Game 128: SEA vs. NYY — “Pickles” & “Chief” keep Yankees from sour repeat

Just an average beautiful summer Saturday in the Bronx, except with different uniforms (that I still don’t like) and names on the back of the jerseys (which is okay because I know it’s temporary, but it feels more like something you’d find in the minor leagues). The visiting Mariners seemed to enjoy the competition once again as they are still in the race for the second Wild Card spot.

Sonny “Pickles” Gray got the start in a pretty good outing for the new-ish starter. He threw 106 pitches in his 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits, 2 walks, and a run and striking out 9 Mariners’ batters. His lone allowed run was a 1-out solo home run in the 3rd to get the Mariners’ on the board. Then Gray held them to that lone run for the rest of his outing.

Chasen “Shrever” Shreve came on in the 8th, but instantly had some trouble. He gave up a lead-off double and then the next runner reached on a fielding error before the lead runner scored on a single. The Yankees weren’t going to risk today’s game, so they went to the bullpen to call on Tommy “The Kahn” Kahnle. He got 2 quick outs, moving runners to the corners, and a single scored a run, the unearned run due to the earlier error.

Dellin ‘D-Dawg” Betances’ stellar 9th inning added 2 more strikeouts for the total 12 from Yankee pitchers tonight, setting himself up for the save, his 10th of 12 opportunities this season.

Meanwhile, the Yankees found a few opportunities to advance. In the 2nd, with consecutive walks, “Head” Headley’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners up into scoring position, something they both tried to do on Jacoby “Chief” Ellsbury’s bloop single, though second runner Bird was tagged out sliding into home. And in the 4th, with 2 outs, “Bird” Bird singled and Headley walked, so that Ellsbury could smack a bit 3-run home run into the right field seats.

In the 7th, with 2 singles put runners on base and 2 outs, :”Sir Didi” Gregorius worked a walk. Starlin “All-Starlin” Castro’s long single scored both “Ro” Romine and “Gardner” Gardner. Greg “Bird” Bird loaded up the bases again, but a fly out ended the Yankees’ rally.

But that would be enough in the end.

Final score: 6-3 Yankees

Roster moves: before today’s game, the Yankees activated Greg Bird off the disabled list and optioned Tyler Austin back to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

There’s one more game against the Mariners tomorrow, the final game of the first annual Players Weekend. The home stand continues on Monday against the Indians and then the Red Sox, both are the current respective division leaders, so this week is certainly a must-win for the Yankees if they want to continue their push for the postseason.

And if you’re wondering about today’s starter and how he got his quirky nickname, it basically evolved like all quirky ones do — a random inside joke related to something rather mundane but stuck to create a nickname to haunt the bearer for life.

Go Yankees!

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