Okay, so the MLB Draft is underway in New York for the next few days as the Yankees look to expand their future pinstripes from the pool of thousands of high school and college hopefuls. As of this post, they picked up their first round draft pick tonight (18th overall) and have a second draft pick (62nd overall) before tonight is over. Representing the Yankees is 1990’s 22nd round draft pick Andy Pettitte. He will continue this role through the next 2 days as the Yankees fill out their draft selections for 40 full rounds.
(I’ll post the final results as part of Saturday’s post when the draft is completed. You can follow the draft online or watch it live all weekend on MLB Network.)
In the meantime, the Yankees are back at .500 with tonight’s sweep of the Angels. Yes, the Yankees are on a bit of a hot streak. Not that anyone is complaining (except perhaps the Angels and their fans).
Ivan Nova started tonight’s game for the Yankees, back in proper form and dominating for most of the game — just 76 pitches in just over 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, a walk, and 3 runs, and striking out 5 batters. The Angels got on the board first in the 4th when their lead-off double scored on a 1-out single. Then a double and 1-out 2-run home run in the 7th ended Nova’s night a bit earlier than anticipated. But better safe than sorry.
So the Yankees opened the bullpen to the Warriors Three (no, I won’t concede to name from the take off the popular 90’s hip-hop/rap group). Betances easily sailed through the rest of the 7th, Miller the 8th, and Chapman the 9th for the save.
It was actually some pretty strong pitching throughout the game from all 4 pitchers, including 9 total strikeouts. While the Angels’ staff didn’t fare so well, much to the favor of Yankee Universe as it turns out.
The Yankees hit their peak in the 5th inning. Gregorius led-off the inning by working a walk, moving to 2nd on a ground out, and then scoring on Chris Parmelee’s single. Then they loaded the bases with Ellsbury’s single and Gardner’s walk. Carlos Beltran’s ground-rule double scored Parmelee and Ellsbury, only to be followed-up by Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly to score Gardner and Brian McCann’s double to score Beltran.
Gardner tagged one on in the 7th with a lead-off single, moving to 2nd on a balk, then to 3rd on a wild pitch, before scoring on Rodriguez’s double. The Yankees looked like they might do something more in the 8th, even loading the bases again, but a simple ground out dashed those extra runs. Not that they needed them tonight.
Final score: 6-3 Yankees, Yankees sweep Angels 4-0
Next up: the Tigers come to visit for a weekend series in the Bronx. The MLB Draft continues through Saturday. And Old Timers’ Day is Sunday. So we have a very busy weekend ahead.
Injury update: if I was superstitious, I’d believe that 1st base was cursed. During tonight’s game, current 1st baseman Chris Parmelee went down with a hamstring injury (trying to do the splits actually) and was pulled from tonight’s game in the 7th inning. He is scheduled for an MRI and to meet with the team doctor, but there’s already talk of a stint on the DL. Yeah, just as he’s starting to find a nice home over at 1st and in the batter’s box. So, we’re onto Refsnyder at 1st apparently. Fingers crossed for Teixeira’s speedy return to make the world right again.
HOPE Week Day 4: a few years ago, Alvin Irby of Harlem, a former kindergarten and 1st grade teacher, was visiting his local barbershop and saw a few kids hanging around bored and was suddenly inspired. These kids could be using this down time to learn to enjoy reading. Thus, Irby founded Barbershop Books, an organization that provides access to books that would specifically connect with children of color.
Irby is now partnered with 10 Harlem barbershops and one in Brooklyn and caters specifically to young children ages 4-8. One of those is Denny Moe’s Superstar Barbershop in Harlem where Irby and a great group of kids met Dellin Betances, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and Ronald Torreyes and a special guest hip-hop artist, reading some great books to their captive audience and then enjoying lunch hosted by their Yankee guests.
With the $10,000 donation from the Yankees, Irby intends to expand Barbershop Books throughout the City. The children were guests of the Yankees at tonight’s ball game, and Irby, of course, got to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.