Monday, May 29, 2017

Judge's Slam Leads Yanks Past A's

Yesterday was a long and busy day. Scheduled for the same 1:00 start as the Yankee game was my sister's party for my niece Mackenzie's 1st birthday, which was this past Tuesday. And she doesn't allow the watching of sports on television while she's hosting a party. One must be very discreet in using one's phone to check the score of one's team.

Then, at 5:00, was the wedding of an old family friend, and I had to use my phone not to check the score, but to give my mother directions -- to a place in a town less than 25 miles away, but in a town neither one of us had ever been to before, and where there was not really a straight road taking us there. A lot of twists and turns on hills. But we made it, and all went well at both the ceremony and the reception. (Except the coffee. That was awful. But that wasn't the bride's and/or groom's fault.) And, once we got there, I was able to look up the score, which had gone final, and it was a win.

So that was a bit of a metaphor for the Yankees' season thus far. Yesterday afternoon, Michael Pineda started the series finale against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium. He went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs (only 2 of them earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks, with 5 strikeouts.

The Yankees fell behind 2-0 in the top of the 2nd inning, but took a run back in the bottom half, on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Hicks. The Yankees loaded the bases in the 3rd, and Aaron Judge cranked one, his 16th home run of the season -- and was the day before Memorial Day. It was his 1st career grand slam, and it gave the Yankees a 5-2 lead.

The Yankees weren't done. Chris Carter brought a run home with a sac fly in the 4th. Gary Sanchez drove in a run with a double in the 7th.

Chad Green got through the 7th without any trouble, but ran into it in the 8th, allowing 2 runs. Tommy Layne couldn't get out of it, and, with Dellin Betances overworked, Joe Girardi handed the ball to Adam Warren. I'm glad I didn't know that at the time. But Warren got out of the jam, and produced a 4-out save. A Brett Gardner double in the bottom of the 8th got those 2 runs back, and produced the final score: Yankees 9, A's 5. WP: Pineda (6-2). SV: Warren (1). LP: Andrew Triggs (5-4).

It's worth noting that the Baltimore Orioles have slumped, losing 7 straight, and the Boston Red Sox have surged. It is now the Sox who are in 2nd place behind the Yankees in the American League East, 3 games behind the Yankees. The Orioles are 4 1/2 back, the Tampa Bay Rays 5 back, and the Toronto Blue Jays, who got off to an atrocious start, have picked themselves up, and are now only 7 1/2 back. In the all-important loss column, it's the Sox 4 back, the O's 5, the Rays 8 and the Jays 9.

Instead of a doubleheader, as was traditional on Memorial Day, the Yankees go down to Baltimore to begin a series with the sliding O's this afternoon. Jordan Montgomery, who has been a nice surprise thus far, starts for the Pinstripes, and Dylan Bundy for the O's. The Yankees will then head up to Canada for 4 in Toronto.

A side note: One thing that did not go well yesterday was that my legs and my back were acting up. I was in a lot of pain. Fortunately, this morning -- those of you who've read Ball Four will get this -- I'm not sore, I'm just a little stiff. It's a relief.

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