Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Age of Gregorius Dawns In Rout of Braves


During the 1996 World Series, a fan held up a sign in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium:

1864 YANKEES BURN ATLANTA
1996 ATLANTA BURNS YANKEES

Didn't quite work out that way, did it?

Last night, the Yankees opened an Interleague series against the Braves, at Turner Field, which debuted the year after that legendary series -- and is scheduled to close at the end of next season, after only 20 years.

The Braves are moving to SunTrust Park, in Atlanta's northwestern suburbs. Why? Apparently, their white Tea Party fan base doesn't like going into a Chocolate City.

Yes, I went there. They also don't like going in to see the mostly-black Hawks of the NBA. They don't seem to mind going in to watch the mostly-black Falcons of the NFL, and yet the Georgia Dome, only 25 years old, is also in the process of being replaced.

Atlanta is America's worst sports city -- at least, among those with teams in at least 3 sports.

And MLS thinks a team full of foreigners is going to make it there? Y'all, please.

For perspective: The last stadium built, intended as a permanent home for a Major League Baseball team, that lasted 20 seasons or less was... Hilltop Park, home of the Yankees 10 seasons, 1903 to 1912.

*

At any rate...

Masahiro Tanaka started for the Yankees, and got into a little early trouble, allowing 3 runs over the 1st 2 1/3 innings, before retiring 13 straight into the 7th, then stranding a double.

It ended up not mattering, because the Yankees finally broke the bats out. With 2 outs in the 1st, we got a single from Carlos Beltran, back-to-back walks by Brian McCann and Greg Bird to load the bases, a ground-rule double by Chase Headley, and a home run by Didi Gregorius, his 7th of the season. He has really come on as of late, and, despite his slow start, is putting up better numbers than last season's Yankee shortstop, ol' What's His Name.

Anyway, Tanaka had a 5-run lead before he'd ever thrown a pitch. In the 2nd, the Yankees again struck with 2 outs, getting singles by Brett Gardner and Beltran, a walk by McCann to load the bases, back-to-back RBI walks by Bird and Headley, and an RBI single by Gregorius. 9-2 Yankees after an inning and a half.

Things calmed down until the 8th. Up 9-3, the Yankees led off with Jacoby Ellsbury, who singled. Gardner grounded into a force play. Beltran doubled. McCann hit a home run, his 23rd of the year. Bird grounded out, but Headley hit another ground-rule double, and Gregorius singled him home.

Chris Young hit his 14th homer of the season in the 9th, and a McCann sacrifice fly scored a run. Yankees 15, Braves 4. WP: Tanaka (10-6). No save. LP: Williams Perez (4-5).

Didi went 4-for-5 with 6 RBIs. Everybody sing: This is the dawning of the Age of Gregorius! The Age of Gregorius! Gregorius? Gregorius!

The series continues tonight, with Luis Severino starting against Matt Wisler.

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