Despite what the final numbers say, the Yankees and CC Sabathia actually played really well tonight and for the majority of the game. For that matter, and to be perfectly fair, so did the Rangers. In fact, it was a single inning that was the true weakness for the Yankees tonight. And it’s a shame that one inning negates a lot of hard quality work outside of that.
Going into the 8th inning, Sabathia threw 90 pitches, gave up 5 hits, a walk, and 2 runs, striking out 2 Texas batters. With 1 out and a single on base, a 2-run home run got a run on the board early for the Rangers. But that would be all the scoring for most of the game, for either side.
And then it was the 8th inning. Sabathia hit the lead-off batter and gave up a single to get 2 runners on base. Another single scored the lead runner, and a double scored the next one. Sabathia’s night was done at 102 pitches and no outs in this inning. Anthony Swarzak was called on to shut things down, but the Rangers’ fuse was lit. Consecutive singles each scored 2 more runs before the next batter ground into a double play to finally get an out (or two) in this inning. Another single scored the last run of the inning before Swarzak got an easy ground out to end the inning.
Now, with the Yankee bats rather silent most of the game, they opted to use the 8th for their lone addition to the scoreboard, thanks in part to a new reliever. Ellsbury led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on Alex Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly.
And that would be it for the scoring on either side. Neither pitching was all that stellar, but it was enough to keep both side rather stymied save a single inning.
Final score: 7-1 Rangers.
Injury Update: Carlos Beltran came out of tonight’s game with a random hamstring cramp in the 1st inning. Refsnyder took his place. Beltran’s requisite MRI came back clean so he will be day-to-day. Beltran has been a huge leader in the Yankees’ offense this year, and this set-back can’t be good when the Yankees desperately need a Beltran bat to contribute and help right the Yankees back into a play-off contender spot that every day seems further and further from possibility.
Scranton Shuttle: After a rather messy game last night, Kirby Yates was outrighted back to AAA Scranton, and in his place, Conor Mullee was recalled. Simply a need for a fresh arm. The bullpen hasn’t been as reliable as the Yankees need for this stretch, so a fresh arm or two is a chance to both shift gears and challenge those left in the ‘pen to push themselves to be better (perhaps, be the players they are on paper).
Also, part of the All-Star Weekend is the Futures Game, where prospects are selected from each organization to represent either the World or the USA in a special exhibition game the Sunday evening (July 10, at 7pm) before the All-Star Game (Tuesday, July 12). Representing the Yankees and playing for the World are shortstop Jorge Mateo and catcher Gary Sanchez. This is a great opportunity for young players to play on a larger stage and show off their viability for both their organization and for their future careers.