Game 69: NYY vs. MIN — Dads do well, fall short of sweep

A hot, sunny Sunday in the “City of Flour and Sawdust” (bet you didn’t know that one before today!), or Minneapolis for everyone born after 1883, for the final game of this long weekend series against the Twins. The Yankees close out this road trip on Fathers’ Day, joining the Twins with their specially designed uniforms — touches of a light blue to recognize the MLB partnership with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the most common type of cancer for men but highly treatable if caught early. (So, gentlemen, go get screened, especially if you’re over 40. We want you around for a very long time!)

And apparently, it was a good day to be a dad if you were a Yankee because it was the dads on the team that contributed the most to the offense and overall outcome of the game. Those other guys were okay too, but stick with me on the day’s theme for a few minutes. Starter (and dad) Nathan Eovaldi threw 96 pitches into the 6th inning, gave up 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 runs, striking out just 2 batters with his fiery pitching.

The Twins didn’t break through Eovaldi’s pitching until the 5th inning with a lead-off solo home run. But he managed to keep them at bay until the next inning. After his 2nd and final strikeout, Eovaldi gave up consecutive singles to put runners on the corners. The next batter smacked a strong hit into the right field corner. The first runner scored as the Yankees relayed the ball into home to tag out the second runner. The umpires called him out, but the Twins challenged and won the day — 2 runs scored and the batter was given a triple because McCann never actually touched the runner. Bummer.

And Eovaldi’s day was over, and it was onto Dellin Betances to rescue the inning. But it was not to be, giving up an RBI single, a stolen base, and an RBI double before getting everything together and finding those 2 outs.

Kirby Yates’ 7th also didn’t go as flawless as one would hope as a 2-out solo home run broke his scoreless outing. And Nick Goody’s 8th inning was a bit dramatic in its own right — a 1-out double moved to 3rd on a ground out and scored on an RBI single before McCann caught the runner stealing 2nd to close out the inning.

But like I said early, the dads on the team did the heavy lifting today. Dad of 2, Brian McCann started things off today with a great 1-out solo home run in the 2nd. Dad of 2 Brett Gardner led off the 4th with a double and then scored on Dad of 2 Alex Rodriguez’s single.

Then in the 8th with 1 out and Davis on base with a single, the Twins went to their bullpen and things were looking up for the Yankees, based on the last 3 games’ experience and the Yankees’ late burst under a weak bullpen. Well, this proved somewhat true once again as both dads Ellsbury and Gardner reached on errors, Gardner’s success scored Davis. The Twins would change pitchers again before the inning was over.

And to cap off the Yankee offense, the Yankees were back where they started with Brian McCann just jettisoning the ball over the right field seats and onto the concourse where fans ran down the ball almost taking them out of the park for his second home run of the game. But 3 outs later, the Yankees were done, falling short today.

Final score: 7-4 Twins, Yankees take the series 3-1.

The Yankees have a traveling day tomorrow to start their next home stand. They face the Rockies for a couple of games and then the Twins next weekend. So basically, more of the same and tons of deja vu. (Wait, didn’t I already say that?)

Injury Update: Chasen Shreve is done with his rehab assignment for his shoulder injury. The Yankees optioned him to AAA Scranton. And Mark Teixeira’s knee is on the mend and he will be on his way to Pennsylvania to join AAA Scranton for his 3-game rehab assignment. Providing all that looks and feel right, Teixeira could be looking at a return to the Bronx by Saturday at the earliest.

Like I might have mentioned a few times, today is Fathers’ Day. And seeing how baseball is traditionally a father-and-son kind of sport, MLB and the Yankees are celebrating this day in many ways. Beat reporter Bryan Hoch celebrates his first Fathers’ Day (his new wife will give birth to their daughter later this year) and being a first time dad, he decided to get some advice. (It’s a great read!)

Plus the Yankees put together some video about their experiences as a dad and a thanks to their dads and the men who inspired them. And today was celebrated around the league in many ways, recognizing the new dads, old dads, soon-to-be dads, and the dads who raised them in all sorts of great ways.

My personal favorite story was about the chill dad in Philadelphia on Thursday night who caught a foul ball one-handed in the 1st inning, while holding his young daughter and a box of concession, then sat down and relaxed to watch the Phillies get clobbers by the Blue Jays like it was another day at the office.

But there are so many great dads, who deserve to be recognized for being great dads. They may play ball or drive a truck or run a company or manage a store, but they’re just dad. They may be related by blood or law or love. They may be old or young. They may be far away or right next to you. Or they may no longer be with us. So for whoever you call dad or look to as a father, cherish them and celebrate them today.

Go Yankees!

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