Saturday, July 22, 2017

It's Not Just Noise: It's Aaron Judge

Joe Girardi played musical chairs with the pitching staff again last night. CC Sabathia allowed just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings, but, because Girardi freaks out when a starter reaches 95 pitches, and CC needed 98 to get through 5, Joe went to the bullpen.

Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren each pitched an inning, allowing a total of 3 hits and no walks in 4 innings. I'll take that anytime. In other words, Girardi did what I don't like him to do, but it worked.

But you gotta score, and the Yankees went into the top of the 3rd inning trailing 1-0. But back-to-back leadoff doubles by Chase Headley and Clint Frazier made it 1-1. Frazier got to 3rd on a Brett Gardner flyout, and Aaron Judge hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.

Judge came into this game 4-for-30 with no home runs since winning the Home Run Derby. Once again, that event jinxed the winner.

Jinx over. With 1 out in the top of the 5th, Gardner and Gary Sanchez singled. Judge came up against Mariner starter Andrew Moore. Safeco Field was built just south of the Kingdome, which was then demolished, with CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL's Seahawks, built on the site. Judge tomahawked a ball into the next-to-last row of the upper deck in Safeco's left field. It was his 31st dinger of the season, and it was measured at 440 feet. It seemed longer: At first, it looked like he'd hit a ball out of the one stadium and into the other.

It also forged what turned out to be the final score: Yankees 5, Mariners 1. WP: Sabathia (9-3 -- admit it, you didn't think he'd win 9 games all season, but he's got 9 and it's still July). No save. LP: Moore (1-2).

After the game, Judge was asked if the Derby had affected his swing. He said it hadn't: "It's just noise. I got a job to do."

When Aaron Judge does his job, there is noise. My kind of noise.

So the Yankees have taken the 1st 2 games of this 4-game Coast set. It continues tonight, with Masahiro Tanaka starting against Ariel Miranda.

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