On this pleasantly warm San Diego afternoon, the near capacity crowd of 42,131 was treated to a day of fine pitching, good defense, and record breaking home runs. The stands seemed fairly evenly split in their loyalty to the teams that took the field. It always makes a day at the ballpark so much more enjoyable when fans for both teams are involved in the game until the final out. With two disappointing losses in this series against the Padres, New York fans were in for a treat. Seems like the Yankees saved the best for last.
Yankee rookie right-hander Chad Green took command immediately in his second start of his three outings the season . One pitch at a time, he calmly dismissed most of the batters he faced through 6 strong innings on the mound. Green struck out 8 batters, gave up 3 hits and a solo home run for his first big league victory. Yankee coaching staff is encouraged by his command of the ball and the continued development of his secondary pitches. Well done, Chad!
In the second inning, Gregorius reached 1st on an error and promptly became the focus of the Padres starter who kept trying to pick him off. One of the media commentators, a former player, said that while that is frustrating for fans to see the pitcher do this so frequently, players don’t necessarily mind. When the pitcher’s mind is on a runner and not on the batter, throwing mistakes can be made to the advantage of the batter. Could be. With Gregorius getting all the attention from the pitcher, Hicks got a piece of the ball and sent a hard line drive to deep center. Gregorius then scored on a hit by Torreyes and put the Yankees on the board 1-0. In the third inning, both Ellsbury and Gardner were targets of the pitcher’s attempts at a pick off, but Gardner boldly stole second base in spite of that. A fourth inning homer by Gregorius added another run. In the eighth, Mark Teixiera hit his 400th career homer to deep right, making him the 5th switch hitter to reach that mark. The ninth inning saw Gardner hit a hard line drive to center that scored Ellsbury who beat the throw at the plate for another Yankee run. Gardner scored when Teixiera slammed his 401st home run over the right field fence. You should have seen the smiles in the dugout! Yankees were leading 6-1.
The Warriors Three made their appearance tonight with Betances in the 7th and Miller in the 8th. After Swarzak allowed 2 runs in the 9th, Chapman was called to the mound and the stands immediately roared with “Let’s Go Yankees”. With his fireball pitches, Chapman shut down the last three batters for his 16th save.
Final score: 6-3 Yankees, Yankees and Padres split the series 1-2
Injury update: Beltran’s hamstring seems to be healing and has been doing drills. There is talk he may play DH for awhile since the Yankees are missing his bat in the line up. Also, despite rumors to the contrary, Beltran has not interest in any trade deals and his loyalty lies with the Yankee organization.