Imagine being swept by the Padres. Not a good thought, right? Thankfully, the Yankees didn’t suffer another one-run heartbreaker today. Youngster Chad Green tossed a solid outing and the offense backed him up with a bunch of dingers for his first career ML win. Its the weekend so let’s do it bullet-point style.
- A Run!: The game started well for the Yankee offense. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner reached on base in the first with a single and walk, respectively. Mark Teixeira followed it up with a strikeout, Brian McCann flew out and Starlin Castro struck out as well to immediately kill the chance. However, they did score in the next inning. Didi Gregorius led off with an error by Alexei Ramirez. Aaron Hicks snared a single to center to put the runners on corners. The next hitter, Ronald Torreyes, grounded into a double play, which scored a run. 1-0 Yanks.
- Another One!: In the fourth, Didi did it again. The Yankees’ hottest hitter not named Carlos Beltran went deep on a 86-mph slider that had some break, but Didi reached down low enough to drill it to right field seats. That’s his ninth homer of the year. It’s halfway through the year so a 15~20 HR year isn’t a dream for Gregorius if he keeps it up. In this bleh Yankee season, Didi’s offense has been one of the bright spots. Oh, and the Yankees led 2-1 thanks to the dinger.
- Seeing Green?: Starting pitcher Chad Green has had a solid season down in Triple-A, In 14 starts, he had a 1.54 ERA and the peripherals suggest it to be legit – 9.04 K/9, 2.09 BB/9 and 0.22 HR/9. He had a start with the Yankees earlier this year and, well, he took a loss against the D’Backs. Today was a different story. Green threw six solid innings, allowing only three hits and one run (on former Yankee great Yangervis Solarte’s solo HR) while striking out eight and walking none. I know I shouldn’t buy into young pitchers too easily but I think the Yanks should give him more chances in rotation.
- Tex Back: Boy, has this season been a struggle for Teixeira or what? Coming into tonight, he had a .187/.273/.290 slash line, which is “good” for a 52 wRC+. Dreadful. Today, however, he hit two homers – both of them coming against two loopy curveballs versus Carlos Villanueva and Kevin Quackenbush. The first one was his 400th dinger and it had a 48 degree launch angle, which, according to Statcast, is the highest of all the homers hit this year. If you’re gonna hit a milestone homer, why not make it special? Congrats Tex. His second homer in the top of ninth made the game pretty much out of reach by giving New York a 6-1 lead.
- Hicks Hits Good: Aaron Hicks, who has struggled mightily this season, reached base four times today. He had two singles and a ground-rule double (oh, and a walk). I thought it was probably the best day for him in terms of squaring the ball up. He’s also been a much better second-half hitter in ML career so should we expect something special from him? We’ll see.
- Ninth Inning: With a five-run lead in the ninth, Girardi brought in Anthony Swarzak to face the Padres. Swarzak immediately made it a game by giving up a single to Solarte and a dinger to Alex Dickerson. 6-3 Yanks. A save situation! The Yanks didn’t waste much time bringing in Aroldis Chapman and he retired the side for a Yankee victory.
The Yankees fly out to Chicago next to face the south siders for a three-game series. Happy Fourth of July weekend, you guys.