Four days off. Yankees with great representation at the All-Star Game. And it’s back to business in the Bronx to start the unofficial second half of the season. So with the Seattle Mariners coming in for the weekend, it was a good start to keep the Yankees at the top of their division.
Masahiro Tanaka, the opening day starter, got to start the second half, but with much better results tonight. He threw 103 pitches in his 7 innings, gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, and 2 walks, striking out 7 Mariners’ batters, and earning the win. Despite a sticky situation in the 2nd, Tanaka seemed in control of the game with two glaring exceptions — a 1-out home run in the 3rd and a 2-out 2-run home run in the 5th. In other words, save a couple of well-placed pitches that the same player found enticing enough to hit over the fences.
Fortunately, the Yankees also hit themselves a couple of home runs and some offense to help Tanaka earn the win. In the 2nd inning, Chris Young got things started with a 1-out solo shot to left field. After the Mariners tied up the game, the Yankees came back in the 4th to push ahead. Young led-off with a double and then scored on Chase Headley’s single.
And when the Mariners re-took the lead in the 5th, the Yankees answered back in the bottom of the inning to tie up the game — Rodriguez led-off with a single, moved to 2nd on Teixeira’s walk, and scored on Brian McCann’s single. Then in the 7th, Alex Rodriguez hit his 19th home run of the season into the Yankees’ bullpen to give the Yankees the lead.
The Dynamic Duo kept the Yankees in that lead safely — Betances in the 8th and Miller in the 9th. It was like everything was back in order, with the win and the save and the home runs. It was just back to normal in the Bronx.
And that is a wonderful feeling.
Final score: 4-3 Yankees.
Draft update: The Yankees signed 35 of their 41 draftees from this year’s First-Year Player Draft, including their first 27 selections. Of course, most of the hype was based on the signing of their first round draftee James Kaprielian, which he did on July 15, two days before the deadline.
Roster moves: Brendan Ryan was activated from DL after his AAA stint. The corresponding roster move was Gregorio Petit, who was optioned to AAA. Beltran will come off the DL shortly, and there is already a lot of talk about what the corresponding roster move will be for him. But nothing is set yet, as many of the young guys are currently being watched to see what they can contribute to the team, on and off the field. Look, often it’s not personal. Some people just fit with the mix of the team, and some don’t and can find a better mix with another team.
And in Yankee Alumni news: Derek Jeter spent the All-Star Week on the West Coast, accepting the ESPYs Icon Award on Wednesday evening and the Kids’ Choice Sports Legends Award on Thursday night. While the ESPYs were classy and formal and was filled with meaningful speeches, the KCSA were filled with slime, including the golden slime that they dunked on Jeter. And apparently, there were donuts. I spent Thursday night wishing I could get slimed (but the original green stuff), and I woke up this morning wanting a donut. Not exactly Yankee-esque, but an interesting way to enter the weekend, as it sounds like a prank one might find in a clubhouse locker room. (Now there’s an idea…)