Game 143: TB vs. NYY — “It’s not how it starts, it’s how it ends”

The Yankees are a study in perseverance this year, using this game as a very explicit demonstration of such a motto. I saw this on my Twitter feed right after the Yankees took the win today against the visiting Rays thought it completely summed up tonight’s game (and hopefully a nice predictor of the future).

Chris Capuano got the start tonight and really just seemed to be having what has to be the worst off-night of his career. He faced 7 batters, gave up 4 hits and 2 walks, got 4 earned runs (an RBI double, 2 RBI singles, and a sacrifice fly), struck out 1 batter (the only out he got), and threw 36 pitches. I should mention this was all in the 1st inning.

Chase Whitley was brought on in relief to stop the bleeding, something he did quite successfully. Whitely finished the 1st quickly and plowed right through the 2nd and 3rd innings, throwing just 41 pitches overall. Preston Claiborne got the nod for the 4th and 5th innings, keeping that steamroller going to keep those pesky Rays in check and holding at just 4 runs. This also meant that he would be on the hook when the Yankees caught up and took the lead.

Aside from Brian McCann’s 2-out solo home run in the 1st, it would be the 3rd inning for the Yankees to start making their offensive move. Chris Young led-off the inning with a single and ended up at 3rd when Ellsbury walked and the catcher for some reason tried to throw Young out stealing first (remember Ellsbury just walked and that meant that Young would automatically advance to 2nd, no stealing necessary); so while the ball rolled into center field, Young just dashed his way to 3rd. So the stage was set for McCann again to contribute to the offense, this time with a 2-run single. It was now 4-3 Rays. And despite loading up the bases, the Yankees couldn’t push it to a tie.

Yet…

It would be Young, who stated the 3rd inning rally, to tie up the game with a solo home run to the left field seats in the 4th inning. And in the 5th inning, the Yankees pushed for the win. McCann, on base with a hit-by-pitch, scored easily on Mark Teixeira’s triple. Teixeira would then score on Chase Headley’s single. So it was 6-4 Yankees to defend all the way to the finish line.

In the meantime, Warren and Betances split the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, continuing that steamrolling over the Rays, who were kept to those 4 runs. Except it wasn’t enough for the Yankees because sometimes to win, you need a little insurance of that cushion of victory. Something they decided to earn in the 8th inning. Headley led-off with a single and then scored on Ichiro Suzuki’s double. Ichiro would then score on Young’s double. So it would be 8-4 Yankees going into the final half-inning.

Esmil Rogers took over in relief for the 9th, and he quickly got 2 outs , pushing an already energetic crowd in the Bronx to their feet with anticipation of a much-needed victory in the air. But a solo home run from a Rays power-hitter,  had the Bronx booing in eagerness to see a win. But an out later, the Rays’ hopes of a last-minute comeback were dashed, and the Yankees claimed the win 8-5.

Carlos Beltran is out of the lineup for a couple of days with elbow soreness again. This is the same elbow that has a bone spur that will need to be operated on following the season and has been receiving treatments of cortisone shots to keep him in the game before having to resort to the inevitable surgery. But now with the new flare-up, they will forego the next round of treatment to see if the elbow “calms down” on its own. However, if it doesn’t, they will probably shut him down for the season, send him in for surgery, and begin his recovery for the 2015 season.

Beltran joins the list of “wait-and-sees” like Prado who’s out with a hamstring issue and Gardner who’s nursing an abdominal injury. As always, we wish these guys (and those still on the DL) a quick, and speedy recovery, but mostly we wish whole healthy for the long-term. Take care of yourselves, people!

Go Yankees!

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