It was a beautiful Friday evening in New York. A crisp 75° at first pitch under clear skies. And the Yankees were riding high from their 4-game sweep of the Angels to face their weekend visitors from Detroit.
I blame HOPE Week. Can every week be HOPE Week? (More below.)
CC Sabathia got the start tonight in the opener against the Tigers and the only bad thing I can say is that his pitch count was just a tad high. Sabathia continues to show off that veteran execution that made him a pitcher of note for these last 15 years. Tonight, he threw 108 pitches in his 7 scoreless innings, gave up 5 hits and 2 walks, and striking out 4 batters. Which means the Tigers were hitting into a lot of grounders and fly balls, but not doing much beyond that.
Betances breezed through his 11-pitch 8th inning, and Swarzak finished off the game in the 9th with just 12 pitches of his own. But they kept the zeroes coming on the scoreboard for the Tigers.
The Tigers’ pitchers weren’t so lucky, as the Yankees decided this game was theirs to win early on and kept it there. In the 1st, with 1 out, the Yankees loaded the bases with a couple of singles and a walk. Brian McCann then worked a walk to walk in Gardner to start the run-scoring tonight. And then Didi Gregorius hit a solid 2-out double to score Beltran and Rodriguez, but McCann got thrown out at home trying to make it a 4-run game, ending the inning.
Not a bad way to start a game. For the Yankees, that is. In the 3rd, Gardner led-off with a walk, and then on a terrible pick-off attempt, Gardner ended up at 3rd before scoring on Carlos Beltran’s single to add an extra run for the Yankees. And pretty much from here on, the Yankees and Tigers kind of kept pace with each other, putting up zeroes.
The only difference was the numbers (other than the runs scored, of course). The Yankees gave up just 2 walks and struck out a total 7 batters, while the Tigers’ pitchers gave up 5 walks and struck out just 2 Yankee batters. Sometimes, the numbers do tell the story.
Final score: 4-0 Yankees (yes, that is 5 wins in a row, and yes, that does make the Yankees 1 game over .500)
Injury Update: Chris Parmelee was officially transferred to the 15-day DL today with a strained hamstring in his left leg on that splits maneuver he did last night. The Yankees opted to call up reliever Chad Green rather than another infielder. Refsnyder seems to be the default option, and honestly, he’s doing a pretty decent job for being the 5th guy on the depth chart at 1st base since January.
HOPE Week Day 5: The Yankees wrapped up HOPE Week today by partnering with a great organization called Blissful Bedrooms. Started in 2009 by physical therapist Martha Gold-Dvoryadkin and her husband Alex after they helped fix up one of her former therapy students’ bedroom. Blissful Bedrooms helps out young people with limited resources and severe physical disabilities by completely redoing their personal spaces.
Today, Yankees Aroldis Chapman, Nathan Eovaldi, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, and Alex Rodriguez surprised Said Rivera, an amazing 18-year-old diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant. Rivera is a huge Yankees fan, so his room will be entirely Yankee-themed, to be finished this weekend. The Yankees helped Said plan out his room and began some of the renovations during their visit today including painting some of the main designs (like the NYY logo) and helped sew a specially designed Yankees blanket.
The Yankees and the volunteers from Blissful Bedrooms joined Said and his family for lunch. The Yankees presented Blissful Bedrooms with a $10,000 check to help them continue their amazing work in the community. And with the help of some amazing people from Blissful Bedrooms in a bit of a relay from the pitcher’s mound, Said even threw the first pitch ball to his new pal Alex Rodriguez before tonight’s game.
I always say that HOPE Week is my favorite week of the year, and I always mean it. For the last 8 years, the Yankees have highlighted, celebrated, partnered with, and generously donated to some of the most amazing people and organizations I’ve ever heard of. Lives have been impacted and changed because someone chose to do something with their small corner of the world, and the Yankees simply wanted the world to know that this one person or group was a world-changer.
I am reminded every year to not just acknowledge those who do this every day, but to be part of the every day action. I may not be able to start a foundation or do something broad scale (even on a community level), but the opportunities are there for things like kindness and compassion and generosity on a daily basis. It’s our responsibility as citizens of this world to make it a better place. So I challenge you starting today, this moment, to seek out opportunities for kindness, compassion, and generosity. Be a world-changer, a life-changer, a person worthy of being part of this community just because you give your time, your finances, a bit of yourself in some way.