Game 118: LAA vs. NYY — The offense is out of hibernation

So the game didn’t start out okay at all, and then it got better, and then it got way better, and then it rained, and then it got scary, and then it was awesome. The rollercoaster of a game can be solely dedicated to the greatness of the Yankees offense, lead clearly by Alfonso Soriano.

Starting pitcher CC Sabathia was off to his usual start lately, allowing a 2-run homer in the 1st inning, and loading the bases to walk in a 3rd run in the 3rd inning. Sabathia’s biggest issue wasn’t hits (only gave up 3 total) or home runs (that one in the 1st) tonight, and his strikeout count was up to 7 batters. No, he walked 6 Angels over his 6 innings and one batter in the 7th, with his total 110 pitches. I have to say the overall outcome was infinitely better than previous outings, but those statistics alone would have cost him the game if the Yankee bats hadn’t come out of hibernation.

In the 2nd inning, Vernon Wells line drives a home run out to right field, putting the Yankees on the board. Wells singles his next time at bat in the 4th, advancing to 3rd on Curtis Granderson’s double, and scoring on Jayson Nix’s ground out. In the 5th, with Eduardo Nunez on base with a single, it’s Soriano that plants a 2-run home run to left field. At this point, the Yankees take the lead 4-3 and never look back.

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Nix singles, forcing a pitching change that promptly walks Overbay, and brings up another pitcher. A sacrifice bunt advances the runners, and Nix then scores on Nunez’s groundout. Soriano’s single scores Overbay, and then Cano is walked. With two runners on base, it’s Alex Rodriguez’s turn to add to the score and his double scores both Soriano and Cano. And by the end of that inning, the Yankees are up 8-3.

But we don’t stop there. No, it’s on to the 7th inning with a new pitcher from the Angels’ bullpen, but it doesn’t seem to matter because the Yankees are on a roll. Granderson, Overbay, and Romine each single to load the bases. Nunez grounds into a force out to put Romine out at 2nd, but scoring Granderson. And once again, it’s Soriano who decides to try hitting the ball to the other side of the park and successfully slices a 3-run home run. And by the end of that inning, it’s 12-3.

Now, Shawn Kelley replaces Sabathia in the 7th inning, and he goes into the 8th inning for two outs, keeping the Angels scoreless and hitless. So the Yankees decide to send in recent call-up Dellin Betances to make his MLB debut. He gets the last out of that inning, and the heavens open up causing a brief 26 minute rain delay. Many fans flee the stands, but the faithful wait out the rain wanting to see how it all turns out. (Note: there are many places in Yankee Stadium to wait out the storm — the Great Hall being my favorite. So if you’re ever there for a rain delay, wait it out. After all, you just never know…)

When the tarp comes off the field again, the Yankees are up to bat. With two outs and bases loaded, Nunez’s single up the middle scores two more runs (Granderson and Overbay), putting the score up 14-3, going into the 9th inning.

Now, this should be an easy three outs. Not a save situation (clearly), so Rivera can continue to rest and refocus himself. Betances gets the opportunity to close out the game. First up, a strikeout. Then a single that advances to 2nd on a bad throwing error. Another single scores the runner (14-4). Another single has runners at the corners. Then Betances gives up a 3-run homer that slices the Yankees lead in half (14-7). Another single and a walk and still only one out, they call for Joba Chamberlain to get the last two (now seemingly elusive) outs. But Chamberlain makes it happen in 7 pitches.

Looking at the overall box score, the Yankees got 19 hits (to the Angels’ 9) tonight (and 3 errors, that’s going to be an issue). Of those 19 hits, everyone who got up to bat got at least 1 hit, most got multiple hits. But it was Soriano that racked up 6 RBIs in this game. I know he won’t have many more years left, but it’s really nice to see him giving some good years back in the pinstripes.

I guess I keep shaking my head at the thought — 14 runs. The Yankees haven’t done that since they played Cleveland in the first half of the season. But boy, does it feel good. And honestly, it was really great to have everyone contributing to that total. It showed people that they still have some fight in them, that they’re not going down without a fight. I just read an article today about the “washed up Yankees” this year, using the same clichés they’ve been using forever now “old, injured, overpaid, B-team, etc.” Yeah, well, all I have to say is “14 runs”. And there’s plenty more where that came from.

Go Yankees!

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