Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Yanks Can't Quite Complete Minnesota Sweep


The Yankees nearly blew their Saturday afternoon game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis. Perhaps that was a sign that they were going to lose the Sunday game.

Michael Pineda started for the Yankees on Saturday, and, yet again, he didn't have good stuff, not making it out of the 6th inning. He left trailing 4-0.

But the Yankee bats woke up in the top of the 7th. Carlos Beltran led off with a single, and Alex Rodriguez went the opposite way with a home run, his 8th of the season. That made it 4-2. In the 8th, Brett Gardner singled, and Beltran added a home run of his own, his 18th, to tie the game.

The Yankees thought they'd put the game away in the 9th. Chase Headley led off with a walk. Didi Gregorius singled. A passed ball made it runners on 2nd & 3rd with nobody out. Rob Refsnyder was walked intentionally to set up the force play at any base. Starlin Castro struck out, and #YankeesTwitter went into full #HereWeGoAgain mode. (That hashtag didn't actually happen, but it could have.) But Jacoby Ellsbury singled home Headley and Gregorius. A wild pitch moved the runners over. And Gardner hit a sacrifice fly to get Refsnyder home. 7-4 Yankees.

Aroldis Chapman struck out he 1st 2 batters in the bottom of the 9th. But then he made the game much more interesting than he should have, and #YankeesTwitter started demanding that he be traded for a 1st baseman. He gave up home runs to Eduardo Escobar and Kurt Suzuki -- not exactly power threats. Then he got Trevor Plouffe to ground out to end the threat.

Yankees 7, Twins 6. WP: Andrew Miller (4-0). SV: Chapman (13). LP: Fernando Abad (1-1).

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The Sunday game turned out to be what we hoped the Saturday game wouldn't. Nathan Eovaldi pitched every bit as erratically as Pineda, also not getting out of the 6th inning. He was so good nearly all of last season before getting hurt, and again early this season, but he has badly slumped.

The Yankees actually led 2-0 after 4 innings, due in part to the 12th home run of the season by Brian McCann. But neither Eovaldi nor the bullpen could hold the Twins off. A late comeback bid fell short, as we only got single runs in the 8th and the 9th.

Twins 7, Yankees 4. WP: Ervin Santana (2-7). SV: Brandon Kintzler (2). LP: Eovaldi (6-4).

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After 11 weeks of the 26-week season, the Yankees are 34-35, 6 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Eastern Division. Not good, but not getting worse; more like they've been running in place, but then, so have the Orioles, and so have the Boston Red Sox, 1 game behind the O's.

* The Yankees begin anither 2-game series with the Colorado Rockies, tbis time at home. Here are the projected pitching matchups: Tonight, 7:05 PM: Ivan Nova vs. Chad Bettis.
* Tomorrow_ 1:05 PM: CC Sabathia vs. Mom Gray.

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