Sweep dreams, Yankees fans! Not a bad way to end the weekend. Five wins in a row and a really nice sweep of the Athletics.
Michael Pineda got the start this afternoon, going 98 pitches in his 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, a walk, and 3 runs, and striking out 6 Oakland batters. In the 1st, a 1-out single stole 2nd and then 3rd and then scored on a ground out to get the A’s on the board. Then in the 5th, with 2 singles on base and 2 outs, a double scored both runners to threaten the Yankees today.
Then the “Warriors Three” were unleashed to keep things under control. Betances flew through the 7th, but Andrew Miller had some trouble due to a couple of really bad fielding errors in the 8th to add to the scoreboard. Two errors right off the top of the 8th made for a bit of drama; a ground out later scored one run, but Miller’s pitching and some more text book defense got them out of the inning without much more damage. And Chapman’s closing flair was in fine form, breezing though his 9th inning to earn his 6th save of the season (and remember, he’s only been with the team since May 9).
With the A’s ahead by one, the Yankee tied up the game in the 2nd with Brian McCann’s lead-off home run in the 2nd inning. And then pushed ahead into the lead with Jacoby Ellsbury’s just monster 2-out home run in the 3rd.
But it would be the 6th inning that solidified the Yankees’ lead. With 2 outs, 2 runners on base with singles, and a new pitcher, Mark Teixeira’s single scored Gardner, and Starlin Castro’s single scored Beltran. Then in the 7th inning, Hicks hit a lead-off single, moved to 2nd on Ellsbury’s sacrifice bunt, and then scored on Carlos Beltran’s 2-out double (still on quite a hitting streak of his own). That final run gave the cushion the Yankees needed to hang onto the lead until the last out.
Final score: 5-4 Yankees, Yankees sweep the Athletics 4-0.
You should know the Yankees are no longer at the bottom of the AL East. No, with their 21-22 record, they are now nicely nestled in the middle of the division 5.5 games behind the leaders Baltimore and Boston, tied with Tampa, and a half-game above Toronto. This means these next few series coming up (against Toronto twice and Tampa) is going to shift things around this division quite a bit.
Fortunately, the Yankees are on the upswing. And sometimes, momentum is all you need to carry you through for a bit. Fingers crossed, everyone. It’s going to be an interesting next few weeks.