Game 89: TOR vs. NYY — Strong shutout opens second half

The Yankees finished the first half strong, leading the AL and heading straight for the postseason. After a good showing at the All-Star Game, the Yankees needed to come out strong in the second half without any rust from the break. So, they started this second half and this home stand with a shutout against a division rival to keep things rolling for good.

Domingo German got the start and earned his 11th win of the season in this first game against the visiting Blue Jays. He threw just 78 pitches through 6 scoreless innings, giving up just 3 hits and striking out 7 Toronto batters. Kahnle continued his momentum with a scoreless 7th, and Green closed out the final 2 innings with more scoreless-ness.

The Yankee offense was slow to start against the Blue Jays’s pitching. It wasn’t until the 5th that they cracked on the board. Brett Gardner led-off with his 66th career triple and then scored on DJ LeMahieu’s ground out. Then, they loaded up the bases with Judge’s single, Hicks’ double, and Sanchez’s hit by pitch. Edwin Encarnacion’s double, just inches from a grand slam, smacked a big bases-clearing double to ensure the Yankees’ victory.

While the Yankees didn’t add any more to their score, they certainly didn’t need to with their strong pitching and defense.

Final score: 4-0 Yankees

Yankee Universe new: Yankees radio announcer John Sterling is back on the air after his much-needed break. He celebrated his 81st birthday just before the All-Star Break and stayed home for the final series against the Rays before the break. Sterling had a long, unbroken streak of calling 5,060 straight Yankees games for over 30 years. Now that the streak is broken, the 81-year-old legend and “Voice of the Yankees” will take more breaks from his job, perhaps even stepping back from the away games to stay closer to his New Jersey home. Still, it will always be a good thing to hear him call a game.

Go Yankees!

Game 144: LAD vs. NYY — A shut out, remembering icons

The misery of statistics strikes again. CC Sabathia threw a really beautiful game tonight into the 7th inning, keeping the visiting Dodgers scoreless and limited, but because he wasn’t the pitcher on record when the Yankees scored the leading runs, he gets nothing. And there’s something that’s just not right about that. Sabathia’s great game consisted of 93 pitches, just 3 allowed hits and a walk, and 7 strikeouts to the visiting Dodgers.

He handed things off to reliever Adam Warren in the 7th after one out, and Warren breezed his way through the inning to become the pitcher on record, setting himself up for his 6th win of the season. Tyler Clippard continued the scoreless streak in the 8th before handing things over the Dellin Betances for a nice 4-out save, his 11th of the season.

Like I said, the Yankees didn’t give Sabathia the win because they couldn’t capitalize on earlier opportunities, despite the fact that the Dodgers starter tonight was not as sharp as he should’ve been. He even came out of the game early, in the 4th inning and overall gave the Yankees 7 base runners. But they couldn’t seem to do much with it.

It would be three pitchers later, the Dodgers’ long-term reliever tonight that the Yankees were able to dent into his outing rather nicely. In the 7th, with 1 out, Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius went back-to-back with solo home runs to get the Yankees on the board. Gary Sanchez led-off the 8th with the insurance run, a solo home run, his 14th of his abbreviated season (in just about 6 weeks, by the way).

Final score: 3-0 Yankees.

Injury alert: Aaron Judge came out of tonight’s game with a right oblique strain. He injured it during an at-bat in the 4th. He stayed in the game through that inning, but was replaced at the top of the 5th. No news yet on roster moves, but I imagine a stint on the DL and a replacement being called up shortly. How this constant shifting will affect the postseason for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (who are working their way towards the championship, fingers crossed), only time will tell.

If you know anything about the Dodgers since they moved across the country 60 years ago, I think the one name that everyone will think of is their long-time broadcaster and famous game announcer Vin Scully, the “Voice of the Dodgers” as he’s affectionately known there. Scully is a relic days gone by, a classic really, calling the game like my grandfather grew up hearing it. Scully actually started his career with the Dodgers while they were here in New York, back in 1950 and moved with them when they moved to Los Angeles in 1957, becoming the regular play-by-play announcer in 1964.

Scully, who will turn 89 years old later this year, will hang up his microphone at the end of this season. The last home game for the Dodgers will be less than 2 weeks from today (September 25) against the Rockies, but the Dodgers are looking like they may be headed for the post season. So it would only be fitting if the icon got a few more games in before he truly enjoyed his retirement.

Also, if you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Scully call a game, check out this highlight reel made at the end of last year when MLB knew that 2016 would be his last. Enjoy!

Also, MLB contributor Lindsay Berra (yes, Yogi’s granddaughter) spoke with Yankees long-time radio broadcaster and icon himself John Sterling, who shared his Vin Scully memories, before the broadcasters themselves discussed both Scully and Sterling.

Go Yankees!