May 082017

Yes, the Yankees currently sport the best record in baseball. The margin is razor thin: they are 20-9 .690. The Nationals are 21-10 .677, The Astros and Orioles are 20-10 .667. Thus NY is the only team in baseball who has not reached double-digits in losses. In (the unlikely) case you were wondering, the 1998 Yankees didn’t lose their 10th game until their 41st game (thanks for asking) so this edition, to match that 31-9 record, would need to add 11 more wins to their current 5-game win streak. Pretty unlikely, I would say.

Last night they had a BAD game. They wasted a great start from Severino (GS 73) but built a 4-1 lead entering the ninth inning. Cue Aroldis Chapman. Ooops: 2 K, 3 H, 2 W, 1 HBP and Chapman departs with a BS (Blown Save. Shame on you!), a YIKES! and 36 pitches thrown. First time this year he has been pulled mid-inning. Clippard stopped the bleeding and pitched another inning. Warren pitched 2 innings despite having thrown more than an inning the night before. Holder had pitched more than an inning (1.2) only once this season, so naturally he pitched 3 scoreless innings. The Chasen Shreve, who was in AAA a couple of days ago, came on. He hasn’t exceeded a single inning all season, and HE went 3 innings as well. Who knows who might have pitched if the game went another inning (Ronald Torreyes?)

The game lasted 18 innings, 6 hours and 5 minutes, both records for interleague play and for longest game this season to date. The Yankees struck out 22 times, besting (worsting?) by FIVE their previous high. But they also struck out 26 (!!) Cubs, besting by SEVEN their previous best, and the combined 48 strikeouts between the teams bested the all-time MLB record by FIVE.

Such inept offensive effort (or superb pitching) could not end with a home run, or even a double/single. It ended with a bunt single (a good throw gets him) and a bad throw, putting Hicks on second with no outs. A bunt by Torreyes put him at third with the infield in, and a ground ball by Castro and bad throw by Addison Russell scored him in the 18th. Shreve, dead tired, got two on with two out (visions of a single tying the game and it CONTINUING) but no, a strikeout (what else) ended it with NY on top 5-4, and in first place. Whoo-hoo.

Castro, Gregorius, Headley and Romine, the original 5-6-7-8 hitters in the Yankee lineup, were a combined 0 for 30 (!) and Castro say his league leading batting average fall by .023 and STILL lead the league (he was 0 for 8 but still drove in the winning run). Whew!

Who predicted that the Yankees and Reds would open a series on May 8 with both of them in first place? Not I, that is for sure! Go Yankees.

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