Thursday, April 13, 2017

Yanks Back to .500, and Clicking

After a day off following the home opener, the Yankees faced the Tampa Bay Rays again yesterday afternoon. Jordan Blackmon Montgomery, a 24-year-old lefthanded pitcher with a name like a law firm, made his major league debut. He was pitching to Kyle Higashioka, who had already played but not yet started. It was the 1st time since 2003 that the Yankees had a pitcher and a catcher both making their major league starting debuts.

It didn't start out so well. In the 1st inning, Montgomery hung a curveball to Rickie Weeks, and it was 2-0 Rays. He settled down after that mistake, which shows some character, and got to the 5th, when an error forced an unearned run, making it 3-0. Joe Girardi took him out, and so he finished with 4 2/3rds innings pitched, 3 runs, 2 of them earned, on 5 hits and 2 walks, with 7 strikeouts. Overall, not good, but encouraging.

Bryan Mitchell came in, finished the 5th, and pitched a perfect 6th. The Yankees came back, as Rays starter Blake Snell didn't get out of the 5th, either. A bases-loaded walk to Aaron Hicks and a wild pitch made it 3-2.

In the 6th, Rays manager Kevin Cash brought Jose "Jumbo" Diaz in to pitch. Jumbo, indeed: At 6-foot-4 and listed as 315 pounds, he makes CC Sabathia look normal-sized. Starlin Castro led off by reaching 1st on an infield single. Chase Headley singled, then so did Aaron Judge, tying the game. Higashioka tried to bunt the runners over, and Headley did get to 3rd, but Judge was thrown out at 2nd.

Cash brought Xavier Cedeno in to relieve. Brett Gardner hit it back to him, and collided with Weeks at 1st base, allowing Headley to score the go-ahead run. Both Gardner and Weeks had to leave the game. Gardner is listed as day-to-day with a bruised jaw and a strained neck.

Gardner is known for his speed, so it was weird to see someone pinch-run for him, but he was injured. Ronald Torreyes took over on 1st, and Jacoby Ellsbury singled home Higashioka. Hicks grounded to 2nd, scoring Torreyes.

In the bottom of the 7th, Judge crushed a drive into Monument Park, measured at 435 feet. It was his 3rd home run of the season, and his 3rd straight game with a homer.

The Rays scored in the 8th, but Aroldis Chapman came on to slam the door. Yankees 8, Rays 4. WP: Mitchell (1-0). SV: Chapman (1). LP: Diaz (0-1).

The Yankees started the season at 1-4, and looking terrible. They are now 4-4, back to .500, and clicking in spite of injuries. In other words, doing what the Yankees usually do when they do well.

The series concludes tonight at 7. Luis Severino starts against Matt Andariese. Come on you Pinstripes!

No comments: