There was a grand total of one hour and thirty-four minutes of rain delays in tonight’s game. And let me tell you, it was hot in the City today. That lingering storm kind of set a heavy feeling over New York, trapping in all the heat and humidity. And what’s worse, it threatened to do so all weekend. But the prediction was there might be a “shower or thunderstorm in the area” for most of the evening.
The Rays are in town for the weekend, and the Yankees are looking forward to using the rest of this home stand to continue their push towards narrowing the gap for the Wild Card race. So they sent Michael Pineda to the mound tonight, who really commanded most of his outing. Pineda threw 77 pitches just shy of 5 innings, gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs, and struck out an impressive 7 Rays batters. He kept the Rays scoreless until the 4th inning where he gave up back-to-back 1-out solo home runs.
Now, the Yankees started their run-scoring in the 1st inning. Ellsbury led-off with a single and then scored on Rob Refsnyder’s double. Refsnyder later was thrown out trying to score on a shallow single. But the Yankees were on the board. In the 3rd, Gary Sanchez led-off with a big solo home run straight up the center to double the Yankees’ score. Mark Teixeira then hit a 1-out double, moved to 3rd on Gregorius’ ground out, and then scored on a wild pitch. After Headley’s single, the Rays’ starter was out of the game.
In the bottom of the 4th, down 2 outs, Refsnyder hit a single as the rain started to pour. The umpires called for the tarp, and fans streamed out of the seats and headed for cover all over the stadium. About 20 minutes later, the tarp was off, the grounds crew was applying drying agent to the field, and game resumed again with Refsnyder at 1st and 2 outs on the board and a new pitcher for the Rays.
So the Yankees took advantage of that by loading up the bases with Sanchez’s single and Castro’s walk. And then it was Mark Teixeira to do the greatest thing ever — hit his 11th career grand slam. It was so beautiful, and a nice treat on this Friday evening. Fans also demanded a “curtain call”, which the retiring power-hitter later met with a bit of a wave.
So, Chasen Shreve came on to close out the 5th and start the 6th inning. It was the 6th inning that caused some trouble for Shreve, giving up a lead-off double that scored on an RBI single. After a strikeout, the Yankees opted to protect their lead by going to Adam Warren who later shut down the Rays in that inning.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, the rain came back again and caused another delay. It became a funny conversation all over the stadium, as people debated whether or not to stay and watch it out. Looking at the radar, it seemed like a quick break in the action, so most people stuck around and settled back into their seats as the grounds crew did their job again with the tarp and field. (Shout out to the stadium ushers who spent a good portion of their evening drying off seats so that fans weren’t sitting in puddles for the rest of the game.)
Adam Warren threw into the 7th inning, which was closed out by Layne. Tyler Clippard breezed his way through the 8th inning in 14 pitches. Then it was onto the 9th inning and Dellin Betances for the save opportunity. Betances made it a bit interesting, with 1 out, allowing runners on the corners with singles as the next wave of storms arrived and started raining once again. So with a 2-2 count, the umpire decided to stop the action and call for the tarp… again!
Yeah, a lot of people took off at this point. And I don’t blame them. It was getting late, and this was a pretty long delay. But those of us left certainly enjoyed the last few moments of the game once it resumed right before midnight. So with 2 runners on base, 1 out, and a 2-2 count, Betances came out stronger and struck out that batter. A single scored one run and put runners back on the corners before another nasty strikeout closed the door and the Yankees won their 6th straight win.
Final score: 7-5 Yankees.
It is worth noting some pitching stats tonight. The Yankees pitchers gave up 12 hits and 3 walks to Rays batters, while striking out 12 of them. While Yankee batters got 9 hits and worked a whopping 11 walks, striking out just 6 times. Not exactly the cleanest to either side, but much like the tempestuous weather tonight, it was about who was going to be standing stronger at the end of the night.
And tonight, it was the Yankees!