The weather in Detroit at first pitch was 38-degrees and snowing. Yes, snowing. Players wore everything from long sleeves to ski masks to help fight off the cold. Even the scoreboard “froze” at one point, refusing to show the balls-strikes-outs. And the references to the Disney movie were rather unavoidable. (Is anyone going to ever not put unexpected or chronic winter and that movie together for the rest of our lives?)
Both starting pitchers wore just the regular sleeves of their jersey, and this may be why both pitchers had some trouble in their first innings. Well, one more than the other. And I’m going to run this game recap in chronological order, because I just think that’s the best way to do this crazy game any kind of justice.
The Tigers sent up one of their best pitchers, a guy who spent the majority of his career making a name for himself with the Rays as their ace. Since his move to the AL Central, he just hasn’t really displayed that same flare. But then again, this is the same guy who had trouble against the Yankees on the Rays (trivia fact: he gave up Jeter’s 3000th hit back in 2011). In the first inning alone, he threw 51 pitches to 11 Yankees batters in 31 minutes. Jacoby Ellsbury led-off the game with a hit by pitch, Young singled, and then a strike out. Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, and then Brian McCann singled home Ellsbury keeping the bases loaded. Another strike out. Chase Headley singled home Young, bases still loaded. Then Gregorio Petit doubled and cleared the bases, all 3 runners scored. Didi Gregorius walked, and then Ellsbury singled home Petit before a final fly-out mercifully ended the inning for the Tigers. Yes, the Yankees scored 6 runs in just the 1st inning.
Now, the Tigers answered back in the bottom of the 1st with not quite a roar, but enough of a growl that it mattered. The Yankees sent Adam Warren to the mound to start tonight’s game. Warren struggled almost as much as his opposing counterpart. The lead-off batter walked, a line out, and then 3 consecutive walks which scored a walked-in run. A single scored another run and kept the bases loaded. A ground out scored another run, before the 4th and final Tigers’ run was scored on an RBI single.
Warren would settle in and find his groove after that messy 1st inning. Warren threw a total of 101 pitches over his 5.2 innings, giving up 5 hits, 4 walks, and 4 runs (most of that in the 1st inning alone), and striking out 3 batters.
In the meantime, the Yankees wasted no time adding to their lead. In the 2nd inning, after 2 quick outs, McCann singled and then scored on Carlos Beltran’s triple. Beltran would then score on Headley’s triple. (Is this going to be the year of the triples?) And then in the 4th, Beltran singled and Headley reached on a catching error, and then both scored on Gregorius’ double. This put the Yankees up 10-4 over the Tigers, and there they sat for a few innings.
Yankees’ relievers Wilson, Carpenter, and Shreve finished the game for Warren keeping the Tigers down to a soft mewl. (Sorry for the cat puns, but it was a weird game and a weird night — it’s Wednesday, get over it.)
In the 7th, the Yankees added a rather large punctuation mark to their lead. With 1 out, Young singled and Rodriguez walked, setting up Teixeira for a long 3-run home run into the now nearly empty right field seats. (Despite an attendance of over 20,000, there were not many lingering fans past the 4th inning as temperatures dropped and the wind just made the slight snow beyond frigid.)
Final score in frigid Detroit: 13-4 Yankees.
In Yankee Alumni news: Bernie Williams, the great #51, hasn’t played professional baseball since 2006, but he will officially retire this Friday at a press conference from Yankee Stadium, before the game against the crosstown rival Mets. Congrats on a great career and finalized retirement to a great ball player and a really amazing musician!
And a big congratulations to 3rd base coach Joe Espada, who flew back to Florida today to be with his wife and family as they welcomed their new little girl into the world!