Pinstripers Punish PaleHose; Contenders Work Overtime to Win

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Tuesday, August 7.  You can imagine the Yankees would be in a mood after being swept by Boston.  The White Sox proved to be a suitable punching bag for them to vent their frustration.  Meantime, Seattle (chasing Oakland for the second wild card slot) and Arizona (first in the NL West) needed extra innings to win their games.

While much has been wrong with the Yankees since the All-Star break, nothing has been worse than their starting pitching.  As early as last year I said it was inadequate to the task, and it has never seemed worse than in recent weeks.  Lance Lynn made his first Yankee start last night and lasted into the 8th inning, which is alien territory for most Yankee starters and way past CC Sabathia’s 3-inning curfew.  Until last night only 3 Yankee starters had lasted more than 6 innings since the Mid-Summer Classic in Washington.  Lynn got considerable support, as the score was 4-0 very early and 7-0 when he left. He did so much more than just survive into the 8th inning.  At one point he retired 19 White Sox in a row. He gave up just 2 hits and struck out 9. Gleyber Torres and Neil Walker went deep for the Yankees. The 7-0 win could have been 10-0.  With two men on Greg Bird hit a tremendous shot to the center field fence.  Adam Engle leapt as high as he could, reached over the fence and hauled the ball back in.  Even the TV broadcasters weren’t sure if it was a catch or a home run, and that’s saying something. While I rarely say a good word for TV broadcasters, Michael Kay of the Yankees usually has a grip.  Even he took forever to make the call on Bird’s almost home run.

Meantime in the desert, the first place teams in the NL East and West met in a possible NLCS matchup, and it would be hard for a playoff game to be any better.  It took 14 innings for the D-backs to prevail, 3-2. Early on it was the Jake Arrieta show.  Jake looked like the dominant Jake who pitched for the Cubs in 2015, a man you’d never imagine the Cubs getting rid of.  The Phillies reclaimed him off the scrap heap, and he hasn’t lost a game since the start of July.  He didn’t give the D-Backs a hit until the 7th while Zack Godley matched him 0 for 0. In the 9th, with the Phillies ahead 2-0, David Peralta stepped in.  He was 0 for 3 up to that point.  He launched a home run, amazingly his first of 4 hits from there on. That home run was a solo shot, making it 2-1 Phillies. Steven Souza JR. sent runner Eduardo Escobar home with the game-tying single.  Every inning after that the Phillies’ relief corps was in trouble.  Somehow through the 13th they held it together including making a stand with the bases full in the 12th.  In the home half of the 14th Peralta stepped into one against the Phillies’ Austin Davis.  Peralta’s second goner ended the game. It was a wall-scraper that hit above the yellow line and bounced into the spectators, but for the impact it had on the game and on Peralta it might as well have gone  500 feet. His first ever walk-off home run at any level seems an appropriate early birthday present for the Venezuelan who turns 31 a week from today.

With Oakland taking the night off, the Mariners were able to gain half a game in their pursuit of the second wild card slot, but it took 12 sweltering innings to do it. While Texas is supposed to get a park with a retractable roof, it’s still in the future.  only 17,000 fans braved the 98-degree heat to witness the game. Ryan Healy broke a 3-3 tie in the 12th, driving home Mitch Haniger with an RBI single to give the visitors the margin of victory they needed. It could have been easier.  It was 3-0 Mariners in the 7th with starter Wade laBlanc only giving up a hit as the inning began. With one out, he allowed a single to Elvis Andrus.  Managerial Panic ensued. Adam Warren, late of the Yankees bull pen came in and walked Adrian Beltre. Jurickson Profar doubled home the Rangers’ first run.  Warren then plunked Robinson Cherinos to fill the bags. Exit Warren, enter Zach Duke, late of the Twins. He was facing Joey Gallo, one of the easiest men in the league to strike out.  Duke walked him. That was it for Duke.  Alex Colome allowed the game-tying single by Isiah Kiner-Falefa. It took the Mariners 5 more innings to pick up the win.

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