Tonight was all about Big Mike, as Michael Pineda's stuff was working almost all night against the Miami Marlins. Pineda pitched 6.2 innings and struck out nine while walking just two batters and giving up the Marlins' only run. His was able to command his cut fastball, which hit 95 at times during the game.
The Yankees, in true 2015 Yankees fashion, scored in the first inning. Chase Headley was hit by a pitch from Marlins starter Jose Urena. Brian McCann got him to second on a grounder and Alex Rodriguez drove him in on a hot grounder up the middle. The hit marked A-Rod's 2996th, so his milestone 3,000th hit could happen at any time now.
The Yankees scored again in the fifth when Chase Headley singled, A-Rod singled, Garrett Jones walked, and Carlos Beltran singled Headley in. A-Rod, who gained hit number 2997, was thrown out at home on Beltran's single.
Michael Pineda was downright dominant. In fact, he had a no hitter going after six innings. To his credit, YES Network announcer Michael Kay didn't jinx the no-no.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hmmmm, kind of interesting: the words no hitter never left my mouth and he still gave up a hit. I wonder how that happened.</p>— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealMichaelKay/status/611338155636183040">June 18, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Still, in the seventh, Christian Yelich would line a pitch into the Yankees bullpen for a solo home run. With the lefty 1B Justin Bour up, Joe Girardi opted for LHP Chasen Shreve, even though Pineda was at just 100 pitches. With the lack of upcoming days off and the lefty at bat, leaving Pineda in just wasn't an option. Shreve promptly struck Bour out on five pitches to end the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Justin Wilson struggled a bit with his command. He did retire one batter, but gave up a hit and a walk as well. Wilson's spotty control forced Girardi's hand, causing him to bring in Dellin Betances for a five out save. Betances will be filling in for Andrew Miller while he is injured. With runners at the corners, Betances induced a grounder to first. Garrett Jones fired home to nail the speedy Adeiny Hechavarria at home, a call which required in umpire review to confirm.
The replay ended up being huge, as the Yankees failed to add any insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th. In the ninth, Betances got Christian Yelich to ground out. On deck was the matchup everyone was waiting for: Dellin Betances vs. Giancarlo Stanton. Betances struck him out on four pitches, the final offering being his trademark filthy spike curve. Dellin would then allow a single to Marcell Ozuna and would walk Justin Bour, but struck out catcher Jeff Mathis to end the game. In total, the Yankees struck out 12 Marlins hitters.
Tomorrow, the Yanks send CC Sabathia to the hill against the enigmatic Mat Latos, a sinkerballer with a history of inconsistency. If Latos can turn things around, he might be a midseason trade target for the Yankees, as he is in his contract year. For more reasons than one, tomorrow's matchup should be interesting.