Sunday, September 10, 2017
After a dazzling pitching duel, the Yankees pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth to knock off the Rangers, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
The Yankees trailed, 1-0, after seven before rallying and reinforcing their hold on the lead in the American League Wild Card race. The Rangers are five back of the Yankees while both teams awaited results of other games later on Saturday.
“The team’s going to hit,” Yankees pitcher Luis Severino said, of being down, 1-0. “They’ve got to do something. But in my mind, I just was thinking ‘I’ve got to keep this a one-run game.’ And that’s what I did.”
It’s good to know that Severino has more faith in this offense than we do.
Wow, what a great win. They did what they almost never do. They trailed all the game and then came alive in the late innings. Some of the key moments were Matt Holliday’s pinch-hit single in the 8th (Texas tried to force the Yankees’ hand by bringing in a lefty and then Girardi took out Bird and put in Holliday and Texas stuck with their lefty and Holliday got the big hit to move the runner to third. Chase Headley then tied the game with a sac fly), Texas failing to convert a seemingly tailor-made double play ball in the ninth by Judge that kept the inning alive and then, of course, Tyler Austin coming through with the big pinch-hit (is it really pinch-hit? Didn’t he come in to play first in the bottom of the 8th?) go-ahead single. Then Headley worked out a bases loaded walk.
Aroldis Chapman looks like he has put his nonsense behind him and is back to being the typical unhittable Aroldis Chapman. When you can routinely not only throw 101 MPH but can LOCATE your 101 MPH fastball? How can anyone really do anything against you? Girardi argued after the game that Chapman’s problem has been that his contact rate has been the same, but the balls have just been going for home runs more often. That probably does say SOMEthing about it (similar situation happened with Tanaka where they were hitting the ball the same percentage, but they were going for home runs more often than normal) but his swings and misses were non-existent the last few months and that’s back to normal, so I haven’t the foggiest idea. I still think he has a physical issue that had messed with his mechanics and now he was just adjusting.
Luckily, all of the other teams in the Wild Card race lost, so the Yankees opened up a three game lead in the loss over Minnesota and five-game leads over the Angels and Rangers, with a six-game lead now over the Orioles, Royals and Mariners (all of these leads are in the loss column).
Big game on Sunday afternoon, with the Yankees trying to win another road series. That’d be huge. Jordan Montgomery also has to prove that he can be a bit more consistent.
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