapman in favor of Chasten Shreve. He got a double-play grounder, then a grounder to the hill to put the fire out.
The Yankees scored 4 in the 4th on some bizarre outfield play by center fielder Matthew Den Decker. First he tried to dive on a ball hit by Didi Gregorius instead of playing it on a hop. The ball got by him for an RBI 3-bagger. Miguel Andujar doubled on a play where a fan reached out and caught the ball a la Jeffrey B. Mayer in 1996. Den Decker then botched fly balls by Greg Bird and Austin Romine which were ruled as a double and single. It turned out to be Aaron Judge’s 26th home run that provided the insurance the Yankees needed to thwart the Mets’ late rally. Andujar’s double is his 45th extra base hit in 91 games as a rookie. Only 3 Yankees–Joe DiMaggio (63 EBH) Bob Meusel with 52 and Gary Sanchez with 46 had more at this point.
A few hours after the Yankees had beaten the Mets, the Red Sox and Tigers met in Detroit, where last night Boston had won 1-0 behind David Price. This time, the Tigers took a 5-0 shutout over their visitors. Jose Iglesias drove in 4 of the Tigers’ runs. Iglesias, who wore a Boston uniform 5 years ago hit a double and a home run against his old team. Mike Fiers took the win, in a rare positive moment for him since his long-forgotten no-hitter in 2015. He lasted into the 7th, after which Alex Wilson and Shane Greene finished the Red Sox off. Iglesias hit a two-run double in the second and a 2-run home run in the sixth, the innings when the Tigers did all their scoring.0