Another chilly day in Chicago, and while arguably not as cold as yesterday’s day game, once that sun set over the Second City, the cold kind of settled in and enveloped Wrigley and all its inhabitants tonight. It seemed to have differing effects on the starters in this middle game of the weekend series against the Cubs.
Jordan Montgomery got the start for the Yankees tonight, and once again, had a rather strong outing. He threw 100 pitches into the 7th inning, giving up just 3 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs (only 2 earned), and struck out 3 Chicago batters. Actually, the rookie pitcher sailed through the first 4 innings and only found some trouble in the latter part of his outing.
In the 5th, a lead-off walk moved to 3rd on a double, and then 1 out later scored on a groundout play. The next runner scored on a throwing error (the unearned run) to get the Cubs on the board. And with 2 outs in the 7th, a walk ended up scoring on a deep triple into the left field corner. That would be the final pitch for Montgomery tonight, handing the ball over to Tyler Clippard who threw exactly 1 pitch tonight and got the necessary 3rd out of the inning.
It would be reliever Tommy Layne that would have the most trouble for the Yankee pitchers tonight. With 1 out, a batter hit a triple (same troublesome corner) and then gave up a walk. A fielder’s choice out at 2nd kept runners in the corners before a single scored the lead runner. A passed ball moved runners into scoring position, which they did on a 2-RBI single (though it could arguably have been a fielding error). That would be it for Layne tonight (no thanks to the defense in this inning).
And despite giving up a double to kick off his night, Adam Warren then got the next 4 outs to close out the game, 3 of them were strikeouts. In comparison, the pitcher for the Cubs’ 9th inning was a catcher (due to exhausting their bullpen), of which the Cubs’ fans were well aware and cheered on every strike as if it were a World Series Game 7. (more in a moment)
The Cubs’ pitchers had a really awful time against the Yankees tonight (oddly, except that final pitcher). The starter didn’t even make it out of the 1st inning. Gardner led-off with a double and then scored on Aaron Hicks bunt single and a throwing error. Hicks then scored on Starlin Castro’s double. And then it was Castro’s turn to score on Gary Sanchez’s 1-out double. Then with Gregorius on base with a single, Chase Headley’s double scored both runners, landing Headley at 3rd on the throw.
And with just 23 pitches, the Cubs pretty much handed the game to the Yankees with those 5 runs. But they had to spend the rest of the game ensuring they would win. A new reliever had better luck against them for the moment. In the 3rd, with 1 out and Sanchez and Gregorius on base with singles, Chris Carter reached on a fielding error and failed force attempt, scoring Sanchez. Hicks hit a 1-out double in the 4th and scored as part of Starlin Castro’s big 2-run home run.
The Yankees would hold off their scoring until the top of the 8th. With 1 out, Refsnyder walked and Gardner singled, only to score both on Aaron Hicks’ monster 3-run home run to push the Yankees into double digits on the scoreboard. So, it was a bit of a surprise the 9th inning reliever walked 2 batters but didn’t allow a single run (maintaining his perfect ERA of 0.00).
Final score: 11-6 Yankees.
The Yankees have one more game, the finale of this series tomorrow night at Wrigley before heading over to Cincinnati for a short series against the Reds.
And this is your reminder to go vote for your favorite players to start the All-Star Game this summer in Miami. You can vote up to 5 times per day, up to 35 times total. So vote your 5 times today! Voting ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 29, 2017. But don’t wait!