Strange night. Strange venue. Strange record set. Strange pitching performance.
The Yanks were the road team in a game played at Citi Field. But the game wasn’t against the Mets. Because of Hurricane Irma, the game, supposed to be in St. Petersburg against the Tampa Bay Rays, was moved to a “neutral” site. Of course, Queens isn’t THAT far from the Bronx. You can argue about the neutrality.
Anyway, Jacoby Ellsbury set a MLB record for most times reaching on catcher’s interference in his career (breaking Pete Rose’s record) and it was a key play in a 5-1 Yankees win.
The key blow in the game was a 3-run HR (24) by Todd Frazier.
CC Sabathia gave up a run in the second when Adeiny Hechevarria tripled in a run. Hechevarria barely missed a cycle tonight.
The Yanks only got four hits on the night, but three came in the fourth inning, when they scored all five of their runs.
Judge walked, and Sanchez singled him to third. Didi tied the game with a SF. After Castro struck out, Holliday reached on a two-base error, Sanchez scoring. Ellsbury set that catcher’s interference record. Frazier then hit his 3-run HR.
With one out in the fourth and a 5-1 lead, Girardi pulled CC. I don’t know if the knee was acting up or what, but two outs away from getting credit for a win, and having a 4-run lead, it seemed odd.
UPDATE: Two on, one out, and Longoria owns CC. Hence the quick hook. Girardi didn’t want the 5-1 lead to get away. Went to Robertson, surprising, gutty move and the correct one.
Odder yet, was who came in to pitch in the fifth inning. David Robertson, who is more used to pitching later in ballgames. Robertson, so used to pitching one inning and closing games, pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings in gaining the win.
Greg Bird was supposed to start but was a late scratch at 1B for Tyler Austin. Austin did get a double. The Yanks got just four hits and struck out 11x, but did draw four walks and there were the two Rays’ errors (one being the catcher’s interference).
UPDATE: Bird was scratched with back spasms. Who knows when he’ll return. The guy can’t catch a break.
The win puts the 78-65 Yanks 3 back of Boston with 19 to go, and strengthened their hold on the top wild card spot.
Sabathia 4 1/3 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 2 W, 6 K. 3.85. A quick hook.
Robertson (W, 8-2, 2.10) 2 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K. Longer than usual outing.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K. 2.96
Chapman 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.83
In case you missed it, Aaron Judge the other day set a rookie record for most walks in a season. Also, he is one of only 5 Yankees to have a 40 HR season age 25 or younger. The others? Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle.
Cleveland won their 19th straight game tonight. Meanwhile, the once sizzling hot Dodgers have lost 10 in a row.
UPDATE: With these three games being moved to Citi Field, it means 17 of the last 20 games this regular season for the Yankees will be played in NY. The other 3 are in Toronto.