Michael Pineda started, and brought his A-game: 6 1/3rd innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts. It was only reaching 98 pitches that caused Joe Girardi to remove him, as Girardi trusts a cold, hard number more than, you know, actual results. Adam Warren finished the 7th inning with no damage, Tyler Clippard pitched a perfect 8th, and Dellin Betances a scoreless 9th.
But you gotta score if you want to win, and Pineda trailed 2-0 going to the bottom of the 3rd. Not to worry: In that inning, Brett Gardner took Justin Vargas over the wall, for his 9th home run of the season -- and he's supposed to be, along with Jacoby Ellsbury, the Yankees' speed specialist, not a power hitter. He hit just 7 all of last season.
In the 4th, Aaron Judge was involved in yet another home run -- but he didn't hit it. Didi Gregorius did, his 2nd of the year. That gave the Yankees the lead. Chris Carter tacked on a solo homer in the 7th, his 3rd round-tripper.
Yankees 4, Royals 2. WP: Pineda (5-2). SV: Betances (3). LP: Vargas (5-3).
With the Baltimore Orioles losing last night, the Yankees go into tonight's game a game and a half in front of them in the American League East, 2 in the loss column. I know, it's too early to talk about "Magic Numbers." Let's at least get into June before discussing that.
Still, things are looking very good for the Yankees.
Then again, tonight, the Royals will be sending Danny Duffy to the mound. His slider drove the Yankees crazy in the series finale at Kauffman Stadium. Jordan Montgomery starts for us, and this could be a pitcher's duel.
Days until The Arsenal play the FA Cup Final: 4, this Saturday afternoon, May 27, at 12:30 (5:30 in the afternoon, their time), against West London club Chelsea, at the new Wembley Stadium. Their 3-1 victory home to Merseyside club Everton on Sunday wasn't enough to get them above 5th place in the Premier League. Thus, for the 1st time in 19 years -- the 1997-98 season -- Arsenal are not going to be in the UEFA Champions League next season. It's the Europa League instead. But if they beat Chelsea, who've already claimed the League title, they will have won a trophy, which is more than the other teams that finished ahead of them can claim: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool. And it's a major trophy, unlike the League Cup won by Manchester United.
Days until the Red Bulls play again: 4, this Saturday night at 7:00, home to the New England Revolution at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. They drew 1-1 with Toronto FC this past Friday night. They'll need to be better.
Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": See the previous answer. They play the Philadelphia Union on Sunday, June 18, at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. They will next play a Hudson River Derby against New York City FC on Saturday, June 24, at Red Bull Arena. And they will next play the D.C. Scum on Saturday, September 27, at Red Bull Arena.
Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 11, a week from this Saturday night, at 8:00 local time (10:00 Eastern), against Venezuela, in an international friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Sandy, Utah home of MLS' Real Salt Lake. Under 4 weeks. This is a warmup for the following week's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, the following Thursday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in the Denver suburbs, against Trinidad & Tobago, and the following Sunday against Mexico at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. At the very least, the T&T game is a must-win.
Days until the next North London Derby: Unknown, as the schedule for the 2017-18 season won't be released until June 14. The soonest it would be is the 1st Saturday of the new season, which would be August 12. That's 81 days. But derbies rarely kick off the season, so it will probably be a lot more.
Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 101, on Friday, September 1, home to the University of Washington. A little over 3 months.
Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the 2017 schedule hasn't been released yet. I now know that high school football games have been scheduled in Middlesex County, New Jersey on Friday night, September 8. That's 108 days from now.
Days until the New Jersey Devils play again: We don't know, as the 2017-18 NHL schedule has yet to be released. The NHL season usually begins on the 2nd Friday in October, which, in 2017, would be... ugh... Friday the 13th. That's 143 days. A little under 5 months.
Days until the Alex Rodriguez Contract From Hell officially runs out, and the Yankees can spend his salary on new players: 161, on October 31.
Days until the next election for Governor of New Jersey: 168, on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. A little over 5 months.
Days until the next Rutgers-Penn State football game: 172, on Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.
Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 187, on Thursday morning, November 23, 2017, at 10:00. Exactly 6 months, and thank God it's at home at Jay Doyle's grove, rather than at the purple shit pit on Route 9.
Days until the next Winter Olympics begins in Pyeongchang, Korea: 262, on February 9, 2018. Under 9 months.
Days until the next World Cup kicks off in Russia: 387, on June 14, 2018. A bit over a year, or a little under 13 months. Has Bruce Arena turned our chances around? Or will Trump ruin them? Maybe, with the tournament on his soil, Putin will tell Trump to tell Bruce Arena to tank the games. Maybe not. Or maybe just if we end up playing Russia. I don't think Arena will listen. I hope his life insurance is paid up, because Putin kills people.
Days until September 2018 roster call-ups, when we can finally start to expect seeing some of those wonderful "prospects" for whom Yankee general manager Brian Cashman threw away a chance at the 2016 Playoffs: 467. Under a year and a half, or under 16 months. Of course, we could end up seeing one or more of them sooner than that, but since most of them are at Double-A Trenton now, if that, who's kidding who? Then again, at the rate the Yankees are going now, we may not need them!
Days until the next Congressional election: 532, on November 6, 2018. Under 2 years, or a little under 19 months.
Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Mariano Rivera: 596, on January 9, 2019. Under 2 years, or a little under 20 months.
Days until the Baseball Hall of Fame vote is announced, electing Derek Jeter: 961, on January 8, 2020. Under 3 years, or a little under 32 months.
Days until the next Summer Olympics begins in Tokyo, Japan: 1,159, on July 24, 2020. A little over 3 years, or 38 months.
Days until the next Presidential election: 1,261, on November 3, 2020. Under 4 years, or a little over 41 months.
Days until Liberation Day: 1,339, at noon on January 20, 2021. Under 4 years, or a little under 44 months. Note that this is liberation from the Republican Party, not just Donald Trump. Having Mike Pence as President wouldn't be better, just differently bad.