Saturday, July 19, 2014

First Game of Second Half? Not Seventh Heaven, But a Win

The Yankees began the 2nd half of the season at home last night, beginning a 3-game Interleague series with the Cincinnati Reds. These are easily the most significant games the Yankees have played against the Reds since the 1976 World Series. (The Big Red Machine swept the Yankees, including taking Games 3 and 4 in the newly-renovated original Yankee Stadium -- a little payback for the Yankees having swept the Reds in 1939 and winning in 5 games in 1961, both times clinching at the Reds' home at the time, Crosley Field.)

For such a significant game, manager Joe Girardi started David Phelps. It was hard to drum up much enthusiasm for this, as Phelps has been inconsistent.

But Phelps got the job done, pitching into the 7th inning, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, just 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts. All-Star Dellin Betances pitched a perfect inning and 2/3, and David Robertson pitched a scorless 9th.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit his 7th home run of the season. Brian McCann, who really needs to start hitting, had an RBI double. Carlos Beltran, who's been an injury waste thus far, had 2 hits, including an RBI single.

Yankees 4, Reds 3. WP: Phelps (4-4). SV: Robertson (24). LP: Mike Leake (7-8).

And the Oakland Athletics had a walkoff win against the Baltimore Orioles last night, cutting the O's lead over the Yanks to 4 games with 67 to play.

Yes, this can be done.

The series continues this afternoon, with Brandon McCarthy making his 2nd Yankee start, against Alfredo Simon.

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