Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chase Headley -- That's Who!

Yesterday, I ripped Brian Cashman for bringing in trading the promising Yangervis Solarte to the San Diego Padres for Chase Headley, a one-year wonder (2012) who strikes out too much -- essentially, a younger but slower version of Alfonso Soriano.

I titled last night's post, "Cashman Throws Away Solarte for WHO?!?"

So it took 14 innings for Headley to make me look like a fool last night.

I'll take it, if it means winning.

*

The Chase we already had, Chase Whitley, gave us 6 shutout innings against the Texas Rangers. He allowed 7 hits, but no walks, and no runs.

Matt Thornton and Adam Warren -- neither a welcome sight lately -- got us through the 7th inning, Dellin Betances through the 8th, David Robertson through the 9th.

But the Yankees didn't hit. In the first 20 innings of this series, the Yankees scored 2 runs. That's not good enough. The hits last night included a double by Derek Jeter with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th -- the 535th double of his career, surpassing Lou Gehrig to become the Yankees' all-time leader. It was also the 3,413th hit of his career, bringing him within 6 hits of Carl Yastrzemski for 8th on the all-time list, 7 of Honus Wagner for 7th, and 22 of Cap Anson for 6th.

Man on 2nd with 1 out. But after Jacoby Ellsbury was intentionally walked to set up the inning-ending double play, Carlos Beltran, regrettably, obliged, and we went to extra innings, scoreless.

Robertson pitched a perfect 10th. The Yankees went 1-2-3.

Shawn Kelley pitched a perfect 11th. Brett Gardner and then Jeter walked, but got stranded when Ellsbury grounded out.

David Huff pitched a perfect 12th. Beltran beat out an infield single to lead off, and got to 2nd on a wild pitch. Brian McCann singled him hom--

Not so fast -- literally. Beltran couldn't score, and would have been out if he'd tried.

Ichiro Suzuki tried a squeeze bunt, but Beltran couldn't score. McCann did get to 2nd. Brian Roberts was intentionally walked to set up the double play. Francisco Cervelli lined out to 3rd.

Headley came up. Somebody on Twitter said he would win the game, because he hadn't been "infected" yet. Well, not this time: He grounded into a force play to end the threat.

And then Huff, who'd been so strong in the 12th, began the 13th by giving up a home run to J.P. Arencibia. And he allowed 2 more hits.

Huff got out of it, but the Yankees still went to the bottom of the 13th losing. But Gardner led off with a double. Jeter bunted him over to 3rd. Tying run at 3rd, winning run at the plate, 1 out. Ellsbury singled Gardner home. Beltran singled. Winning run at 3rd, runner on 1st, 1 out.

McCann, who's so slow he makes molasses look like Nestlé's Quik (I think they call that stuff "NesQuik" now), grounded into a double play. We went to the 14th.

Girardi went to his last starter, Jeff Francis, who'd already been released by 2 teams this season, making (like Headley) his first Yankee appearance. There were no relievers left: Only starting pitchers. It was Francis or nobody.

Francis allowed a 2-out single, but that was it. Bottom of the 14th.

Ichiro grounded out. But Brian Roberts hit a ground-rule double down the right field line. Man on 2nd, 1 out. Cervelli singled... but Roberts, of whose good speed John Sterling had just been talking, couldn't score.

Up came Headley. Base hit to left-center. Roberts scores. Ballgame finally over! Yankees win! Theeeeeeee Yankees win!

Yankees 2, Rangers 1: WP: Francis (1-1). No save. LP: Nick Tepesch (3-6).

“When I found out (about the trade), obviously you have mixed emotions when you’ve been at a place for as long as I’ve been in San Diego,” Headley said. “But I couldn’t be happier to be a Yankee. It’s unbelievable. I can’t even believe I’m saying that. Long day, but great way to finish.”

*

Within minutes, the jokes began. Headley is "a true Yankee." Tomorrow (meaning today) this game would be on YES' Yankees Classics, and Headley's Yankeeography couldn't be far behind.

As my fellow Arsenal fans would say, If he'd done this for Tottenham, the DVD of last night's game would already be in stores.

The Yankees have now won 4 out of 5 since the All-Star Break. Optimism.

The series continues tonight. David Phelps starts for the Yankees, Yu Darvish for the Rangers.

So much for optimism.

But, hey, you never know. Obviously, since, 14 innings ago, I was ready to bail on Hedy Lamarr.

"That's Headley!"

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