Okay, in comparison, this afternoon’s game against the Rockies wasn’t as bad as yesterday. (This is me trying to find the positive, so bear with me here.) It’s just that the Rockies played better than the Yankees in their second game of this odd little 2-game stint in Denver. Unlike yesterday, where there wasn’t a lot of positives to say about either side, both teams played much better. The Rockies simply pitched better.
Ivan Nova got the start tonight for the Yankees, with some arguably mixed results today — 86 pitches in 5 innings, 10 hits, 2 walks, 5 runs, and 5 strike outs. In the 3rd, with 1 out, Nova gave up a double that scored on an RBI single to get the Rockies on the board.
The Yankees came right back in the top of the 4th inning to take control of the game. With 2 outs and Ellsbury and Castro on base with singles, Didi Gregorius’ single scored Ellsbury, and then Aaron Hicks’ sloppy single and the catcher’s throwing error scored Castro and moved runners into scoring position. While a ground out quickly ended the inning, the Yankees had pulled into the lead.
So Nova’s final inning, the 5th, is what caused some trouble. Nova gave up a lead-off walk, who then stole 2nd and scored on an RBI single to tie up the game. A 2-run home run gave the Rockies the lead again, all before an out was recorded for this inning. A 1-out double scored on a 2-out single to really cushion the lead for them.
The Yankees made another attempt at catching up right again in the top of the next inning. With 2 outs, Headley and Gregorius singled to get on base. Hicks again singled and scored a runner (Headley). But that’s all they’d get in the 6th.
Anthony Swarzak pitched a rather nice 6th inning for the Yankees, with a great double play at the end, despite accidentally hitting a batter, knocking his helmet off. The batter is fine, but the remorse of Swarzak was apparent in his immediate reaction. Of course, the next Rockies reliever took it upon himself to retaliate by throwing high and inside at Romine, which prompted the umpires to warn that reliever and both dugouts to stop this nonsense. Swarzak’s incident wasn’t intentional, so the “retaliation” was completely uncalled for, ridiculous, and unprofessional.
Betances’ 7th inning was scoreless, keeping the Rockies from adding to their lead. But Chapman’s 8th inning was a bit of a mixed bag. After getting 2 outs (one a nice Superman-dive by Headley), a batter singled on a 100 mph fast ball only to easily score on a big triple, which Ellsbury had trouble playing off the back wall in time. Chapman, however, closed out the inning with a pop-up in foul territory.
The Yankees’ hopes of coming back for a last-minute rally were dashed by the same closer as yesterday just shutting the door and setting the Yankees’ batters down in order.
Final score: 6-3 Rockies, Rockies take series 2-0.
Now, the Yankees are off to Minnesota for a 4-game weekend series. Hopefully, things will be sorted out if the Yankees get back into the AL.
Injury updates: Mark Teixeira is on his way to a rehab assignment next week. Teixeira has been on the DL since the beginning of this month (June 4) due to a partial cartilage tear in his knee that technically requires surgery to repair. With cortisone shots and other treatments, he has been progressing quicker than originally anticipated and is looking forward to being back on the field.
Carlos Beltran has been out recently due to a swollen left knee. While not an official DL, Beltran has been taking a few days to rest, ice, and not stress his knee by warming the bench. The Yankees clearly missed his offensive contribution in this series.