Let me just say right off the bat that the Red Sox pitcher tonight was very good. He threw into the 8th inning and got 13 strikeouts, which is easily his best outing of the season. And he still recorded the loss.
Of course, I should clarify that I don’t really know how fair that 28 total strikeouts (between both teams) on record for tonight’s game because it seems like there were a lot of strikes called in (how do I put this objectively and lightly?) very special positions. To be fair, both teams saw the frustrating side of the strange strike zone at the plate. But seeing as arguing balls and strikes gets anyone tossed from the game, it just wasn’t worth it. So a lot of people struck out tonight, including the Red Sox big veteran power-hitter, who earned the “Golden Sombrero” (four strikeouts in a single game).
So, it was Michael Pineda to start for the Yankees in this middle game of the series at Fenway. Pineda threw 92 pitches through 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, no walks, and a run, striking out 7 Boston batters. The lone Red Sox run came in the 3rd inning, with a 1-out double scoring on a 2-out single. Pineda would earn his 10th win tonight to keep him on the winning side of statistics.
Justin Wilson came on briefly in the 7th for a quick 8-pitch 2 outs before Dellin Betances came on for a 4-out outing through the 8th inning. Betances was struggled some, giving up 3 hits, but kept the Red Sox from doing anything with them. Andrew Miller’s 9th inning closed the door with 19 pitches and 3 strikeouts for his 29th save of the season.
On the other side of Fenway, the Yankees weren’t exactly hitting, getting only 5 total hits. But they were more efficient with their run-scoring. The Red Sox starter held them off until the 5th inning. Rodriguez led off with a single, and 2 (no surprise) strikeouts later, Gregorius reached on a fielding error, putting both runners in scoring position. Both then scored on Stephen Drew’s double to push the Yankees into the lead. Then Brett Gardner crushed a 2-out solo home run right by the Pesky Pole in the 8th for the insurance run the Yankees needed to breathe.
Final score: 3-1 Yankees.
The Revolving Door with a Limp: after further tests, the Yankees determined that Mark Teixeira’s bone bruise was worse that originally thought, and while there’s no fracture, it’s still bad enough to force Teixeira into rest and on crutches for at least 2 weeks. Due to the September call-up today, the Yankees had to make room for the new faces and made these moves — recalled pitcher Domingo German from Single-A Tampa and sent him to the 60-day DL on recovery from Tommy John surgery last April; designated prospects infielder Cole Figueroa and outfielder Tyler Austin for assignment. They then recalled Caleb Cotham, Rob Refsnyder, and Jose Pirela from AAA Scranton; selected the contracts of James Pazos, Rico Noel, Austin Romine, and Andrew Bailey from AAA Scranton; and activated Dustin Ackley from the 15-day DL.
I should clarify that the total currently sits at 40 on my list, but several aren’t actually listed as being part of the active roster just yet. So, I’m guessing there should be a few more transactions in the next few days to finalize the expanded roster.
The Yankees also announced today that they will be sending several of their prospects to the Arizona Fall League (or the AFL) — catcher Gary Sanchez (still technically on the 40-man roster); pitchers Chaz Hebert and Ty Webb; infielders Eric Jagielo and Tyler Wade; and outfielder Dustin Fowler. The Yankees prospects will join other prospects from the Brewers, Cardinals, Rangers, and Royals organizations to play this fall in Scottsdale and work on finding their way into the majors in the near future. The future is bright for the Baby Bombers. Can’t wait to see how they’ve progressed come Spring Training!