Monday, May 23, 2016

Niece Born With a 5-Game Winning Streak

New Yankee Fan! My 3rd niece was born this morning! Mother and child both resting comfortably at a New Jersey hospital.

I've already succeeding in convincing the 1st 2 to become Yankee Fans.

From the "You can't make this stuff up" department: The Babe was born at 7:14.

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Anyway... As Blake Lively probably shouldn't say, this past weekend, the Yankees kicked some Oakland booty.

On Thursday night, the Yankees began a 4-game series with the Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum. They got 6 innings of strong start from Ivan Nova, and a scoreless inning each from Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman.

They got enough runs to back it up. Carlos Beltran hit his 9th home run of the season. He, Brett Gardner and, yes, Chase Headley each got 2 hits.

Yankees 4, A's 1. WP: Nova (3-1). SV: Chapman (5). LP: Kendall Graveman (1-6).

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On Friday night, East Bay native CC Sabathia pitched against his childhood team, and pitched like the CC of 2001 to 2012, going 6 strong innings, striking out 8 and walking only 1. Beltran and Didi Gregorius each had 3 hits, Jacoby Ellsbury and Ronald Torreyes each had 2. A 5-run 4th inning put the game away.

Yankees 8, A's 3. WP: Sabathia (3-2). No save. LP: Sonny Gray (but we were sweeping the... A's away; 3-5).

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Saturday afternoon, it was Tanaka Time. Masahiro Tanaka was allowed to go 7 innings by Joe Girardi. And with a cushion, Girardi gave most of the bullpen the night off, letting Nick Goody pitch the last 2 innings.

Starlin Castro had 3 hits, Beltran 2, and Rob Refsnyder, who's really gotten a raw deal (first last year, getting stuck behind Stephen Drew, and now with Castro getting signed and blocking his path at 2nd base), hit a 2-RBI double. Again, it was the 4th inning that made the difference, with the Yankees tallying 4 times.

Yankees 5, A's 1. WP: Tanaka (2-0). No save. LP: Sean Manaea (1-2).

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On Sunday afternoon, Michael Pineda got the start, and fell behind 1-0 in the 1st inning. But home runs by Brian McCann in the 2nd (his 6th of the season) and Ellsbury in the 3rd (his 2nd) gave the Yankees the lead. The A's tied it in the 5th, but the Yankees got 2 runs in the 6th and 1 in the 7th.

Betances was fine in the 7th, but Miller fell victim to an error and an unearned run in the 8th. But Chapman did what we acquired him to do, which was slam the door in the 9th.

Yankees 5, A's 4. WP: Pineda (2-5). SV: Chapman (6). LP: Jesse Hahn (1-2).

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So, 7 weeks into the 26-week season, this is how the American League Eastern Division stands:

Baltimore Orioles, 26-16
Boston Red Sox, 27-17, behind on percentage points
New York Yankees, 21-22, 5 1/2 games behind, 6 in the loss column
Tampa Bay Rays, 20-21, 5 1/2 back, 5 in the loss column
Toronto Blue Jays, 22-24, 6 back, 8 in the loss column

Despite a horrendous start, the Yankees are by no means out of the race, are only 1 game under .500, and are on a 5-game winning streak.

Today is a travel day, and then the Yankees start a home series against those pesky Toronto Blue Jays, who are not looking like defending Division Champions, or like a team that reached the AL Championship Series last season.

Here are the projected pitching matchups:

* Tomorrow, 7:05 PM: Nathan Eovaldi against former Met R.A. Dickey.

* Wednesday, 7:05 PM: Nova vs. Marco Estrada.

* Thursday, 4:05 PM: Sabathia vs. Aaron Sanchez.

Come on you Pinstripes! Do it for Mackenzie, your newest fan!

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