Sunday, April 24, 2016
Gardner Gives Yanks 1st Walkoff Win of 2016
It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in New York, the kind of day that just demands a baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Well, we had to settle for Yankee Stadium II, instead of the real thing. (You maniacs, you tore it down! Damn you all to Hell!)
But it looked like it was going to be one of those days for the 2012-present Yankees. Over the 1st 8 2/3rd innings, we got just 2 runs on 6 hits.
Ah, but until sundown yesterday, it was Passover. "Why is this night different from all the others?" Well, for one reason, Joe Girardi actually let a Yankee starter who was pitching well for 6 innings also pitch the 7th. Masahiro Tanaka went 7 full, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and only 1 walk. A nice performance.
But after 7 full, he'd thrown 97 pitches, and you know Girardi. Actually, he handled this one just right: Dellin Betances pitched a perfect 8th, and Andrew Miller a scoreless 9th. If I smack Girardi when he blows it with the pitching situation, I have to credit him when he gets the pitching situation right.
If we were going to lose this game, it was going to be because we weren't hitting. Alex Rodriguez: 0-for-4, lowering his batting average to .132. Didi Gregorius: 0-for-4, although at .264 going into today's game, I can't be upset with him. Chase Headley: 0-for-3, .159. Carlos Beltran, who turns 39 today, 0-for-3, although he did draw a walk, and his BA of .279 is hardly bad. Mark Teixeira is only batting .218, but he did get a hit yesterday.
The hero of the game was Brett Gardner. He went 3-for-5, including singling home Brian McCann in the 7th. The other Yankee run came on a wild pitch in the 1st, so even though we got a run, nobody got a run batted in.
With 2 outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the 9th, and extra innings and a likely Girardi bullpen screwup looming, Gardner came up to bat against Erasmo Ramirez. He cracked a drive deep to right field. Home run.
Cue John Sterling: "Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeeeeeeee Yankees win!"
Yankees 3, Rays 2. WP: Miller (1-0). No save. LP: Ramirez (4-1). It was the 1st walkoff win of the season. It took us long enough: 16 games.
The Yankees have now taken the series from the Rays, and go for the sweep this afternoon. Michael Pineda starts against Drew Smyly.
Come on you Pinstripes!