It’s been a horrible year for Greg Bird, who had such a great spring training before fouling a ball off his ankle which messed up his swing, put him on the DL, and required surgery.
Last night, we saw what could have been for this year if Bird had stayed healthy. He hit a 2-run HR (3) to give the Yanks a cushion and had 3 RBI in the Yankees’ 6-2 win over Boston.
The win puts the 71-62 Yanks 4 1/2 behind Boston in the AL East. They have the top wild card spot by just one game over the Twins, and have a 2 1/2 game edge over the Angels for falling out of the playoffs altogether. The Angels made a couple of big moves to try to get over the hump and into the playoffs, picking up Justin Upton from the Tigers and Brandon Phillips off the Braves. Meanwhile, AL West leading Houston picked up Justin Verlander (Kate Upton’s fiancee, LOL) from the Tigers.
CC Sabathia escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning but gave up a run in the third. The Yanks won one challenge in the top of the third when Aaron Hicks threw out Andrew Benintendi when Benintendi was trying for a double, but lost another when Mookie Betts was called safe at second when the Yanks were trying for an inning-ending DP that would have prevented a run from scoring. Instead, one out, no DP and Boston up 1-0.
Gary Sanchez tied the game in the bottom of the third with his 28th HR of the season.
The Yanks got a big break in the fifth. With one out, Brett Gardner singled. Aaron Hicks was jammed, but his little jam shot found grass, and the single pushed Gardner to third. Sanchez popped up, but Eduardo Nunez, shifted over from his normal position, overran the popup, it fell for a single, and the Yanks were up 2-1.
Bird’s 2-run HR (3) made in 4-1 in the sixth. It came after a Chase Headley double that led off the inning. After Bird’s HR, Todd Frazier singled, and with one out, Aaron Hicks singled. With two out, Didi Gregorius singled to make it 5-1.
A walk to Aaron Judge (dropped to sixth in the lineup), a single by Headley and a single by Bird made it 6-1 in the seventh.
Boston got a run in the ninth for the final of 6-2.
Gardner 2 hits.
Hicks 2 hits. Robbed of a third, when a line drive was turned into a 1-3 DP.
Sanchez 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI.
Castro 2 hits.
Headley 2 hits.
Bird 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI.
Nice TEAM effort.
Sabathia (W, 11-5, 3.71) 6 IP, 1 r, 4 H, 5 W, 6 K.
Robertson 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 w, 1 K. 2.36
Betances 1 Ip, 1 R, 0 H, 2 W, 1 K. 2.34
CC was in and out of trouble, what with the walks, but got out of it. Hicks and Judge made nice throws from the outfield to nab runners at second.
UPDATE: Rosters can expand now, and Matt Holliday will be back with the Yanks tonight (Friday). We’ll see who else joins the team.
The Yanks got 37 year old catcher Erik Kratz off of Cleveland for cash considerations. This is because Romine and Sanchez will have to serve their suspensions soon (not simultaneously, of course). But it gives them a backup catcher. Kyle Higashioka is on the DL down at SWB. Kratz has played with the Pirates, Phillies, Blue Jays, Royals, Phillies again, Astros, and Pirates again. In 225 games, 599 AB, he is .200-24-73. Low average, has a bit of pop. 162 g. average: .200-17-53, OPS+ 66. This is just a temporary thing b/c of the suspensions.
This year, Kratz was at AAA Columbus, .270-13-37 in 86 games.