Monday, July 17, 2017

Yanks Split Twinbill & Series In Fenway

So the Yankees played a rain-forced doubleheader yesterday, at Fenway Park. Surely, something bizarre was going to happen.

Not really. Unless you want to count Aaron Judge's slump continuing, proving once again that the All-Star Game Home Run Derby is not only stupid but harmful, and compounded by his nearly hitting a home run in the nightcap, but getting robbed by a great catch by Jackie Bradley Jr.

CC Sabathia started the opener, and he was fantastic. He went 6 innings, and gave up 5 walks, but only 2 hits, and no runs, striking out 3.

With 1 out in the top of the 4th, Didi Gregorius singled, and reached 2nd base when Clint Frazier's grounder was bobbled by Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Austin Romine singled to left, but the closeness of the Green Monster meant that Didi couldn't score. But Yi-Man Choi hit a sacrifice fly, and that got him home. Then Ronald Torreyes singled, and that scored Frazier. Didi added a home run in the 5th, his 11th of the season.

Joe Girardi took CC out after 6 innings, because he'd thrown 97 pitches. For the top of the 7th inning, Girardi put in Tyler Clippard, and from Morristown to Montauk, from Albany to Atlantic City, Pinstriped hearts sank. But Clippard got through the inning without allowing a run. So did Chad Green in the 8th. So did Aroldis Chapman in the 9th.

Yankees 3, Red Sox 0. WP: Sabathia (8-3). SV: Chapman (9). LP: Rick Porcello (4-12).

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The 2nd game was considerably less successful. Though there was the encouraging sign of a good start by Masahiro Tanaka. He went 7 2/3rds innings. allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and no walks. This was his 3rd good performance in his last 4 starts.

But the Yankees didn't hit for him. They stranded 2 runners in the 1st, the lead off man in the 3rd, a man on 2nd in the 5th, 2 runners in the 7th, and 1 in the 8th. There was a threat in the 9th: With 1 out, Gregorius doubled. But Frazier, the much-hyped "prospect," in the biggest at-bat of his career so far, flew out. Gardner drew a walk. That brought the trying run to the plate. Unfortunately, it was Chase Headley, and he struck out to end it.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 0. WP: Price (5-2). SV: Kimbrel (24). LP: Tanaka (7-9).

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So after getting a split of a series that they really needed to get at least 3 out of 4 from, here's how things stand, 15 weeks into the 26-week regular season:

* The Yankees are 47-43, on a pace for 84 wins -- equaling last season's total, 3 fewer wins than 2015, the same as 2014, and 1 less than 2013. In other words, about the usual.

* They trail the Red Sox by 3 1/2 games in the American League Eastern Division. The Tampa Bay Rays are 3 back, and the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are both 9 back. In the all-important loss column, the Yanks trail the Sox by 2, the Rays trail them by 3, and the O's and Jays by 8 each.

* If the current standings end up being the final standings, the American League Playoffs will have the Yankees visiting Tampa Bay in the Wild Card game, with the winner facing the Houston Astros in the Division Series, with the Astros having home-field advantage; and the Red Sox having HFA over the Cleveland Indians.

* In the National League, the Colorado Rockies would visit the Arizona Diamondbacks for the Wild Card game, with the Los Angeles Dodgers having HFA over the winner, and the Washington Nationals having HFA over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Yankees have left Boston, and gone to Minnesota to play the Twins. Here are the projected starting lineups:

* Tonight, 8:10 PM (7:10 local time): Bryan Mitchell (who ended up not being used in the bullpen in the Boston series, at all) vs. Adalberto Mejia.

* Tomorrow, also 8:10 (7;10): Luis Cessa vs. that fat roided-up elderly tub of goo, Bartolo Colon.

* Wednesday, 1:10 PM (12:10): Jordan Montgomery vs. Jose Berrios.

The Twins are a game over .500, a game and a half behind the Indians in the AL Central, but while they're 26-17 on the road, they're only 20-28 at home. This could be a chance for the Yankees to get something going.

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