Game 148: BAL vs. NYY — Monty keeps up the momentum

The Yankees continue their drive towards the postseason with momentum. This is the one part of the schedule that is clearly working in the Yankees’ favor. Yesterday’s win was Joe Girardi’s 900th win as the manager of the Yankees, joining the likes of the legendary Joe Torre and Casey Stengel. And that is certainly helping that aforementioned momentum.

Jordan Montgomery had a much better outing than any other one in the recent month, setting himself up for the first win since July. He threw 95 pitches in his 6 innings, gave up 4 hits and a walk, and struck out 6 batters, all while keeping the Orioles completely scoreless. Kahnle and Heller continued that scoreless streak through the next two innings.

Chasen Shreve found some trouble in the 9th inning. He gave up a 1-out walk that scored on a 2-run home run before loading up the bases with 3 consecutive walks on 2 outs. Giovanni Gallegos came on to stop the anti-momentum of Shreve, which was odd enough in itself. He unfortunately promptly balked to move all the runners up that also scored another run for the Orioles. But then he got a strikeout to close out the game.

Meanwhile, the Yankees pressed into the Orioles’ pitching staff enough to force their starter out of the game in just the 4th inning. In the 3rd, with 2 outs, Headley and Judge worked walks and then were part of Didi Gregorius’ 3-run home run into the right field seats to get the Yankees on the board. Then in the 4th, Ellsbury doubled and Todd Frazier walked, so Greg Bird’s 5th homer of the season became a 3-run home run to double the Yankees’ lead. And that would be it for the O’s starter.

In the 5th, with 1 out, Gregorius singled, moved to 2nd on Castro’s hit-by-pitch, and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single. And with a new pitcher in the 7th, Gregorius led off with a single and then scored as part of Todd Frazier’s 2-out 2-run home run up the middle to cap off the Yankees’ big offense tonight. (And the “thumbs-down” thing is still a thing apparently.)

The biggest downfall for Yankee pitchers tonight, which fortunately didn’t go against them that much, was the 8 total allowed walks. That stat has to improve as against another team that would take advantage of that, that could be quite detrimental to the Yankees’ hopes for October baseball.

Final score: 9-3 Yankees

Roster moves: before today’s game, the Yankees recalled reliever Jonathan Holder (who pitched rather well again this afternoon) and infielder Miguel Andujar from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Andujar made his MLB debut today late in the game as a DH substitute, and for his first MLB at-bat, he grounded out. That first hit is coming.

Postseason prep: well, the Red Sox won their marathon game last night against the Rays in the 15th inning, after getting 7 runs in that final inning to beat the home team 13-6. That kept the Red Sox 3 games ahead of the Yankees, and after tonight’s win against the Rays, they remain that 3 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East. Again, it’s still very much “Go, Rays!” this weekend, while the Yankees need a final win tomorrow to sweep the Orioles and head into their final 2 weeks of the season with that winning momentum.

Go Yankees!

Game 143: NYY vs. TB — 4th inning to back up #CCStrong

One day, you’re going to see a random trivia question about the time when a New York team played in New York (and not against a fellow New York team) and wasn’t the home team. And you’re going to know the answer — the Yankees “visited” the Rays, the temporary hosts of Citi Field.

And I have to be honest, it was really weird to be at Citi Field for a Yankees game when the other team wasn’t the Mets. But some rather familiar vibes lingered around the stadium with the overwhelming majority of the fans being Yankee fans (something Rays fans are rather familiar with the split representation on their home turf). Almost all 15,327 people at CitiField were avid Yankee fans completely thrilled for a few bonus games closer to home.

But it was a rather typical Yankees-Rays game tonight, with CC Sabathia at the helm to start tonight’s opener in this misplaced series. Sabathia threw a pretty great outing once again, throwing 88 pitches into the 5th inning, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks, and a single run, and striking out a solid 6 Rays’ batters. A lead-off walk in the 2nd scored on a 2-out triple to score the Rays’ sole run tonight.

Sabathia got the hook in the 5th with 1 out and after allowing 2 runners on base and the one Rays batter that seems to consistently do well against him (even when he’s having a good day). So it was on to David Robertson for some long-term relief, throwing a season high 36 pitches to get a nice 8 outs and sail the Yankees through the 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. He also set himself up for the win for finishing the 5th inning for Sabathia.

Dellin Betances had a bit of trouble in the 8th, but certainly got himself out of it all with 2 stellar Betances-esque strikeouts. But it was Aroldis Chapman who pretty much sailed through the 9th inning in just 10 pitches. Yankee pitchers got the Rays to strikeout 12 times.

The Yankees actually only got half the hits the Rays did tonight (just 4 hits), but they also got double the amount of walks (6 total). And the Yankees only needed a single inning to make all the difference off the Rays’ starter, who didn’t make it out of that inning. In the 4th, the Yankees sent 10 batters up to the plate.

Judge led-off with a walk and ended up at 3rd on Sanchez’s deep single. Didi Gregorius hit into a sacrifice fly that scored Judge to initially tie up the game. After a second out, the Yankees just pounced. Matt Holliday profited from a fielding error, ending up at 2nd and scoring Sanchez for the go-ahead run. Then Jacoby Ellsbury got a free base because of (what else?) catcher’s interference (more after the recap).

So with 2 men on base and 2 outs, it would be Todd Frazier’s 24th home run of the season, a 3-run home run into the left field seats to assure the Yankees of a solid lead. After Tyler Austin’s double and Gardner’s walk, the Rays pulled their starter for the bullpen. And the Rays’ bullpen clearly had a better time against the Yankee’s offense, as the Yankees didn’t even come close to scoring after the Rays’ starter left the game.

Final score: 5-1 Yankees

Okay, so Jacoby Ellsbury set a new MLB record for catcher’s interferences. In just 5,310 plate appearances, Ellsbury has reached base due to 30 total interferences. The previous record holder was Pete Rose, who got 29 interferences in 15,890 total plate appearances over his career.

Injury news: so before tonight’s game, the Yankees activated Clint Frazier from his rehab stint and the DL due to a strained oblique. But just before the game, Greg Bird was a last-minute scratch due to “lower back tightness”, and the Yankees went with Tyler Austin in his spot. Fingers crossed for nothing worse that a weird momentary tweak for Bird.

And a big happy birthday to Jacoby Ellsbury! A great group along the 1st base line took a moment to sing “Happy Birthday” to Ellsbury after he worked a walk and stole 2nd in the 8th inning, which Ellsbury clearly appreciated.

Finally, let us take a moment to remember the events of this day 16 years ago. Today, we honor the memory of those we lost, the legacy of the heroes and first responders, and the pray for those still grieving their loss or dealing with health-related illnessness from that day. Baseball was one of many bridges used in healing the nation that desperately needed something to talk about, to think about, to focus on that wasn’t about destruction.

Many of today’s Yankees (as well as around the league) were just children 16 years ago, which just further impacts how our world has changed. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with those who are still mourning their lost loved ones as we join you in remembering their story, their journey, their contribution to our world cut short. They are never forgotten thanks in part to you.

Go Yankees!

Game 140: NYY vs. TEX — Dropping an easy lead doesn’t help postseason hopes

Both the Rangers and Yankees are battling for the postseason, so this weekend’s series is extremely important for both teams for very different reasons. The Yankees are hoping to breathe down the Red Sox’s neck and possibly snag that lead spot from them in the AL East and force them to be the first Wild Card spot. The Rangers are just a few games out of the second Wild Card spot and hoping to up their game wins to finagle a chance for the postseason. It’s that time of year where anything can happen, and it usually does.

The Yankees struck first against the Rangers in tonight’s opener at Arlington, giving themselves a nice lead early in the game. Perhaps a bit too early. In the 2nd, they quickly loaded up the bases thanks to 2 singles and a throwing error and no outs. Jacoby Ellsbury singled home one, and Todd Frazier was hit by a pitch to walk in another run. Two outs later, Gary Sanchez singled and scored 2 more runs, but Frazier was out on his way to 3rd base to end the inning. And with 2 outs in the 3rd, Didi Gregorius followed up that big inning with a nice solo home run to cap off the Yankees’ run tonight. {Media note: for some reason, the only clip for Gregorius’ home run in the Espanol version.}

So with that nice, hefty lead, the Yankees looked to their starter, Masahiro Tanaka, who just needed to maintain a semblance of order from the mound. But instead, he left far too many pitches up and not enough in Sanchez’s catcher’s mitt. Pitching into the 5th inning, Tanaka threw 81 pitches, gave up 8 hits and 7 runs, and still struck out 7 Texas batters. A solo home run led off the 2nd to put the Rangers on the board. And they chipped away at the lead in the 3rd. A 1-out single scored on a nice double, and then that runner scored on another double.

In the 5th, a lead-off single promptly scored on a double, and a single put runners in the corners, who then moved up a base on a wild pitch scoring the tying run. After another allowed double, and still no outs in the inning, Tanaka was done for the night, still responsible for the 2 runners on base. Tommy Kahnle came in and gave up a single that scored both those runners to give the Rangers the lead. Chasen Shreve came on for the final out of the inning before throwing a scoreless 6th.

Oh, but the damage was done yet. Caleb Smith had a rather rough going when he came on in the 7th. He quickly loaded up the bases with a single, wild pitch, walk, and another single before getting the hook himself. Ben Heller then tried to keep things under control but struggled himself. A sacrifice fly scored one run, and a single another. But it would be the 2-run triple to cap off the night for the Rangers and finalize their now solid lead over the Yankees. Bryan Mitchell came on to close out that inning before finding a scoreless 8th.

The Yankee batters after that 3rd inning struggled to do much more with their offense. The Rangers’ pitchers effectively shut them down for the final third of the game, including a 3-strikeout 9th inning that made the home crowd very happy. Yankee pitchers gave up 15 hits, despite their 11 total strikeouts, while the Yankee batter managed just 8 hits (all off the Rangers’ starter and all far too early in the game).

Final score: 11-5 Rangers

Austin Romine sat out tonight’s game as a result of his suspension appeal after the melee in Detroit a few weeks ago. Romine was the one who the upset Tigers’ batter initially felt compelled to take out his aggressions on that started the whole benches-clearing incident. Originally issued a 2-game suspension, upon appeal, it was reduced to a single game, which he took tonight. Fortunately, the Yankees missed no solid catching time, as Sanchez just came off his own sentence from the same incident to catch tonight’s game.

And looking ahead, with yet another hurricane barreling down on the southeast, safety is always a priority. The Yankees were originally scheduled to play the Rays in St. Petersburg right after this series in Texas, but it looks like Hurricane Irma may cause some problems for the state of Florida and most of its upcoming sporting events are being rescheduled or relocated. Out of consideration, the Mets have opened their home field to the teams for the games as they will be hitting the road themselves after this weekend. Tampa area fans with tickets can find out information about refunds and exchanges, while New York area fans can get tickets to the series at Citi Field beginning tomorrow (Sept. 9) at 10 am.

Go Yankees!

Game 139: NYY vs. BAL — Make-up matinee win for Stick

The rain that plagued the East Coast for the last two days soaked Baltimore yesterday without any let up, pushing last night’s game to today. Both teams are headed to other cities tomorrow (Yankees to Texas, Orioles to Cleveland), so they both had open travel days today. The teams agreed to a matinĂ©e make-up game today (when it was bright and sunny) to allow both teams to head out this afternoon before the night games tomorrow. (And this still allows both rosters to rest up before their weekend series.)

Anyway, so they played their finale in Baltimore this afternoon before another small crowd. (It’s like the citizens and precipitation-associated games don’t mix well.) Sonny Gray got the start and threw a pretty decent outing. He threw 102 pitches into the 6th inning, gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 1 unearned run, and struck out 5 Baltimore batters.

Gray and the Yankees’ defense held off the Orioles until the 6th inning. With 2 outs and 2 runners on base, a batter hit into a force attempt on a fairly easy grounder but a throwing error allowed the runner to reach safely, and the other 2 batters to advance 2 bases, scoring the lead runner. The error making the run scored unearned.

That would be it for Gray, handing the ball over to Chad Green, who did what Chad Green does really well — closed the 6th and then powered through the 7th inning to keep the O’s at that lone run scored. Kahnle and Heller each took an inning to close out that game, breezing through the Orioles’ roster with such ease. Basically, the three of them showing off why the Yankees’ bullpen is still quite feared by their opponents.

The Orioles’ pitching staff, however, is not quite so fearsome. Their starter certainly got hit pretty hard by the Yankee offense, and the bullpen got dinged up a bit too. In the 1st, Brett Gardner led-off with a walk, stole 2nd, and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ 2-out double. Aaron Judge’s 39th home run of the season followed that, a big 2-run home run up the middle to put the Yankees firmly in an early lead.

In the 3rd, Gregorius hit a 1-out single, moved to 2nd on Judge’s walk, and then scored on Matt Holliday’s single. Then while Jacoby Ellsbury hit into a force out at 2nd, when the Orioles couldn’t turn the double play at 1st as well, Judge hustled it home to add yet another run to the score. The Orioles’ starter was done after just 3 innings, but the Yankees couldn’t be stopped.

In the 4th, Gardner hit a 1-out double and then scored as part of Chase Headley’s 2-run home run. And with a new reliever in the 6th, and 2 outs, Starlin Castro’s solo home run kept things moving solidly in the wind column. Todd Frazier decided to match that with his own 2-out solo home run in the 7th inning to cap off the Yankees’ runs today. Baltimore pitchers finally figured out how to stop the Yankee bats, but the lead was solidly in the win column.

Final score: 9-1 Yankees, Yankees win series 2-1

I saw that the last time the Yankees won a series in Baltimore, the winning pitcher was Mariano Rivera back on September 12, 2013. The Yankees always seem to struggle at Camden Yards, with someone once attributing their issues as a “Oriole Voodoo Curse”, but that seems a bit extreme. I mean, it’s not like they were caught stealing signs with Apple watches. (When that’s resolved, probably in the off-season, I promise to talk more about this.)

And in absolutely disheartening news, former Yankees GM and special advisor Gene “Stick” Michael passed away earlier today at his home in Oldsmar, Florida (part of the Tampa Bay area). He was a huge part of the Yankees organization for many years, a great presence, genuine heart, and one of the smartest analysts of the game. His long list of contributions include helping to sign and develop the “Core Four” and the team that would become the latest dynasty, winning 4 World Series Championships in 5 years.

But even more than that, Stick was a man of good character, quick humor, and sincere friendship. The Yankees and Orioles took a moment of silence before today’s game, and the Yankees donned black armbands on their uniforms in his memory. The legend and legacy of Stick Michael will not be soon forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his widow Joette and his many friends and family during this time.

Go Yankees!

Game 138: NYY vs. BAL — Almost win ends with a walk-off disappointment

The game started off on the wrong foot anyway, as rain poured into the Baltimore area for most of the evening and ended up causing a rain delay over 2 hours. Of course, the weather put a damper on the attendance, with only 14,377 fans braving the rain to hang out at the ballpark on a Tuesday night, the middle game of this mid-week series at Camden Yards.

CC Sabathia got the start tonight against the Orioles, throwing 94 pitches into the 6th inning, giving up 8 hits, a walk, and 5 runs, and striking out just 3 Baltimore batters. In the 1st, with 2 outs, Sabathia gave up a walk that moved to 2nd on a single, then to 3rd on a wild pitch, before scoring on another single to get the O’s on the board.

Solo home runs in the 3rd and 5th added a few more runs for the Orioles. Then in the 6th, a lead-off single scored as part of a 2-run home run in the 6th. After getting an out in the 6th, Tommy Kahnle came on for the Yankees to close out the inning without giving up any further runs. Robertson and Chapman kept the momentum strong with 11 pitches in each of their 7th and 8th scoreless innings.

The Yankees just pummeled the Orioles in a single inning, unable to do much more in the other 8. In the 3rd inning, with 1 out, the Yankees loaded the bases with Romine’s single, Judge’s walk, and Castro’s hit-by-pitch. Didi Gregorius’ single scored both Romine and Judge before Holliday worked a walk to load up the bases again. That would be all the O’s starter had for tonight’s game.

With a new pitcher, the Yankees continued their tallying of the runs in the 3rd. Greg Bird hit into what should have been a very easy sacrifice fly, but the center fielder missed the catch (closing his glove before actually catching the ball), Bird made it to 1st safely, keeping the bases loaded and scoring Castro. After another out, Todd Frazier hit into a soft grounder that still scored Gregorius {Media note: no media link, sorry} and moved all the runners into scoring position. Then Jacoby Ellsbury’s nice single scored both Holliday and Bird before the O’s finally got out of the inning.

And despite the Orioles chipping away at the Yankees’ lead periodically, the Yankees held strong, thanks to the strength of their bullpen. That is, until Dellin Betances’ 9th inning. After 2 outs, Betances had a hard time finding that third out to get the save and deliver the win to the Yankees. He gave up a walk and then a solid 2-run home run so that the O’s scored a walk-off home run to win the game, now early this Wednesday morning.

Final score: 7-6 Orioles

Roster moves: in case you missed some recent player shifts around the organization, on Sunday, Aaron Hicks was placed on the 10-day DL for his left oblique strain, and the Yankees recalled reliever Caleb Smith from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Then on Monday, Gary Sanchez’ status was changed so that he could serve his 3-game suspension, and the Yankees also recalled infielders Tyler Wade and Tyler Austin from Scranton to fill out their roster.

And today, the Yankees announced that their Roberto Clemente Award nominee this year — Brett Gardner, a well-deserved honor. Every year, each team nominates the player on their team that is both professional on the field and philanthropic off the field, in the spirit of the late Pirates Clemente’s character and achievements. Tomorrow is the 16th annual Roberto Clemente Day, and a special logo will appear on the bases and other parts of the park.

All 30 teams nominate their candidate, from which a winner will be selected by a panel that includes Clemente’s widow Vera and a special fan vote (coming October 2-6). Past final winners of the award from the Yankees include Derek Jeter (2009), Don Baylor (1985), and Ron Guidry (1984). Closer to voting, I’ll include links so that you can help me vote for Gardner this year.

Go Yankees!

Game 137: NYY vs. BAL — Labor Day afternoon delivery

It’s a beautiful September Monday afternoon in Charm City as the Yankees begin their final push for the postseason facing the flagging Orioles for this mid-week series. Baltimore fans clearly expected a better holiday show, but the sprinkling of Yankee fans found it instead.

However, both starters today had terrible outings, both pitching into the 5th inning and neither making it out of that inning. Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery had a slightly better day, throwing 67 pitches, giving up 5 hits, a walk, and 3 runs (2 earned), and striking out 4 Baltimore batters. A lead-off solo home run in the 1st got the O’s off to a strong start. But then a fielding error to lead off the 2nd scored as part of a 2-run home run to give the O’s a nice early lead.

But the Yankees weren’t having that. Montgomery shut them down, still exiting the game in the 5th inning, but handing over the ball to the ever reliable Chad Green. Green breezed his way to close out the 5th and then continued to shut down the O’s in the 6th and 7th innings, adding 4 strikeouts of his own and setting himself up for the eventual win.

David Robertson had a bit of trouble in the 8th, giving up 2 walks, but his 2 strikeouts and veteran cool got him out of the inning without adding to the Orioles’ score. Dellin Betances got the first 2 outs of the 9th but then a solo shot put one more on the board for the home team before Betances got out of the inning with his 2nd strikeout. Yankee pitchers racked up a total of 12 strikeouts against the Baltimore offense.

Meanwhile, the Yankee offense found its momentum in the middle third of the game. In the 4th, Castro led-off with a single and then scored on Didi Gregorius’ 2-run home run, his 20th of the season. Then Judge walked, moved to 2nd on Frazier’s 1-out walk, and then scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s single. And the game was tied at this point.

So, the Yankees continued their advance in the 5th inning with a bit of deja vu. Headley led-off with a single and then scored on Starlin Castro’s 2-run home run. That ended the Baltimore starter’s day (after 98 pitches) and the O’s would dip into their bullpen. In the 6th, Frazier and Ellsbury worked consecutive walks and moved up on Romine’s sacrifice bunt. A new reliever got a ground out off Brett Gardner, but Frazier still scored. After walking Headley, the Orioles got a new pitcher to give up a single to Starlin Castro to score Ellsbury to ensure the Yankees a victory today.

The biggest problem for the Orioles’ pitching was the 10 walks they gave up. The Yankees may be the “Bronx Bombers”, but they’re not against playing some small ball and capitalizing on handouts like consecutive walks and well-placed singles.

Final score: 7-4 Yankees

Aaron Judge had an interesting offensive day. He went 1-for-1 with a run scored and 4 walks. For a guy who’s known for his massive home runs, he’s certainly worked his way into a new category, now sitting at 103 walks for this season. And because it’s Judge, he’s now in some pretty legendary company for a weird statistic. Yankees age 25 and under with 35+ home runs and 100+ walks in a single season are Judge, Mantle (1955-1956), Gehrig (1927), and Ruth (1920). Usually, people associate power-hitters like Judge with a large amount of strikeouts, so don’t worry — he’s still got plenty of those (181) this season too.

Gary Sanchez was out of today’s lineup, starting his suspension for his involvement in the scuffle on August 24 in Detroit. Originally, he was issued a 4-game suspension, but upon appeal, the ruling was reduced to 3 games. So it looks like he’ll be out for the Baltimore series. Austin Romine was issued a 2-game suspension for his part that day, but his appeal is ongoing and thus he was today’s catcher. Sanchez issued an apology to the fans on his personal Facebook page.

Go Yankees!

Game 129: SEA vs. NYY — #TanakaTime, and an offense aided by a quintet of errors

We come to the end of Players Weekend, which means tomorrow, all things go back to the normal that is a bunch of elite athletes play a children’s game while everyday people eat thousands of calories and pay hundreds of dollars to watch them do their work and critique their performances. But I digress…

Masahiro “Masa” Tanaka got the start in this afternoon’s finale against the visiting Mariners. He threw 99 pitches in his 7 innings, giving up 6 hits, a walk, and the Mariners’ lone run, striking out 10 Seattle batters. He clearly set himself for the win, his 10th of the season (making him break even at 10 wins and 10 losses for 2017).

In the 1st, with 1 out, a Seattle batter singled and ended up on 2nd on an early fielding error. He moved to 3rd on another single and then scored on a double to get the visitors on the board. But then with runners sitting tight in scoring position, Tanaka got a well-placed strikeout and then a fly out to end the jam and keep the Mariners to that lone run.

Tanaka then would cruise through the next six innings, giving up just 3 more hits that would amount to nothing for the Mariners. Reaching his peak in the 7th, he handed the ball over to Caleb “Smith” Smith, who sailed his way through the 8th and 9th innings in just 20 total pitches.

Meanwhile, the Yankees capitalized on the fact that the Mariners’ defense just didn’t show up today. After the Mariners’ got on the board in the top of the 1st, the Yankees pounced right away in the bottom of the 1st. With 1 out, “All-Starlin” Castro double and then scored on Gary “Kraken” Sanchez’s single. A missed catch error allowed Sanchez to end up at 2nd. Then they loaded up the bases with Judge’s walk and a fielding error on a hit by “Sir Didi” Gregorius. {No media link, sorry!}

Then Chase “Head” Headley followed that up by reaching on another fielding error, where all runners were safe and advanced as Sanchez scored the next run. With another out, Jacoby “Chief” Ellsbury hit a bases-clearing double and ended up at 3rd due to a missed catch error by an infielder. He then scored on Ronald “Toe” Torreyes’ single.

So, with the Yankees now firmly in the lead, they continued their advance. In the 3rd, with 2 outs, Torreyes singled, moved to 2nd on “A-A-Ron” Hicks’ single, and then scored on Starlin Castro’s single.

Castro led-off the 6th with a single and moved to 2nd on Sanchez’s walk. That was the end of the Mariners’ starter’s afternoon. A wild pitch by the new reliever moved both runners up to scoring position before they were joined by “All Rise” Judge on the bases. Then with 1 out, Headley hit a long fly ball, a sacrifice fly that scored Castro, but the cut-off man noticed a lingering Sanchez in the base paths and tagged him out instead for the final out of the inning and to complete the double play.

In the 7th, the Yankees loaded up the bases again with a walk and 2 singles. Then with 1 out, pinch-hitter Greg “Bird” Bird singled home “The Toddfather” Frazier and Ellsbury to add 2 more runs to the Yankees massive lead.

It is worth noting that the Yankees collected 15 total hits off the Mariners’ pitchers. And of their 10 runs, only half of them were earned thanks to the 5 errors in that 1st inning by the Mariners’ defense.

Final score: 10-1 Yankees, Yankees win series 2-1

On a bit of a side note, Joe Girardi received his 40th career ejection today, his 35th as the Yankee manager, his 5th of the year, and his 2nd of the week. In the 3rd inning, with a runner on 1st, the Mariners hit a short grounder to 1st base where Headley fielded it and threw it to 2nd for the first part of what should be a double play. But it bounced oddly, as Gregorius tagged 2nd for the first out, and the runner at 1st ended up safely reaching base.

However, a sharp-eyed Girardi noticed that the runner from 1st left the standard base path (an automatic out) and cut inside and onto the infield grass, which could interfere with the standard flow of play. Like any other interference calls, you can’t interfere with other players trying to do their job during a play. So he called for the umpires to review the play as the runner was clearly out of line. But they reviewed the play and upheld the call. Girardi was less than pleased and had no problem showing that, including a hat toss, some heated words, and a few head wags. So, yeah, ejection was bound to happen.

But Girardi certainly wasn’t wrong. It’s just fortunate the Yankees outplayed the Mariners today. I hate it when plays that get miscalled like that affect the outcome of the game. It’s especially crucial in these last few weeks of the regular season as both teams are really in the middle of a playoff race. (The Mariners are now a game and a half out of the second Wild Card spot, while the Yankees are comfortably still the first Wild Card.)

The most comprehensive list I could find on the Yankees’ Players Weekend nicknames was this:

Tyler Austin — Austin
Dellin Betances — D-Dawg
Greg Bird — Bird
Starlin Castro — All-Starlin
Luis Cessa — Quique
Aroldis Chapman — The Missile
Jacoby Ellsbury — Chief
Todd Frazier — Toddfather
Clint Frazier — Red Thunder
Jaime Garcia — J-Gar
Brett Gardner — Gardner
Sonny Gray — Pickles
Chad Green — Greeny
Didi Gregorius — Sir Didi
Chase Headley — Head
Aaron Hicks — A-A Ron
Matt Holliday — Holliday
Aaron Judge — All Rise
Tommy Kahnle — The Kahn
Bryan Mitchell — Mitch
Jordan Montgomery — Monty
Michael Pineda — Big Mike
David Robertson — D-Rob
Austin Romine — Ro
CC Sabathia — Dub
Gary Sanchez — Kraken
Luis Severino — Sevy
Chasen Shreve — Shrever
Caleb Smith — Smith
Masahiro Tanaka — Masa
Ronald Torreyes — Toe
Tyler Wade — T-Wade
Adam Warren — Rocket

Which name did you like best? Or like least? Which one surprised you most? What would you get on the back of your jersey?

And can the Yankees continue their hot streak as they face division leaders Indians and Red Sox this coming week?

Go Yankees!