Saturday, August 9, 2014

Beltran's Slam Brings Smiles to Esmil Rogers' Neighborhood

Last night, the Yankees started a 3-game home series against the Cleveland Indians. When the previous game ended on Thursday afternoon, Joe Girardi still did not know who his starting pitcher for last night would be.

He chose Esmil Rogers, who had made 173 previous appearances in the major leagues, but only 42 of them starts.

At first, it looked like a mistake, as he allowed a run in the top of the 1st. But the Yankees put a five-spot on the board. A Carlos Beltran single scored Derek Jeter. Chase Headley walked with the bases loaded, to bring home Jacoby Ellsbury. Stephen Drew singled Beltran home. And an error on a grounder by Martin Prado brought home Brian McCann and Headley. 5-1 Yankees.

Knowing that Rogers has been mostly a reliever this season, Girardi only let him pitch 5 innings. He allowed just the 1 run, on 4 hits and 1 walk.

Girardi brought David Huff in to pitch the 6th, but he got shaky, and the Indians scored to make it 5-2.

In the 6th, the Yankees loaded the bases again, and Beltran hit a grand slam. It was the 372nd home run of Beltran's career, and his 14th of the season. The Yankees added another run to make it 10-2. An 8-run lead should have been safe.

And then Girardi compounded Huff's shakiness by bringing in the unreliable Shawn Kelley during the 7th. Next thing you know, it's 10-6.

But Adam Warren, Rich Hill and Dellin Betances shut the door. Yankees 10, Indians 6.

WP: Rogers (2-0). No save. LP: Trevor Bauer (4-7).

The Baltimore Orioles won, so the Yankees remain 5 games out of 1st place in the American League East. But we're only half a game, 1 in the loss column, behind the 2nd AL Wild Card spot. Either way, we're very much in the race, despite all the injuries, despite all the bad-looking losses.

The series continues this afternoon, with Brandon McCarthy starting against Corey Kluber. Today is also Paul O'Neill Day, as Paulie Pinstripes gets his Monument Park Plaque and, presumably, his Number 21 retired. The ceremonies begin at 12:00 noon, on the YES Network. The game itself will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1, meaning you can expect Fox's usual hate-the-Yankees approach.

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