The nicest thing I can say about tonight’s game is that there were 24 total strikeouts from both the Rockies (11) and Yankees’ (13) pitching staffs. Of course, factoring in the 25 total allowed hits doesn’t exactly paint a good picture of those same pitchers either. Like I said a few times last week, this week’s opponents are the same as last week’s just played all in the Bronx. So tonight, the Rockies began their brief 2-game spurt in New York, hoping to sweep the Yankees again. And after tonight’s game, they certainly stand a chance at achieving those hopes.
Ivan Nova certainly had a rough night for his start. He threw 83 pitches into the 5th inning, gave up 8 hits, 2 walks, and 6 runs (5 earned), striking out just 1 batter. He got off to a terrible start giving up a lead-off home run to begin the game (and interrupt Roll Call). (Small trivia bit here: going into this game, the Yankees were one of only 2 teams to never give up a lead-off homer this season; the remaining team is the Braves.)
Then 3 singles later, another run had scored, and runners were in scoring position due to a sloppy fielding error. After the first out (a pop up), another single loaded the bases. A force out left runners at the corners, and score the final run of the inning. And honestly, while it wasn’t the greatest inning, it really could’ve been so much worse (and that’s not just me being positive either).
In the 2nd, with 1 out, a batter reached on another fielding error and a single and stolen base put runners once again in scoring position. A sacrifice fly scored the lead runner. And a 1-out solo home run in the 4th continued the Rockies’ push for offensive dominance in tonight’s game.
Nova came back out for the 5th and gave up a double that moved to 3rd on a wild pitch. After walking the next batter, his night was over, and he was forced to trudge back to the dugout to a “less-than-appreciative” reception from the 30,000-ish in the stands. It was Nick Goody’s turn to try to stop the mess. He promptly struck out the first batter, but gave up a double that scored just 1 of the runners. Two more strikeouts later, and things had settled down some.
Goody came back out for the 6th, hoping to see him do a more long-term relief. Another strikeout (all of Goody’s outs were strikeouts). With a runner on base with a single, a 2-run home run gave the Rockies’ a very secure lead and ended Goody’s night. Bleier finished off the inning without adding to the score and added a couple of his own strikeouts coming back out for the 7th inning. Yates and Swarzak each took an inning, each earning their 3 outs with 3 strikeouts.
And that’s how the starter’s single strikeout contributed to a grand total of 13 strikeouts tonight.
It’s not like the Yankees didn’t have their chances in the batter’s box or make a dent in the Rockies’ lead. In the bottom of the 1st, Gardner led-off with a single, moved all the way to 3rd on a missed catch error (see they played sloppy too), and then scored on a double play. In the 2nd, Gregorius hit a 1-out double, moved ot 3rd on a ground out, and scored on a fielding error. (Yes, that means in the first 2 innings of tonight’s game both teams each had a pair of errors.)
In the 5th, Gardner worked a 1-out walk and moved to 3rd on Beltran’s single. Rodriguez then his a long ball that ended up being caught on the warning track for a sacrifice fly. So Gardner rushed home to score, and as the ball was being thrown in, Beltran decided to hustle to 2nd but got tagged out. That left everyone scratching their heads. To be fair, he could’ve beaten the tag if the outfielder hesitated even for a few seconds, but still. It’s not like he’s known for his base-running speed.
And in the 6th, Castro hit a 1-out single and easily scored on Didi Gregorius’ long triple almost to Monument Park. But the Yankees left him stranded there after a swinging strikeout and a very low called strikeout (blame the catcher who brought the ball up into the strikezone upon catching it to get the call).
To make a bit of a comparison, the Rockies starter made the Yankees strike out 8 times through his 6 innings (compared to Nova’s 4-inning lone feat). And while the Yankees’ relievers certainly made up the difference, the Rockies’ relievers (all 4 of them) cobbled together just 3 more, but kept the Yankees’ from furthering their score. Baseball is a funny statistical sport sometimes.
Final score: 8-4 Rockies.
Before tonight’s game, the Yankees honored the victims of the Orlando tragedy with a moment of silence and laying a rainbow wreath on home plate by both managers. On the big screen, they posted all 49 names of the people lost that Sunday morning. Tonight’s pre-game ceremonies were held in partnership with Orlando United with Billy Bean, MLB’s VP of Social Responsibility and Inclusion.
After the Rays (whose fanbase includes the Orlando area) held a special night that raised over $300,000 for the Equality Florida’s Pulse Victim’s Fund, MLB kicked in an additional $100,000. Girardi, Cashman, Bean, and others wore specially designed shirts for the #OrlandoUnited cause. Fans can purchase these and other similar products from team stores of the Orlando sports teams (the Magic and SC) and know all their proceeds go to the OneOrlando fund to help the victims and their families.