The California coast welcomed the Yankees with clear skies and a cool evening to Petco Park before a sellout crowd of 41,231. The Yankees were hoping to extend their recent winning streak in this interleague game, but even an exciting 9th inning rally typical of the Bombers, they couldn’t overcome the strong pitching of the Padres throughout the game.
Nathan Eovaldi struggled throughout his 4 1/3 innings on the mound, allowing 6 runs, 7 hits, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts. (We are missing “Nasty Nate”!) Eovaldi was replaced by the rookie Conor Mullee until the 6th inning when Mullee was taken out of the game due to numbness in his hand that prevented his ability to control the ball. Evaluation by medical staff is expected soon. Next on the mound was Richard Bleier who allowed another run.
The Yankees seemed to start well but faced some tough pitching that prevented them from scoring opportunities. In the first eight innings, there were only able to record 2 runs as the Padres kept adding to their score. In the second inning, Gregorius singled to right and then made it to second on a passed ball. A single by Ellsbury scored Gregorius to put the Yankees on the board. The next three innings were three up and three down.
But in the 6th, McCann racked up his 13th homer of the season with a long ball over the center field fence. Down 7-2 at the top of the 9th, the crowd probably assumed the Yankees would just hang up their cleats and go home. But then, these are our Yankees and they do not give up! Yogi’s famous piece of wisdom rings in my ears…”It ain’t over till…”.
Down by 5 at the top of the 9th, the Yankees regained their momentum and fought back. McCann, walked in 4 pitches, advanced to second when Castro was hit by a pitch and moved to first. Alex Rodriguez, pinch-hitting for Torreyes, singled to center field and McCann scored. Gregorius doubled which scored Castro and moved Rodriguez to 3rd. As Aaron Hicks grounded out, Rodriguez added another run. Didi Gregorius, now on 3rd, scored another run on a wild pitch.
Pitch by pitch, run by run, the Yankees were chipping away at their opponent’s lead. Beltran, not in the lineup tonight due to a tightness in his right hamstring, made an apprearance as pinch-hitter and promptly doubled to left field. Ellsbury’s ground out allowed Beltran to reach 3rd base, and the tying run seemed inevitable. However, Gardner’s ground out ended this amazing rally.
There is much to proud of with these boys in pinstripes. Their perseverance and their refusal to give up are what makes any Yankee game worth watching!
Final score: 7-6, Padres.
No worries! The Yankees are aware that their “Warriors Three” – Betances, Miller, and Chapman – are being agresssively stalked by scouts from the Cubs, Rangers, Nationals, etc. Pinstripe fans will be glad to know that the Yankees have no intention of breaking up this terrific trio at any time!
Congratulations to Aaron Judge of the Triple A Scranton Wilkes-Barre team for being named International League Player for the month of June with 9 home runs, 25 RBIs, 30 runs, 21 walks, and hitting .343.
During tonight’s game against the Padres, Alex Rodriguez almost made it back on the field. In the 9th inning as the Yankees rallied, Girardi told Rodriguez to grab his glove and be prepared to take the field. Rodriguez said later that he “felt like a little leaguer” and that he “wanted the opportunity to play a little third. It was going to be fun. I had a good feeling we were going to tie the game. I had a good feeling the way the guys came back and showed a lot of heart in the 9th”.
Here’s to a team with great heart! And, who knows, maybe this season we will get a chance to see Alex on the field again.