Game 58: LAA vs. NYY — Dynamic Duos

The City of Angels isn’t really having the best experience at Yankee Stadium on their road trip to the East Coast this week. But that’s alright for the Yankees. They’ve been needing a chance to break through and prove Cashman right — that they really are pretty good on-paper and that can translate to pretty good on the field.

Michael Pineda got the start tonight, and actually did a pretty good job. Pineda gave the credit to working with pitching coach Larry Rothschild some on his arm angle on a couple of his key pitches. Whatever it was, it seemed to work. He threw 91 pitches in his 7 innings, gave up just 4 hits, 2 walks, and 3 runs, and struck out 4 batters tonight.

In all honesty, the Angels’ batters had one solid inning all night — the 5th inning. A lead-off double moved to 3rd on a ground out and then scored on a single. That runner then scored on a 2-our 2-run home run. And that would be the sum of the Angels’ offense tonight.

After Pineda, Betances and Miller reminded everyone of 2015 in their stint as the “Dynamic Duo” (Chapman was unavailable). The two just plowed right through the next six outs and hand-delivered all in Yankee Universe another much-needed win.

Of course, in order for all that to happen, the Yankees had to do a little something we call “score runs”. And we’ve seen far too many games where scenarios like above still meant a loss. But not tonight, thanks to a former Yankee pitcher that started his first game as an Angel, recently called up from their minor league franchise to fill a gap in their rotation.

In the 1st inning, with 1 out and Refsnyder on 1st, Carlos Beltran hit his 15th home run of the season (also his 1,000th career extra-base hit). Then with 2 outs and runners on the corners, Austin Romine’s single scored Castro from 3rd. All this to kick off the scoring for the night and for the Yankees.

The Yankees came back with Hicks’ lead-off double in the 2nd. Hicks moved to 3rd on Gardner’s bunt and then scored on Rob Refsnyder’s sacrifice fly. And Starlin Castro’s 1-out solo home run off the right field foul pole in the 3rd inning certainly gave the Yankees a rather cushy lead off just the Angels’ starter.

The Angels’ relievers did a better job of keeping the Yankees from adding to their lead until the 7th inning. Gardner led-off with a walk, later stole 2nd base, and then scored on Alex Rodriguez’s single to close out the Yankees’ offense for the night.

Final score: 6-3 Yankees

Injury update: Mark Teixeira said today that though there will probably be a need to operate on his knee (to repair the torn cartilege) at some point, he doesn’t want to sacrifice the 4-6 months during the season. He’ll opt to play through the pain for now, a return or rehab assignment looking at about 3 weeks from now, and revisit the surgical option following the season.

Scranton Shuttle: The Yankees selected the contract of reliever Anthony Swarzak, optioned Luis Cessa back to AAA Scranton, and released Tyler Olson. The Yankees believe Olson can get more work with another organization, which is really a compliment as they just don’t have a solid spot available for a middle reliever right now.

HOPE Week Day 2: Today, the Yankees celebrated an amazing charity called Cleaning For A Reason, an organization that provides regular house cleaning for women currently undergoing treatments for all forms of cancer. This afternoon, Joe Girardi and his daughter Lena joined Carlos Beltran, Starlin Castro, and Jacoby Ellsbury to surprise a remarkable mother and Bronx resident named Marybell Ruiz, who is currently battling stage 4 colon cancer.

Girardi took his daughter to have lunch with Ruiz’s youngest daughter at her school, and both Ruiz daughters hung out with the Yankees still hard at work once they got home from school. Founder Debbie Sardone and Ruiz threw out their own “Dynamic Duo” version of the ceremonial first pitch prior to tonight’s game, and the Yankees gifted the organization a $10,000 check to continue their good work. Both women are inspiration for change and generosity. And our prayers are with the Marybell and the Ruiz family for health and continued strength.

Cleaning For A Reason was founded by Sardone in 2006 in Texas after getting a random phone call a few years earlier from a woman seeking her cleaning services but couldn’t afford the quote due to her medical expenses. She made up her mind right then and there that she would never turn away a woman fighting cancer. For the last decade, they’ve helped over 20,000 cancer patients with the aid of 1200 cleaning companies across North America totally free of charge.

Go Yankees!

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