Sunday, July 9, 2017

Clint Makes My Day, But This Changes Nothing

Actor-director Clint Eastwood is famous for, among other things, his line from the 1983 Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact: "Go ahead, make my day."

Yesterday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Clint Frazier made our day against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Luis Severino started for the Yankees, and went 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 10. The fact that he stood to be the losing pitcher when he left is not his fault: In the top of the 1st inning, with Eric Thames on 2nd and 2 out, home plate umpire Mike Estabrook ruled that Travis Shaw was hit with a pitch. Joe Girardi went out to argue it, to no avail. The instant replay showed that Shaw was not hit. The next batter was Domingo Santana, and he hit a home run to make it, very unfairly, 3-0 Brewers.

The Yankees took 2 runs back in the bottom of the 7th, one on a triple by Frazier. Dellin Betances calmed our fears about him a little, pitching a perfect 8th. Girardi actually went against the book (or his binder), and brought his closer in to pitch the 9th in spite of trailing. It worked, as Aroldis Chapman struck out the side.

Didi Gregorius led off the bottom of the 9th with a walk. Cliche Alert: Walks can kill you. Fortunately, this time, it worked in the Yankees' favor. Chase Headley struck out, but Jacob Ellsbury drew another walk.

Frazier came to the plate, and showed why his nickname is Red Thunder: The redhead drilled a pitch 423 feet into the bullpen, right in front of the Jersey Mike's sign.

Sending a message to this Jersey Mike, perhaps? To let me know that trading Andrew Miller to Cleveland for him last year was the right thing to do? If so, he's premature at best: One walkoff win doesn't cancel out a couple of dozen games lost because Miller wasn't available. So, in the long term, this changes nothing.

And broadcaster John Sterling did his best to ruin it with his home run call: "Oh, that Fraziah, he'll amaze ya!"

Nevertheless, it is a win, and I gladly take it: Yankees 5, Brewers 3. WP: Chapman (2-0). No save. LP: Corey Knebel (0-2).

And the Boston Red Sox lost, so the Yankees close to within 3 1/2 games of 1st place, only 2 in the loss column.

The series, and the official 1st half of the regular season, concludes tomorrow night. Masahiro Tanaka starts for New York, and Jimmy Nelson for Milwaukee.

Then it's the All-Star Break, and the Yankees resume on Friday night, in Boston, against The Scum.

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