The Yankees take 2 out of 3 games in the series again, which is very crucial when they’re facing teams also in the Wild Card race. Add to that Joe Girardi’s 800th managerial win and Brett Gardner’s birthday, and it turns out that Wednesday is a pretty good day.
Masahiro Tanaka got the start for the final game this afternoon against the Mariners and kept them scoreless through his 7 innings. He threw 106 pitches, gave up just 6 hits and a walk, and struck out only 5 batters for his 11th win of the season. Tyler Clippard followed suit, giving up a couple of hits but keeping the Mariners scoreless in his partial 8th inning. Dellin Betances came in to sew things up for 4 outs, adding 3 beautiful strikeouts as is his M.O.
The Yankees certainly helped things along, led by those amazing “Baby Bombers”. And let’s be clear, the most powerful hitters (and players in general) on the roster right now are 26 years old and under. Starting out with a 2-out solo home run in the 1st inning, by (who else these days?) Gary Sanchez. (I do like that everyone is calling him “The Kraken” as in “Release the Kraken” when he hits these home runs.)
In the 2nd inning, with 1 out, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch and Hicks singled to provide some runners. Tyler Austin snapped his offensive slump with a nice RBI single to double the Yankees score. In the 4th inning, with 1 out, the Yankees loaded the bases with a couple of singles and a fielder’s choice. Birthday boy Brett Gardner hit a sacrifice fly added another run to their total.
In the last part of the game, the Yankees faced the bullpen and added to the score. Gardner led-off the 7th with a single, moved to 2nd on Gregorius’ sacrifice bunt, watch Sanchez get intentionally walked, and then scored on Mark Teixeira’s single. And in the 9th, the Yankees loaded up the bases again — Gardner walked, Gregorius hit into a ground-rule double, and then Sanchez was intentionally walked AGAIN. Then with 1 out, Starlin Castro’s sacrifice fly scored Gardner and moved the runners up. But a new reliever struck out the final batter.
Final score: 5-0 Yankees, Yankees win series 2-1.
Okay, lots of people on social media started pulling some cool data about how many rookies had been intentionally walked in their first handful of games twice in the same game. Gary Sanchez has played in 21 games, hit his 9th home run today, and was walked twice intentionally in today’s game. Apparently, it’s a weird and big deal.
Here’s what the internet people discovered and posted (from trusted sources): Another rookie who did such a thing in his first few games was Brian McCann (while we he was with the Braves); the last Yankee catcher to get intentionally walked twice in a game was John Flaherty in 2004; Sanchez is the 55th player ever with two intentional walks in a game within his first 21 career games; he is also 1st Yankee to be intentionally walked twice in a game within 1st 21 career games since Joe Gorgon in 1938. (You’re welcome from the randomness of the internet.)
Roster update: after spending most of this season on the 60-day DL due to a fractured toe he sustained at the end of Spring Training, Bryan Mitchell finished his rehab assignment and was officially moved from the DL and optioned to AAA Scranton. And if you know anything about how the season is going, I expect we’ll see him in the Bronx before long.
Again, a Happy Birthday to Brett Gardner! And congratulations to Joe Girardi on his milestone.