Saturday, August 5, 2017
The Yankees needed to get Indians right-hander Danny Salazar off the mound on Saturday night. Once his overpowering outing came to a close, Chase Headley delivered a go-ahead home run for New York, paving the way for a 2-1 win at Progressive Field that halted Cleveland’s nine-game home winning streak.
The decisive blow arrived in the eighth inning, when Zach McAllister took over for Salazar and then yielded the one-out solo shot to Headley to put the Indians behind, 2-1. Salazar was hung with a no-decision after notching a career high in strikeouts (12) and a season high in pitches (112) over his seven dominant frames.
“It was big. We haven’t been swinging the bats great,” Headley said. “Part of that is us and part of that is their starting pitching. It was a big swing. I wasn’t sure when I hit it, but it had enough and fortunately it carried out. It was enough to get us a win.”
With the Royals-Mariners game postponed, the loss trimmed the Tribe’s lead atop the American League Central to three games over Kansas City. The Yankees held firm to the AL’s top Wild Card spot and remained three games back of the Red Sox in the AL East.
Talk about a needed victory! The Yankees’ offense has been completely inept the last week or so, and they continued their poor play tonight, but luckily their pitching and defense was excellent.
Chase Headley, moved into the #2 spot with Clint Frazier replaced by Jacoby Ellsbury (it looks like Frazier’s time in the Majors this season might be coming to an end, although I’d like to keep running him out there and see if he can recover) and responded with a huge home run to put the Yankees up 2-1 in the 8th inning. Delln Betances pitched a stellar eighth inning and then a rusty Aroldis Chapman got bailed out by his fielders in the ninth. With no outs and a runner on first, Brett Gardner made a leaping catch at the wall on a Jose Ramirez drive. It probably wasn’t going to be a home run, but it very likely could have been a game-tying double. Edwin Encarnacion then followed with a flare to center that Starlin Castro never would have caught, but luckily Ronald Torreyes was there to make the play (it likely would have been first and third with one out). Then, with two outs, Chapman took nine pitches, but he finally struck out Carlos Santana on a beautiful pitch that Austin Romine framed beautifully.
With Matt Holliday looking like he’ll be headed back to the disabled list, the Yankees will hopefully call up Miguel Andujar, but I suspect it will instead be Tyler Austin or Aaron Hicks, even though they’re both early in their respective rehabs (maybe Andujar for a game and then Hicks or Austin?).
Huge game tomorrow with Luis Severino pitching - they had a rare one-run win tonight and some GOOD luck for a change. Let’s hope that they can continue it and avoid losing this series and falling four games behind the Red Sox (as you know the ChiSox sure ain’t beating the BoSox tomorrow).
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