Going into Friday night’s games, the Red Sox were 6-1 against Baltimore, 9-4 against Tampa Bay (13 games against the Rays already!!! The Yanks have only played them twice!), and 7-2 vs. Toronto ….. so Boston is 22-7 (29 games vs. the AL East outside of the Yanks) while the Yanks are 1-3 against Baltimore, 2-0 vs. the Rays, and 5-3 vs. Toronto (just 14 games in the AL East outside of Boston), so 8-6 against the AL East outside of Boston.
Boston 22-7 vs, the AL East outside of the Yankees.
Yankees 8-6 outside the AL East outside of Boston.
The Yanks are now 1/2 game behind Boston.
In just the AL East, outside of each other, the Red Sox are 6 1/2 games better than the Yankees.
So now you know WHY the Red Sox are ahead of the Yankees by 1/2 a game right now.
In order to match or catch Boston, the Yanks must match or better what Boston has done vs. the dregs of the AL East, as well as beat Boston in their head to head matchups.
So the Yankees faced Baltimore, one of the worst teams in the league, tonight. The Yanks won 4-1 while Boston had a good matchup vs. Houston (the defending WS champs) and lost.
So that puts the 36-17 Yanks 1/2 game behind Boston now.
In the bottom of the first, Sonny Gray gave up a HR to Manny Machado. Two thoughts on that. The first was, that here we go again with Sonny Gray. The other? It’s Manny Machado, let’s give Sonny a pass on that.
Well, the pass worked, for other than that, Sonny was good tonight.
In the third, the Yanks tied the game but could have had so much more. Walker singled, Romine walked. Torres singled to tie the game. Gardner singled to load the bases. Big inning coming? Nope. Judge struck out, Bird hit into a force at the plate and Stanton grounded out. Aaargh.
That Torres RBI? #27. Can you believe he is just 2 RBI behind Stanton with three less weeks of playing time with the Yanks?
In the fifth, Torres doubled, but in trying for a triple, lost a shoe and was barely thrown out at third. Gardner then singled, which could have meant a run. Gardy stole second (six for six for the season) and after Judge made out, Bird tripled to make it 2-1.
In the sixth, Didi singled and stole second (by the way, check out Didi’s Twitter account after a Yankees win for his creative use of emojis to describe various Yankees’ players). Romine, riding a 10-game hitting streak, doubled him home to make it 3-1.
At the start of spring training, Boone and his coaching staff challenged Romine, the backup catcher, to hit better. They believed he was better than the .220 hitter he has been from 2011-2017 with the Yanks, with just an OPS+ of 54.
And yes, I was down on Romine this past off-season.
Romine has so far responded to the challenge. He is at .375-3-16 so far this season, far exceeding expectations. I wanted improvement (as did Boone and the coaching staff) and he is doing much better than the improvement we were seeking.
In the seventh, Judge homered (16) to make it 4-1.
Dellin Betances gave us a scare in the eighth, but the Yanks wrapped up a win.
Gray (W, 4-4, 5.50) 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 6 K. Gave up 1 HR. 1 HBP
Green (H, 7) 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.33
Betances (H, 4) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 1 HBP. 4.13
Chapman (S, 13) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 1.48
Ray Barker, who played for the Yanks 1965-1967, died this week at the age of 82. He was 0 for 6 for the 1960 Orioles, and made it back to the majors in 1965. With the Indians in 1965 he was 0 for 6 when he was traded to the Yankees for Pedro Gonzalez.
Barker, mostly a 1B, hit .254-7-31 in 205 AB for the Yanks in 1965. OPS+109. Decent.
In 1966, 75 AB, .187-3-13. OPS+ 73.
He went 2 for 26 in 17 games in 1967 for the Yanks, and was traded to the Orioles for Steve Barber. He never played in the majors again.
Barker played in 192 MLB games. He hit .214-10-44 in 318 MLB at bats, OPS + 84.
All-Star Voting began today.