There is a reason that baseball has a lot of warm weather references — “boys of summer”, “park”, “yard”, “sandlot”, “Summer Classic”, “hot corner”, “warm-up”, even “bleachers” (from the shortened term for “sun-bleached seats” or the “cheap seats” that don’t get tended). Six of the 30 MLB stadiums have retractable roofs of some sort (Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Brewers, Astros, and Marlins) and the Rays have a permanent roof on their home stadium.
Despite earlier games often facing snow from lingering winter season or the rainy days of spring, baseball is clearly a summer game. So while other fans get indoor sports (I’m looking at you, NBA and NHL) and NFL fans brave snowy days for their wintertime outdoor games, MLB fans get to enjoy their games on more great summer afternoons and evenings.
Today in New York was a perfect example of a great summer afternoon — sunny, clear blue skies, 81°, and a lazy Saturday afternoon to enjoy the “boys of summer” play “America’s pastime”.
Luis Severino got the start for this afternoon game against the Rays, the third of this 4-game weekend series. He had another stellar outing, throwing 102 pitches in 8 scoreless innings, giving up just 3 hits and 2 walks, and striking out 9 batters for his 10th win of the season.
The Yankee batters continued their pattern in this series, of chipping away at the scoreboard periodically throughout the game. In the 2nd, with 1 out and a new pitcher (already!), Bird worked a walk, moved to 2nd on Hicks’ single, and then scored on Gleyber Torres’ double.
The Rays’ pitcher really had trouble in the 3rd, the Yankees pushing him to 41 pitches alone in this inning. Judge led-off with a double, and Didi Gregorius singled home Judge, ending up at 2nd on a bad throw. Then with 2 outs, Bird worked a walk as Gregorius stole 3rd to put runners on the corners, and Hicks loaded up the bases with a walk. But their attempt to add to their lead ended with a strikeout. Later, in the 5th, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez hit back-to-back solo home runs to double the Yankees’ lead.
The Rays finally got things together and held off the Yankee batters from adding to their score further. After Severino was done for the day, the Yankees turned to Chasen Shreve for the 9th inning, but he had a rough time, giving up a lead-off solo home run and a deep triple. With the Rays now threatening, the Yankees wanted a sure thing and turned to closer Aroldis Chapman. Chapman breezed through 3 outs in 10 pitches to earn his 20th save of the season.
Final score: 4-1 Yankees
And this is your semi-regular reminder to vote for this year’s All-Star Game. You can choose a player for each starting position for both the AL and the NL. Fan favorites will be the starters at this year’s All-Star Game, representing their teams and leagues in Washington, D.C. next month. Most of the Yankees are currently in the top running for their position, so hopefully, they’ll have a strong representation in the Capital.
Fan voting continues until July 5 at 11:59 pm EST. Fans can vote 5 times every 24 hours, up to 35 times overall, so vote today and until you get the message that says you’ve reached the limit. Once you’ve completed your 35 votes, MLB will send you a special offer as a thanks for voting. So keep voting!
And if you need voting ideas: Austin, Torres, Gregorius, Andujar, Sanchez, Stanton, Gardner, Hicks, and Judge (in that order).