Wednesday, August 19, 2015
A-Rod Powers Yankee Comeback In Grand Fashion
Last night's Yankee game against the Minnesota Twins was never going to be easy, what with the bullpen being fully used the night before, and the still-shaky CC Sabathia starting. Of all the things CC eats, innings no longer seems to be among them.
CC was fine for the 1st 6 innings. In fact, for the 1st 4, he was perfect. He didn't allow a baserunner until 1 out in the 5th. But a walk, a single and a double led to a Minnesota run. In the 7th, he gave up a 2-run home run to Miguel Sano, and set up another run that Nick Rumbelow was unable to prevent. Rumbelow is a righthanded Texan, about to turn 24, and was making only his 7th major league appearance.
Former Met Mike Pelfrey started for the Twins, and, except for a double by Carlos Beltran and a single for the 1st major league RBI by Greg Bird, he was really good for 5 innings. The Yankees threatened in the 6th, leading Twins manager Paul Molitor to call on his bullpen, but we got no closer.
It was 4-1 Twins and not looking good when Chase Headley led off the bottom of the 7th with a single to left. Brendan Ryan drew a walk. Jacoby Ellsbury flew to right, deep enough to move Headley over. Brett Gardner drew a walk -- one of those "unintentional intentional walks" -- to load the bases.
The batter was Alex Rodriguez. Funny thing, I don't remember A-Rod hitting his 24th career grand slam, to break the long-standing major league record of Yankee Legend Lou Gehrig.
I'll remember his 25th, though. A-Rod was the 1st batter faced by Twins rookie (but not debuting) reliever J.R. Graham, and Graham wishes it was somebody else. A-Rod crushed a drive to right-center for a grand slam. 5-4 Yankees.
The Yankees didn't stop there. Bird led off the 8th with a single, Didi Gregorius added another, Headley doubled them both home, Ryan sacrificed Headley to 3rd, and Ellsbury singled him home.
Justin Wilson got the 1st 2 outs in the 8th, and Andrew Miller gave us a 4-out save. Yankees 8, Twins 4. WP: Rumbelow (1-0), his 1st major league win, even though he faced just 2 batters and retired only 1 of them. SV: Miller (27). LP: Graham (0-1).
The Toronto Blue Jays also won, so the Yankees' Magic Number to clinch the American League Eastern Division is reduced to 42... not 41 like we'd hoped. The Jays played an Interleague game against the Philadelphia Phillies, who blew a lead.
The Awkward Moment when a Mets win help the Yankees: The Mets had an Interleague game of their own, and while their bullpen nearly blew it again, it hung on, and they beat the Baltimore Orioles, the other team in the AL East race.
The Yankees also announced that Bryan Mitchell, victim of a line drive that broke his nose, has been, as a precaution, placed on the 7-day "concussion DL."
This was for the best, as he'd already had a recent concussion in the minor leagues. As Mitchell said himself:
As soon as it hit me, I knew that I had just gotten hit, but my eyes were OK, my jaw was OK. I knew that I was basically alive. I basically said, "I'm all right, let's just get me off the field." That was really it. It was pretty quick. It was bad, though...
I think most of the time they're just playing it cautious. I saw the neurologist today, but given that I had the concussion a month ago down in Scranton, we're kind of trying to play it safe. As of now, everything seems to be pretty good.
That's a relief. We haven't yet gotten to know Mitchell, or get emotionally attached to him. But we don't want any of our players to get hurt, and we certainly don't want them to suffer a permanent impairment.
The Yankees also sent reliever Caleb Cotham, who relieved Mitchell, back down to Scranton. This created 2 open roster spots, and they called up Rumbelow and... oy, God, no... Chris Capuano.
The series with the Twins concludes this afternoon, with Nathan Eovaldi starting against Ervin Santana. Come on, Yankees, we want a sweep! (Translation: Don't let Capuano in the game!)