Game 106: BOS vs. NYY — Debut marred by quiet bats

Luis Severino made his MLB debut tonight as the Yankees starter in the second game of this mid-week series against the Red Sox. Not a bad way to make an entrance in pinstripes. Except he earned the loss in tonight’s close call. He certainly showed some great pitching for a young rookies — 94 pitches in 5 innings, giving up 2 hits, no walks, and 2 runs (1 earned), and striking out 7 Boston batters. In the 2nd, with 2 outs, a throwing error allowed a runner to reach base and then score on an RBI double. And a lead-off solo home run in the 4th inning gave the Red Sox their lead. (As much as I hate to admit it, it was a really nice, really big home run deep into the right field bleachers.) Literally, the only runs they scored were a result of the only hits Severino allowed tonight. Again, not a terrible way to make your entrance into the big league.

Adam Warren came on to throw the next 3 innings and do so with the efficiency we’ve come to expect from Warren — just 41 pitches (about 13 pitches per inning) for the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, giving up just 1 hit and striking out 2 batters. Warren kept the Red Sox away from the plate before handing the ball off to Chasen Shreve in the 9th. Shreve struggled a bit, loading the bases with two walks and a single before striking out the final batter to get out of his own jam.

The Yankees lone run was a lead-off 7th inning home run by Carlos Beltran. It got the Yankees on the board, and despite getting 2 runners on in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees just couldn’t get the tying or winning run as McCann popped out to end the game.

The Red Sox pitching was pretty good tonight too. Honestly, it was kind of equal in a lot of respects — 5 Yankee hits to the Red Sox’s 4; technically only 1 earned run for each team; 3 walks to the Yankees vs. 2 walks to the Red Sox; and 10 strikeouts by Red Sox hitters to the 9 by Yankee batters.

There was a moment I was almost positive the Yankees had the game and then it just deflated, much like the energy of the stadium on that final out in the 9th.

Final score: 2-1 Red Sox.

 

 

It’s Good News/Bad News time…. roster moves…
Garret Jones is back! After being designated for assignment on July 31 and spent the last week at his father-in-law’s house in Chicago growing a beard, the Yankees finally called. Today, he was on his way back to New York, clean-shaven, and ready to return to the roster to help once again. Pitcher Danny Burawa was designated for assignment to make room for Jones. All this became crucial when recently acquired Dustin Ackley was sidelined with a serious back issue. Jones was originally DFA’d to make room for Ackley.

Yesterday, Brian McCann twinged his knee a bit doing his job and blocking a pitch. He was not scheduled to start tonight’s game and will probably not be behind the plate for a couple of games to allow him to rest that knee. He was available off the bench in a pinch (bad pun for a tweaked knee, I know), which he did in the bottom of the 9th to unsuccessful results. John Ryan Murphy, however, did a pretty good job behind the plate as always, with a great foul catch at the net and even a nice hit to contribute to the rather quiet offense tonight.

Go Yankees!

Game 69: DET vs. NYY — Tanaka tanks in weekend finale, but Drew packs the power

 

It was Father’s Day all across America today, and everywhere you went you were bombarded with tributes to fathers. And nowhere is that more apparent than the ball park, where dads take their kids to see their first game and teach them how to love the sport just like their dads did for them and how their dads did for them and so forth. And after 2 rather big nearly blow-out games against the visiting Tigers, the Yankees were looking to finish strong and to sweep them on this Sunday afternoon. But the Tigers weren’t about to have that happen.

Fortunately for the Tigers, today’s starter wasn’t really on his game. Masahiro Tanaka just couldn’t seem to make any of his pitches work. He threw 90 pitches in 5 innings today, giving up 10 hits, 2 walks, and 7 runs (5 earned), and striking out 6 batters. In the 1st, after 2 quick outs, things just took a turn for the worse. A single and a 2-run home run gave the Tigers a quick lead. Then a fielding error let another runner on who scored on another 2-run home run (and thus the 2 unearned runs). And the Tigers were up 4-0 in the middle of the 1st inning. Ouch.

In the top of the 2nd, with 2 outs and bases loaded with 2 singles and a walk, a single scored 2 more runs. And to cap off Tanaka’s outing, a lead-off solo home run in the 5th added yet another run to the messy stew that was today’s run-scoring game.

Making his MLB debut today in front of his father (on Father’s Day, of all days), Danny Burawa came on for the 6th inning. I wish it had been a better outcome for him for his debut (and his audience). A ground out, a walk, a single, an RBI single, a 3-run home run, and a strikeout — basically, he got every big play you could in an entire game in a partial inning. After 22 pitches and 4 runs scored, it was time to move on.

Jose De Paula was called in and promptly gave up a solo home run. De Paula would stay on the mound for the rest of the game, walking a total of 4 batters, but not allowing another run to score.

Now, the Yankees offense wasn’t nearly as impressive as it has been in the last two games. Perhaps it has a bit to do with the pitcher, who I know has been good against the Yankees in previous games. And while it wasn’t great in general and he lucked out in the fact that 2 of his teammates were responsible for hitting in 10 of the 12 runs scored.

In the 2nd inning, Brian McCann hit a long 1-out solo home run beyond right field to get the Yankees on the board. Then Young got a 2-out single, stole 2nd, and scored on Brendan Ryan’s single. And with those 2 runs, the Yankees watched the Tigers gradually increase their lead until Stephen Drew hit a bit lead-off solo home run in the 7th into the 2nd deck seats in right field and then got another solo home run (just over the fence in right field) in the 9th. Yes, for those who doubted why the Yankees believed in Drew as the starting 2nd baseman this year, it’s games like this that prove the “powers that be” right. It wasn’t going to be enough, as that damage was done very early in the game while Tanaka was still on the mound.

Final score in the Bronx: 12-4 Tigers. Yankees win the weekend series 2-1.

 

 

 

And like I’ve said before, it’s not really a post unless there’s roster moves. After just 2 outings this season, and then some time on the DL with some elbow inflammation, Sergio Santos will get Tommy John surgery and be out for the rest of the season. (TJ surgery is always 18 months of recovery, including rest, healing, training, and rehab before a pitcher can be considered ready for action again.) The Yankees placed  Mason Williams on the 15-day DL with his right shoulder inflammation (retroactive to Saturday, when he jammed it diving back to 1st on a pick-off attempt). Then they recalled Ramon Flores from AAA. They also sent Bryan Mitchell to AAA for the fresh arm of Danny Burawa. After today’s game, despite their efforts, Burawa and De Paula were sent back to AAA as the Yankees are in the process of purchasing the contracts of AAA pitchers Diego Moreno and Nick Rumbelow. Basically, (with the exception of Williams), the Yankees are struggling on the bullpen side of things, so are constantly needing fresh arms who can shut down advancing hits and runs scored by the opposing team consistently.

A big Happy Father’s Day to all the dads (and granddads and step-dads and uncles and “like a dads”) out there! You don’t know what an impact you have on your kids’ lives now, so make good choices and be proactive in your parenting. We need good moms and dads at every age, and I’m honored to know some pretty good ones. One of my favorite baseball park sights is a dad-child (even older dad and adult child). Baseball is a game of legends, legacies, and generations. I love seeing a dad and his son taking in every moment of a game, each in their pinstriped jersey (one kid-sized) as they have an identical look of wonder watching the players do the centuries-old dance to the same old sounds. I really don’t think there’s a better scene at the park than watching a dad teach his kids about baseball and introducing them to why baseball is the greatest sport. His time and energy spent doing so builds both fan loyalty and a life-long familial bond and memory for dad and child alike.

Go Yankees!

Spring Game 29: NYY vs. MIN — Not quite “Tanaka Time”

The Yankees had their final Spring off-day yesterday (and no, I don’t count Easter Sunday as an off-day because it’s usually packed with family ventures and many times that’s not exactly “taking it easy”). And today, a contingency took the two hour bus ride down to Fort Myers to face the Twins.

It was Masahiro Tanaka’s final Spring game before his start on Monday (aka “Opening Day”), and despite a decent effort, it was a loss. Over his 4.1 innings, Tanaka gave up 7 hits and 3 runs, striking out just 1. I’d call it a rare off-day for him, as his stuff just wasn’t as sharp. But the Twins have built up some decent hitters recently (including former Yankee Nunez, by the way). With 2 outs in the 3rd, the Twins got a double and an RBI single to put a run on the board. And then basically repeated the process in the 4th for their 2nd run. The Twins’ final run was a lead-off solo home run in the 5th.

Relievers Chris Martin, Branden Pinder, and Danny Burawa finished off the game and kept the Twins from adding to their runs, only giving up 1 hit (Burawa) over their duration. Martin was especially sharp over his 2.0 innings (closed out Tanaka’s 5th, through the 6th, and 1 out in the 7th), dealing the Twins 3 really nice strikeouts.

In comparison to the Twins total 8 hits, the Yankees did pretty much the same offensively with their 7 total hits. It just wasn’t as concise and needed to make the needed impact. Their lone run was score in the 4th inning — Young led-off with a single, 2 outs, Refsnyder walked, and Ramon Flores (who else lately?) singled home Young.

Flores went 2-for-4 today, responsible for 2 of those 7 Yankees hits. He really is something to watch.

Anyway, the Yankees lost to the Twins today, 3-1, as they ready to play their last 3 Spring games at home before the exhibition game in DC (against the Nationals) and then Opening Day.

Injury report: Mark Teixeira was hit on the side of his knee with a ball the other day and later diagnosed with a contusion (which, for you non-medical people, is a bruise much like the one I have on my own knee after colliding with the ground recently after slipping on an errant puddle). But it certainly hurts like {fill in your own word according to your own imagination} while it heals. But it looks like both he and Jacoby Ellsbury (on the mend after an oblique strain) are ready to play again, so expect them in the line-up again soon. But Didi Gregorius’ still has some swelling in his sprained wrist (injured Sunday after landing awkwardly on it during a play) so he may be out of the line-up until he can do basic things like swing a bat without pain or injuring himself even worse.

Honestly, it’s really been a pretty good Spring, defying all the projected conversations about how they might fare missing some of their former dynastic celebrities. The Yankees have a very long history, often storybook-like in its tragic years (even decades, like the 1980s) to its golden eras of championships to its memorialized players of all eras. The Yankees existed (and were both very, very good and very, very bad) long before me, and at the rate they’re going, they’ll exist (and be both very, very good and very, very bad) long after me. And I’m okay with that.

Go Yankees!

Spring Game 25: NYY vs. TB — A bit of tug-of-war

Tug-of-war is probably a better description for the back-and-forth of the game today. And in spite of the power struggle for the win, it was a rather laidback kind of game.

Adam Warren took the start today for the Yankees in Port Charlotte against the Rays. Warren is currently the leading contender for that 5th starters’ position, and despite today’s outcome, he still maintained the game fairly well. He threw 3.2 innings, giving up 4 hits, 1 walk, and just 1 run, striking out 5 Rays batters. That run was a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd to the Rays’ best power hitter. The crowd loved it, but it gave Warren a no-decision (which is still better than a loss).

At the top of the 2nd, Refsnyder on base with a walk, Slade Heathcott’s solid double scored the first Yankees run. So by the end of the 2nd, the game was tied 1-1 — the tug-of-war was on. In the 4th, the Yankees grabbed the lead with 2 runners on base due to a single and walk that scored on Ramon Flores’ double. The Yankees were up 3-1. It would be the last time the Yankees held the lead in the game. (Cue the ominous music.)

Reliever Jose Ramirez took over for Warren to get the last out of the 4th inning and threw the 5th inning. It was in that latter inning he got himself into trouble and credited for a blown save. A single and a walk put runners on base, so the next two singles could score them both. Funny moment: on the last single, the batter ended up on 2nd on the throw home, but the lead runner (the previous single) stopped at 2nd to see if the throw would end up trying to get him out. Yes, there were 2 Rays players standing at 2nd for a brief moment before the Yankees tagged out the lead runner. Oops. And what’s worse (for the Yankees), it was the first out of that inning.

Chris Martin took the mound in the 6th inning and promptly gave up a solo home run, putting him on track for the loss. The next batter singled, stole 2nd and 3rd, and then scored on a wild pitch. 5-3 Rays.

But the Yankees weren’t about to let the Rays run away with the game. I mean, they are the Yankees after all. Flores led off the 7th with single and later scored on Didi Gregorius’ double (what was with the doubles in this game — the Yankees had 4 doubles of their 9 total hits). Then reliever Danny Burawa took over for the Yankees in the bottom of the 7th and gave up a triple and a sacrifice fly RBI. 6-4 Rays.

Again, the Yankees made a final attempt in the 9th inning. Figueroa, on base with a single and a stolen base (on defensive indifference), scored on Jake Cave’s solid line drive single into right field. A quick two outs later, the Rays emerged victors in a 6-5 win over the Yankees.

Roster moves: the Yankees officially released pitcher Jared Burton from his minor league contract.

And a fun fact for the day, to make up for the loss and celebrate the great history of the Yankees: 64 years ago, a young 19 year old kid from Oklahoma was in Yankees camp to see if he had the stuff to take over for the veteran outfielder, the great Joe DiMaggio. Yes, even Mickey Mantle had to prove he was worthy of a roster spot at one point. And on March 26, 1951, he certainly made a decent effort in a Spring Training game against USC, going 4-for-5 with a single, a triple, 2 home runs, and 7 RBIs. But it was his second home run that everyone talked about as it flew so far over the outfield fence (set at 344 feet) that it landed in the adjacent football field smack dab in the middle of a football huddle. Estimates place the distance somewhere between 550 and 600 feet (though initial estimates that created the legend had it at 656 feet).

And thus, The Legend of Mickey Mantle was born — the man who would help the Yankees continue their Golden Years into the 1960s, who admittedly found a few balls he “liked enough” to hit them out of the park, 536 career home runs. The great #7. He wasn’t DiMaggio’s replacement; no, he was just Mickey — the guy who carved his own niche in Yankees history like his predecessor and like so many others memorialized in Monument Park.

Because you can’t fill anyone’s shoes but your own. So why bother trying? Be the best you and that’s more than enough to be something special.

Go Yankees!

Spring Game 19: NYY vs. DET — Triples, home runs, and Adam Warren

Today’s game against Detroit had two big things going for the Yankees — a “slight” offensive advantage and Adam Warren.

First things first — Adam Warren. If ever there was a game that could be made as the perfect example of why Warren deserved that 5th rotation spot, today’s game was that game. Warren went 5 innings, giving up 4 hits, no walks, and 1 run (a solo home run in the 5th), striking out 3 Tigers batters. Honestly, it was the best Warren has pitched in a long time, and it seems to be rather a continuation of his performance this Spring.

Reliever Chris Martin’s 6th inning wasn’t as spectacular, but that bar was set rather high. Martin gave up 2 singles and 1 run to give the Tigers their 2nd (and final) run of the afternoon. Chase Whitley came on for the last third of the game and really performed pretty well himself, relying much on the defense that seemed to want to come through for him today. Whitley gave up 3 hits, but no runs and no walks, and (oddly) no strikeouts. But why the official scorekeeper awarded Whitley the save I’ll never know. (As you’ll figure out in a moment.)

Now, on the other side of things, the Yankees pounced on the Tigers starter (bad pun intended) today from the very beginning. In what has to be the most offensive 1st inning I’ve seen in a long time, the Yankees became hitting and run-generating machines. Brett Gardner led-off with a triple and then scored on Brendan Ryan’s double (a nice way to make your Spring debut); Ryan then scored on Brian McCann’s single. Alex Rodriguez’s force out nabbed McCann, but with Jones’ single and Young’s groundout, 2 runners were in scoring positions as evident when Jose Pirela doubled them both home. And Rob Refsnyder hit a solid left-centerfield 2-run home run. And suddenly, the Yankees were up 6-0 over the Tigers at the mid-1st.

Though the Tigers buckled down and fought off the Yankees for a few innings after that, Rodriguez added a solo home run in the 5th. And even with the Tigers minor (respectively) scoring, going into the 8th inning, it was 7-2 Yankees.

And then, with today’s starting roster rotated out for the “other guys”, the “other guys” got a chance to show off their bats too. With 2 runners on base with a walk and a single and 2 outs on the board, Jonathan Galvez tripled and cleared the bases. Galvez himself would score on a fielding error.

But they weren’t done yet, Heathcott tripled to open the 9th inning (seriously, is this the year of the triple or something?) and easily scored on Noonan’s sacrifice fly.

Final score: 11-2 Yankees. I’d love to say that it was because the Yankees are a better team, but when you have a score this big and this wide apart, it’s usually due to one team’s poor pitching or defense. Maybe then, today, the Yankees were a better team.

Roster moves: The Yankees optioned Tyler Austin, Danny Burawa, and Jose De Paula to AAA Scranton; optioned Mason Williams to AA Trenton; and reassigned Wilking Rodriguez to minor league camp. We’re inching closer to those magic numbers of 25 and 40. All the pre-season talk and assumptions mean zilch come April 6. The assumed is so often not what happens that I pretty much rely on the assumptions to tell me what isn’t going to happen. I’m not sure the “talking heads” would like to know that, but c’est la vie!

Go Yankees!

{Tech update: I’ve updated all the Spring Training games with available media links as of today. Unfortunately, there are a handful of games that do not have any media links as the game, for whatever reason, was not televised/recorded for media sharing purposes. I will note each game that doesn’t have available media.}

{Tech note: This game was not televised or broadcast in any manner and does not have any shareable media links. An exceptional shame due to the outstanding work done by the Yankees today.}

Catchers away, Rule 5, and sleeping for charity

Personal life sometimes clogs up time and doesn’t allow for more frequent updates. Fortunately, in the off-season, it’s not like there’s much to talk about on a daily basis. Unfortunately, all those lovely plans I made for diving into history and legend and my own opinion have been shoved aside momentarily for the sake of off-season work.

Last week, the Pirates picked up yet another Yankees catcher. To recap the last couple of years, after the 2012 season, the Pirates signed Russell Martin (recently signed with the Blue Jays); then after 2013, they grabbed Chris Stewart; and now, they can claim Francisco Cervelli as a new Buc. Apparently, the Yankees are breeding grounds for Pirates catchers. In exchange for Cervelli, the Yankees acquired pitcher Justin Wilson, who will compete for a bullpen spot come Spring. The lefty debuted in 2012 with the Pirates and is very excited (via Twitter) to join the Yankees (but who isn’t?). Wilson: “[The Yankees:] Tradition and a first class organization. Can’t wait for Yankee baseball. Hope I look good in pinstripes!” If you’re wondering who’s now back-up for McCann, the Yankees look at Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy to fill that role; one will undoubtedly win the back-up role and the other will continue in AAA Scranton as the starting catcher there. Spring is always the definer for such cases.

Okay, Zelous Wheeler fans… you will have to pay attention to Japanese baseball now because Wheeler is on his way to play for the Japanese Pacific League’s Rakuten Golden Eagles as of today. During the course of the day, as part of this same transaction, the Yankees filled out their 40-man roster with Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, Branden Pinder, and Danny Burawa. The biggest reason behind today’s moves were the midnight deadline to protect prospects for the Rule 5 Draft in a few weeks (December 11th). The Rule 5 Draft is a rather confusing part of baseball’s minor league system in which teams can draft a minor league player (signed over age 19 and played professional ball for at least 4 years or signed at age 18 and played for 5 years) to play on their 25-man roster for the entire next season; if the player isn’t kept on the 25-man, he is offered back to his original team who may decline the offer and the player reverts into essentially free agency. If minor league players are on the 40-man roster, they are officially “protected” and thus ineligible for what is essentially poaching of fresh talent.

Speaking of fresh talent… the Arizona Fall League finished up last weekend, and a couple of young Yankees certainly caught some eyes. Outfielder Aaron Judge ranked #13, catching the eye of several scouts due to his “huge raw power, patience, and arm strength”; this is significant because the Yankees just signed Judge in 2013 and is already making his mark in the Yankee organization. And 1st baseman Greg Bird ranked #19 overall, but was honored with the league’s MVP award; scouts note of his patience and power, after leading the AFL in home runs and runs scored, and was 2nd in hits RBIs, and total bases. Bird and Judge are both prospects not eligible for the Rule 5 Draft being relatively new to both professional baseball and the Yankees, but based on their performances this fall, it won’t be long before those two could become household names, hopefully in pinstripes for seasons to come.

And as you know, one of my favorite thing that the Yankees do is give back to their community. From HOPE Week to individual foundations and charities to community projects, the entire Yankees organization is actively involved in giving back. Tonight, GM Brian Cashman spends the night on the streets of Manhattan as part of Covenant House’s “Sleep Out” movement. The goal of the event is to raise awareness for homeless youth; this is Cashman’s 4th year, and he is joined by over 750 business, sports, and entertainment executives. Covenant House is nationwide an organization that provides job training, education, long-term housing, and second chances to homeless youth. The participants will sleep (or at least attempt to sleep) in a parking lot near the headquarters of the organization. As the weather turns, let us remember all those who don’t have somewhere warm to be when it snows and take an active role in helping; sometimes all that means donating blankets, sweaters, socks, or toiletries to a charity outreach or helping out at a soup kitchen or buying a needy family a holiday dinner. Just do something to give back; you’ll never regret kindness and they’ll never forget it.

Go Yankees!

Spring Games 19 & 20: NYY vs. BAL & NYY vs. MIA — Losing internationally is almost an art

The Yankees didn’t see much success anywhere in the world today. On American soil, the Yankees played a standard game of baseball, with the Orioles barely eked out a victory at their Spring home in Sarasota. And in Panama, the Yankees fell to the Marlins’ strong pitching, giving them a no-hitter. One loss counts for Spring stats, one loss counts only for morale, and really neither one matters in the long-run. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.

In sunny Florida, Vidal Nuno took the mound for the Yankees, giving the Orioles 4 pretty tight innings, allowing just one hit and one walk and striking out 3 batters. Nuno was pretty flawless today, but the Yankee bats just weren’t backing him up. So Danny Burawa took the mound in the 5th, coming back for the 6th. Burawa was under the gun, as it were, as the Yankees struck first with Francisco Arcia’s lead-off solo home run in the 6th.

But when the Orioles tied it up with their own solo home run, Mark Montgomery came on for that last out of the inning. Montgomery then came back for the 7th and promptly gave up a double and a sacrifice fly that scored the second Orioles’ run. Brian Gordon came onto the 8th, keeping the Orioles from adding to their total. But it wasn’t enough. The Yankees were hitting, but they weren’t crossing the plate, and the Yankees lost 2-1. And somehow, the game in Sarasota still felt like your standard ball game.

Down in Panama, the Yankees spent last night at a fundraising dinner for host Mariano Rivera’s charity of choice, a local children’s hospital a handful of players visited yesterday, giving out toys and spending time with the sick children. Today, some of the team ran a baseball clinic for the local kids. At several brief press conferences, everyone expressed their excitement and honor to be participating in the Legends Series against the Marlins. And the only broadcast was a spotty online live stream from a local Panama City station that put my minimal Spanish vocabulary to the test. Fortunately, baseball is multi-lingual.

Rivera donning his old jersey (worn over normal clothes) came to the pitcher’s mound from the center field bullpen to his old walk-out music “Enter Sandman”. He greeted the fans and his teammates and the Marlins, welcoming everyone to tonight’s game and his home country, before throwing out the first pitch to his assumed successor David Robertson. The act was not lost on Rivera, as he even called it a “passing of the torch” of sorts.

And then it was “play ball”.

Adam Warren took the start of tonight’s exhibition, And through the first 3 innings, he proved why he’s still a contender for that 5th starting position. But he got into a bit of trouble in the 4th inning, giving up a single that progressed and scored on a wild pitch. Warren grabbed the first out and a single in the 5th before being replaced. Overall, Warren pitched 4.1 innings, giving up 2 hits and a run, and striking out 6 Marlins batters.

Chase Whitley grabbed the last 2 outs of the 5th with a lucky double play (that great infield in action, once again) and came out for the 6th, only to get into his own set of problems. He walked his lead-off batter and allowed back-to-back singles to drive in a run. He was then pulled for Daley who also lucked out with another great double play to end that inning. Daley continued into the 7th, setting down the Marlins in order.

It was Robert Coello’s job to pitch the 8th, but that didn’t work out so well either. He promptly gave up a single and 2 walks to load the bases. Girardi pulled him for Tateyama, but Coello would be responsible for all of those runners. A sacrifice fly scores a runner. A single scores another, though it was credited to a fielding error (and thus let Coello off the hook for the run). Another single scored the 3rd run for the Marlins that inning and their 5th overall. Miller took the 9th, keeping the Marlins from adding to their total, but the Yankees still lost 5-0.

And the Yankees must have left their offense stateside. Not one got a hit at all, and only two got on base with a walk. A Marlins pitcher did win Rookie of the Year last year, and believe me, it was well-deserved. But he didn’t pitch tonight, and perhaps he was only the tip of the iceberg for the Marlins’ pitching staff. Or perhaps (and more likely), the Yankees were having an off-night. Fortunately, there’s another game tomorrow. And like I said before, none of it really counts. Maybe that’s simply a pacifier on a particularly rough day, but there’s a reason babies love their pacifiers — they soothe a wounded spirit and tide you over until the next task. I’ll stick with my pacifier; you can have your “reality”.

Go Yankees!