Friday, July 28, 2017

Gardy Goes Walkoff Yardy to Beat Rays

Last night looked like it was going to be one of those games where I would have to copy-and-paste my frequent use of, "But because Joe Girardi is an idiot who does not know how to handle a pitching staff,"...

Because the opener of our 4-game home series with the Tampa Bay Rays went to extra innings. And once the game goes to extra innings, and I remember that Girardi is the manager, my confidence crashes through the floor.

The Yankees scored 2 runs in the 2nd inning. Gary Sanchez hit a home run in the 3rd, his 15th of the season, to make it 3-0.

CC Sabathia cruised through the 1st 3 innings, but fell apart in the 4th. By the time Chad Green wrapped up the 6th, it was 5-3 Rays. It remained 5-3 Rays as Tommy Kahnle pitched a perfect 7th and Dellin Betances a shaky but scoreless top of the 8th.

Didi Gregorius led off the bottom of the 8th with a single, and Chase Headley followed with another, getting him to 3rd base. Matt Holliday grounded into a fielder's choice, eliminating Headley but allowing Didi to make it 5-4.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless top of the 9th. The rest of the game was the Brett Gardner show. Our resident speedster led off the bottom of the 9th with a triple. But "prospect" Clint Frazier, in a big clutch moment, failed, grounding to 3rd, forcing Gardner to stay put. Aaron Judge flew out, and the Yankees were down to their last out. But Sanchez singled to center, tying the game. Didi grounded out, sending the game to extra innings.

Girardi used closer Aroldis Chapman to pitch the 10th and the 11th, knowing that he has David Robertson to close tonight's game. See what having 2 closers can do, especially when you don't trade them away for "prospects," Brian Cashman?

It also helps if you don't trade away Brett Gardner, as many Yankee Fans have suggested. He led off the bottom of the 11th with a long drive to right field. Cue John Sterling: "Swung on, and there it goes! Deep to right field! That ball is high! It is far! It is gone! Gardy goes yardy! Ballgame over! Yankees win! Theeeeeee Yankees win!"

Yankees 6, Rays 5. WP: Chapman (3-1). No save. LP: Andrew Kittredge (0-1).

There was one unfortunate casualty of the celebration. As the players were jumping up and down at home plate upon Gardner's return, somebody jumped up, and his helmet smacked Judge in the mouth, and broke one of his teeth. This is not a recommended way to "take one for the team." Not even in old-time hockey.

This was 1 of the 4 games the Yankees had in hand on the Red Sox. We are now half a game behind them in the American League East, and a game ahead of them in the all-important loss column. 100 games down, 62 to go.

The series with Tampa Bay continues tonight, with Masahiro Tanaka starting against Austin Pruitt. Why do people keep giving their sons last names as first names? They end up sounding like sleazy law firms, or maybe sleazy soap opera characters.

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