It was a beautiful sunny day in the Bronx, clear skies, basically a perfect day for baseball this Thursday afternoon in the series finale against the visiting Rangers. The Yankees take off for a bit of a road trip through the All-Star break, and they were looking to split this series with the Rangers to end things on an up-note at home.
Michael Pineda started today and just dominated his way through his 6 innings, giving up just 2 hits, 3 walks, and a run — a lead-off solo shot in the 1st inning. But it was his strikeouts that was just amazing — he got the Rangers to swing (or watch) 12 total strikeouts, basically 2 per inning. That is just ridiculously impressive today.
The Yankees faced a pretty good starter themselves, who kept them to a couple hits, a couple walks, and just one run themselves, and struck out 8 times over the course of their first 5 inning today. In the 5th, Didi Gregorius tied up the game with his own solo home run into the right field seats.
The Yankees opened their bullpen to the Warriors Three to add on 4 more total strikeouts, waiting for the Yankee bats to break through the Texas bullpen. There would be moments of hope, getting runners on base and into scoring position, but to no effect.
So once again, it would be the 9th inning to make things a little interesting for the afternoon crowd. Chase Headley led-off with a walk and moved to 2nd on Gregorius’ sacrifice bunt. Hicks worked a walk to get on base, and both runners moved up to scoring position with Castro’s easy ground out. And with Ellsbury at the plate, an errant pitch became a passed ball, rolling all the way to the back stop as Chase Headley came speeding the 90 feet to home plate, sliding head first, getting his hand on that plate just below and before the tag.
Yes, a walk-off passed ball… but a walk-off nonetheless. For the second day in a row.
Final score: 2-1, Yankees, Yankees and Rangers split series 2-2.
Blog news: Okay, faithful readers (and people who stumble across this blog after an awkward Google search), for most of the game in July, I will be working on another project. So I’ve asked a fellow baseball fan to fill in for me while I’m away, with daily recaps, opinions, and news around Yankee Universe. I will be back briefly for the All-Star Game main events (Home Run Derby and the Game — July 11 and 12), and then fully back when the Giants come to New York in late July. Enjoy a new voice on the blog, who may be coming back periodically for guest posts from time to time!