Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Eric Young Jr. was the hero Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. The journeyman outfielder ripped a two-out, walk-off infield single in the 11th inning to lift the Angels to a 3-2 win over Yankees, snapping New York’s six-game win streak.
“He’s a guy getting an opportunity and he’s making the most of it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Young. “We can’t say enough how he’s come up clutch this week.”
The big hit came after Young hammered a solo home run to tie the game, 2-2, in the eighth, his second homer in three games and third since he joined the Angels when Mike Trout went on the disabled list May 29.
Roughly 90% of MLB managers would hold on to to their closer in a tie game on the road under the theory that even if you take the lead in the top of an inning, you’re going to need to have someone pitch the bottom of the inning, and thus if you use your closer earlier, even if you score, you’ll have to pitch a shittier pitcher to close the game out and then you’re in just as bad of a situation as if you had just pitched that shittier pitcher earlier in the game instead of the closer. However, just because they almost all agree on that strategy does not mean that it is a good one, as it means that you end up losing games while your best relief pitcher doesn’t even get into the game. It’s a lot more reasonable in a relatively meaningless June game, but managers do this in the postseason even (Buck Showalter infamously did it just last year) and it is dumb. Dellin Betances should have pitched in this game, but he didn’t, and the Yankee bullpen eventually lost after their offense did a very poor job (bases loaded in the top of the 11th with one out and Chris Carter and Brett Gardner both weakly popped up).
The big story from the game, though, is CC Sabathia injuring himself in the fourth (in an inning that was extended due to Chris Carter screwing up). He strained his hamstring and is almost certainly out of commission for at least a month, perhaps more, depending on how bad the sprain was. That sucks. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees use their open 40-man roster spot to call up Chance Adams to take CC’s rotation spot, or if they just promote Chad Green to the #5 spot.
Anyhow, this was a shitty loss, but let’s hope that Michael Pineda can get the good times going again on Wednesday night.
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