There were 45,304 fans who spent a rather muggy Friday night at the stadium to watch the series opener against the visiting Giants. Now, the Giants are basically one of the best teams in baseball, which makes sense as it’s an even-numbered year. (Reminder: the Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014.)
Masahiro Tanaka started the game and pretty much dominated the game for his 6 innings. He threw a rather efficient 83 pitches during his tenure, allowing just 4 hits, 2 walks, and no runs, striking out 4 Giants batters.
The Yankees struck first offensively tonight, which actually kind of shocked me, as they faced the Giants main ace and one of the stars of their last World Series Championship (he won the MVP in 2014). In the bottom of the 1st, Brett Gardner led-off with a single and then scored on Starlin Castro’s double. Castro ended up at 3rd due to a bad throwing error (the first of the Giants’ 4 errors tonight) as Gardner slid head-first into home. A couple of outs and a couple of walks later, the bases were loaded, and finally that ace pitcher pulled through and got Romine to fly out for the final out of the inning, escaping that jam.
Then in the 2nd, with 2 outs and Torreyes on base with a single, Castro singled and moved Torreyes to 3rd on a fielding error (sloppy play). Torreyes then easily scored on Carlos Beltran’s RBI single. And with that, the Yankees were up 2-0 in the 2nd inning. But while they continued to collect a handful of hits and walks, the Giants were able to band together and shut them down from scoring.
Now, the biggest defensive star tonight was easily Carlos Beltran. The veteran outfielder ranged for a running and leaping catch to save a double in 6th and had a nice catch and throw home with his rocket arm to gun down a runner trying to score at home for a double playin the 3rd. Now, the Giants wanted to make sure the out was really out at home. Which, of course, it was (even after a challenge and replay)
Still, Tanaka had a nice lead to protect and pass onto the Warriors Three tonight. Now, until tonight, the Yankees’ bullpen kept a scoreless streak 31 innings. That ended tonight. In the 7th, Dellin Betances walked his first batter and then struck out the next two. The next batter doubled, putting both runners in scoring position, so that a wild pitch easily scored the Giants’ first run of the night. Not to be outdone, Andrew Miller added his own contribution to the break of that streak. With 2 outs and runners on the corners, a pinch-hit double scored the lead runner and tied up the game. But Miller got out of it with a strikeout.
That tie didn’t last long. In the bottom of the 8th, Chase Headley led-off with a single and Teixeira walked. Austin Romine hit a little grounder that they tried to make into a double play. They got Teixeira out at 2nd and then (what else tonight?) a bad throwing error allowed Headley to sprint to home to put the Yankees back in the lead.
A pitching change ended the Yankees rally, but the damage was done. It was Aroldis Chapman for his 20th save and some nasty fireballs in the 9th inning. His last 8 fastballs were listed as: 104.3, 104.0, 104.9, 105.3, 104.9, 104.8, and 104.0 mph. Nasty stuff.
Final score: 3-2 Yankees.
The injury this game was on other team this time, as the catcher took a foul ball off his foot. For anyone interested, he’s fine; it’s “just a bruise”. But I have to say after a good portion of this season having to report about a Yankee injury, it was a bit of a relief to not report about a Yankee injury. Though a game without any injury report is better than a game with an injury (even if it is the “other guys”).
Also, as I’m back now, I want to give a big thanks and shout out to my guest blogger “pinstripes08” for filling in for me this month. Pinstripes08 will be back to do special features in the near future. So stay tuned!