Game 59: LAA vs. NYY — Late offense better than none

There are these graphics you can find online that track the probability of which team is most likely to win at any point during the game. So you can literally watch a team progress or regress visually as the game is played before your eyes. I can only imagine what this one would look like because for about half the game, it certainly wasn’t in the Yankees’ favor. And yet, somehow, they managed to just blow away the Angels in tonight’s game by the end of the game.

Nathan Eovaldi got roughed up quite a bit in his start tonight. He threw 99 pitches in just over 5 innings, giving up a whopping 10 hits, 5 runs, and a walk, and struck out just 4 batters. He certainly wasn’t up to his “NastyNate” self. A 1-out ground-rule double in the 1st scored on an RBI single and a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild in the very 1st inning wasn’t exactly a good sign of things to come.

In the 2nd, with a lead-off double and 1 out, an Angels’ player (and Yankee bench player briefly) hit his first home run of the season, a 2-run shot into the left field seats. And a 1-out solo home run in the 3rd kept the Angels expanding their lead under Eovaldi’s watch. And consecutive doubles in the 5th scored another run for the Angels.

Eovaldi walked out of the game with 1 out and a runner on base in the 6th, and the Yankees went to recent call-up Anthony Swarzak who effectively shut the Angels down through the rest of the 6th and through the 7th inning in his pinstriped debut tonight. He also set himself up for the win, his first win since the 2014 season. Yates and Goody closed out the final two innings, Goody with the easiest inning despite a lead-off solo home run.

So the Yankee pitchers gave up a total of 14 hits to Angels’ batters, striking out 8. Not exactly the greatest numbers if one thinks of for a win. And yet…

Okay, so the Yankee offense was admittedly late to the party tonight, but they certainly made up for it. They certainly started things off right in the 1st inning. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and then scored on Brett Gardner’s double. Gardner then scored on Alex Rodriguez’s single. And Ellsbury added to that with a lead-off solo home run into the 2nd deck of the right field seats in the 3rd.

Chris Parmelee’s 1-out double in the 4th was his first Yankee hit, and he would then score on Gardner’s 2-out single. Parmelee followed up that hit with a lead-off solo home run in the 6th to the same spot Ellsbury hit his home run just a few innings before. Then with 1 out and Ellsbury on base with a walk, the Angels’ starter was done and the Yankees really took off. Gardner singled to get on base, Beltran’s double scored Ellsbury, and another pitcher left the game. Brian McCann’s 2-run single capped this 4-run inning.

And the Yankees must have decided they liked 4-run innings as they did it again in the 7th. Gregorius singled on based and then Parmelee’s 2nd home run of the night got the Bronx on their feet. Then with 2 outs and Gardner on 1st, Beltran’s 2-run home run forced another pitcher out of the game. Which must be the pitcher the Angels’ were looking for all night as the Yankees stopped scoring runs at that point.

But at that point, they’d hit 17 hits (tying their season high from April 6 against Houston) and just 5 strikeouts tonight. Plus every starter made it on base, though Torreyes (filling in for Headley at 3rd tonight) only managed on through an error in the 7th inning. The latter part of the game was just fascinating to watch.

Final score: 12-6 Yankees.

HOPE Week Day 3: It was a Yankee special treat for a great group of kindergarteners in Harlem today. Andrew Miller, Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Rob Refsnyder, Chasen Shreve, Austin Romine, Masahiro Tanaka, Tanaka’s interpreter Shingo Horie, and Kirby Yates partnered with a hip-hop music group, the reigning Miss New York USA, and a celebrity chef to help out a great charity called Harlem Grown.

Harlem Grown was founded in 2009 by Tony Hillery, a former limo driver, who decided to volunteer at local schools with the specific purpose of teaching kids how to eat healthy and help them grow their own food in community gardens. Hillery knows that in lower income areas eating healthy is near impossible because fresh foods aren’t cheap, and in a more urban environment, space for personal gardens is a luxury. So he partners with local communities to create community spaces to teach children how to grow and then prepare their own healthy food. What he doesn’t give away to the community, he sells to local grocers and returns those profits back into the project.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay and actor (and huge Yankee fan) Billy Crystal sent their video greetings to the Yankees and the HOPE Week recipients for their generosity to their community. The Yankees presented Hillery with a $10,000 check, and Hillery threw out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game.

I never ceased to be amazed at the most incredible people the Yankees choose to honor and celebrate during HOPE Week. It is an inspiration to us all to be encouraged to do our little part in our community because all those little parts together can certainly make this world a better place.

Go Yankees!

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