Monday, July 13, 2015
Duke Refsnyder and A-Rod Lead Yanks to 2 of 3 Over Boston Red Scum
On Friday night, Michael Pineda took the mound in the little green pinball machine off Kenmore Square, pitched into the 7th inning, and allowed 1 run on 7 hits and no walks, striking out 6. The only run was a solo home run by Mookie Betts in the 5th inning.
(That was when Lisa Swan of Subway Squawkers came in and turned on the TV. I'm not saying she's a jinx... but she sometimes says it about herself.)
So the Yankee pitching gave the Yankee hitting the chance to win the game. They did. Alex Rodriguez hit a home run in the 1st inning. Naturally (if you'll pardon the choice of words), the Sox fans chanted, "Ster-oids!" at him, and then wildly cheered David Ortiz, who took the collar: 0-for-4. A small piece of what would serve him right.
The Yankees scored 3 more runs in the 4th, with help from a game-ending injury to Sox starter Clay Buchholz, an error by Sox 2nd baseman Brock Holt (sounds like the name of either a naive soap opera character or an unscrupulous law firm), and a bases-loaded walk by emergency reliever Robbie Ross. Ex-Chowdahead Jacoby Ellsbury singled home another run in the 8th, and the Yankees had taken the opener of the series.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 1. WP: Pineda (9-5). No save. LP: Buchholz (7-7).
In spite of how poorly the Sox are doing this season (again, a small piece of what would serve those bastards and their bastard fans right), I don't think anyone expected the Yankees to sweep this series. Beating the Red Sox is tough enough, especially in the pinball machine.
But this was Ivan Nova's 3rd straight disappointing game after his triumphant return from over a year on the Disabled List. He got into the 7th inning, and didn't walk a batter, so it wasn't an issue of control. But he allowed 4 runs on 8 hits. His ERA is 3.42, which is respectable. But in these last 3 starts, he's 0-3, with an ERA of 4.76, which is not good.
It didn't help that, in relief of Nova, Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve faced 6 batters and only got 1 of them out, adding another run to the Sox' total.
A-Rod hit another home run, his 18th of the season; and Ellsbury, remembering how much he likes hitting at Fenway, hit his 2nd. He singled in the 8th, and Brett Gardner doubled him home.
Rob Refsnyder made his much-awaited major league debut on Saturday night. Batting 9th, wearing Number 64 (surely, he'll get a lower one, possibly even this season) and playing 2nd base, he grounded out to 2nd off Eduardo Rodriguez in the 3rd, lined out to right field off Rodriguez in the 6th, and popped up to 1st off Junichi Tazawa in the 8th.
Red Sox 5, Yankees 3. WP: Rodriguez (5-2). SV: Koji Uehara (22). LP: Nova (1-3).
So yesterday afternoon was the rubber game, and the last game before the All-Star Break. There wasn't really a "must-win" vibe around the Yankees. The Sox needed the game a lot more.
Kim Jung-Tae was born on March 24, 1991 in Seoul, Korea. At the age of 5 months, he was adopted by an American couple, and given the name Robert Daniel Refsynder. He grew up in Laguna Hills, Orange County, California. That's Angels territory, and he grew up as an Angels fan. His father, a former small-college basketball player, took him to the Los Angeles Lakers' annual Christmas game every year. He played quarterback for his high school football team, but went to the University of Arizona on a football scholarship. He helped them with the 2012 College World Series.
There was a to-do about Brian Cashman keeping Refsnyder in Triple-A while Stephen Drew's bat was pathetic. At age 24, and doing very well at Scranton, he should have been up, at the minimum, in May. If not last season. After yesterday's game, it will be impossible for a reasonable man to ignore Refsnyder. We'll see if Cashman is going to be reasonable.
Brian McCann hit one out in the 2nd inning, his 14th homer of the season, making it 2-0 Yankees. But the Sox came back with 3 off Nathan Eovaldi in the 3rd. But McCann led of the 5th with a double, Chase Headley singled him over to 3rd (McCann can do lots of things, but running isn't one of them), and Wade Miley committed a balk to send McCann home with the tying run.
Brett Gardner led off the 6th with a single, and A-Rod doubled him home. After Mark Teixeira lined out, Chris Young doubled home A-Rod. McCann grounded out, but Headley doubled home Young, to make it 6-3 Yankees.
The Sox took a run back in the bottom of the 6th, but Refsnyder led of the 7th with his 1st major league hit, a single to center off Tommy Layne. In the 9th, with Headley on 2nd, Refsnyder came to bat against Alexi Ogando, and crushed a pitch over the Green Monster for a home run.
If you're keeping track at home:
Career Home Runs
Alex Rodriguez 673
Rob Refsnyder 1
Naturally, we were wondering what broadcaster John Sterling's call was going to be. It turned out to be, "Refsnyder has soul!" A play on his birthplace of Seoul. Lame, John. The least you could have done was call him "Duke Refsnyder," a play on the old Brooklyn Dodger center fielder Edwin "Duke" Snider, a.k.a. "the Duke of Flatbush."
(He was called Duke as a boy because he seemed to have a very noble bearing. Like Refsnyder, Snider was a quarterback in high school before becoming a major league slugger. Like Venus and Serena Williams, he was, literally, straight outta Compton, though he usually called neighboring Los Angeles his hometown.)
But the rookie sensation giveth, and the rookie sensation taketh away. He committed an error in the bottom of the 9th, and Andrew Miller's shakiness after coming off the DL continued. The Sox tagged him for 2 unearned runs, before he got Shane Victorino to pop up to end the game.
Yankees 8, Red Sox 6. WP: Eovaldi (9-2). No save. LP: Miley (8-8). That's 2 out of 3 against The Scum, in Scum Town.
Ortiz did not play in this game. According to Sox manager John Farrell, he has "an upper respiratory infection." Could that be code for that time-honored Sox activity, choking? Farrell said that Ortiz was "taking fluids." What kind of fluids, Johnny? Performance-enhancing fluids? Same New England, always cheating.
So, with 15 out of the season's 26 weeks in the books, the Yankees are 48-40, a pace for 88 wins. Not enough to win the American League Eastern Division? Perhaps not, but, for the moment, in 1st place. They lead the Tampa Bay Rays by 3 1/2 games (5 in the loss column), the Baltimore Orioles by 4, the Toronto Blue Jays by 4 1/2 (6 in the loss column), and the Red Sox by 6 1/2 (7 in the loss column).
If the current standings hold until the end of the season, the Playoff teams will be as follows: The Yankees, the Kansas City Royals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Minnesota Twins and the surprising Houston Astros in the AL; the Washington Nationals, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and another surprise, the Chicago Cubs, in the National League. The Mets? Despite all their injuries and their pathetic hitting, they're just a game (2 in the loss column) behind the Cubs for the 2nd NL Wild Card.
The All-Star Game is tomorrow night, in Cincinnati. A-Rod, Teix, Gardy and Dellin Betances will represent the Yankees.