Always good to get a win, especially against Chris Sale this late in the season to give the Yankees a chance to take the AL East crown. Carlos Beltran’s three-run homer is all the runs the Yankees needed as Michael Pineda pitched brilliantly and Dellin Betances escaped a scare in the seventh.
Carlos Belts one!
The Yankees struck against Sale first in the third. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to lead off the inning but got called out on fielder interference when he blocked Alexei Ramirez from reaching a Chase Headley pop up. As Headley remained on first base, A-Rod worked a walk and Beltran followed it up with a home run that just barely, barely got over the left field fence. 3-0 Yankees. Man, I wasn’t watching the White Sox broadcast but I can’t imagine Hawk Harrelson being happy about that one.
That was Beltran’s 18th dinger of the year. After tonight’s game, he is now good for a 120 wRC+ for this year. Man, April was such a long time ago, wasn’t it?
White Sox aren’t a good offensive team and it’s pretty well-documented. But, you know, seeing Big Mike with a strong outing like this on the cusp of postseason is not a bad thing.
Pineda allowed the sole run of the game in the sixth. Trayce Thompson hit a long home run on a 92-mph fastball to put Sox on the board. That was the only major mistake Big Mike had all night. For the rest of the game, he was, well, vintage – great power stuff and good command all around to strike out eight in six strong innings.
Justin Wilson started the seventh to replace Pineda. He got first two outs but walked Adam Eaton and allowed a single to Jose Abreu to put the runners in corners in a hurry. Naturally, Joe Girardi brought in Dellin Betances to get the last out of the frame.
Dellin has had trouble with command of late and tonight was no exception. Betances went to a full count against Melky Cabrera before missing with a 100-mph fastball outside to load the bases. Against Trayce Thompson, Dellin again went to full count and walked him to force in a run. 3-2. Still leading but not ideal. However, after a mound visit, Betances settled in and struck out Adam LaRoche in four pitches to get out of the frame.
Betances’s eighth went more swimmingly. He did allow a leadoff single to Alexei Ramirez but induced a quick DP against Carlos Sanchez and struck out Tyler Flowers.
And, as always, to close out the game, Andrew Miller pitched a scoreless one in the ninth for his 35th save.
Box score, standings, highlights and WPA
Yankees will have CC Sabathia against Carlos Rodon tomorrow for the second game of the four-game series. Sabathia is making a strong case for the postseason rotation and we’ll see if he can carry that momentum into tomorrow.