Well that was exciting, nerve-wracking, and unorthodox all wrapped up in one game. Given game two of the doubleheader is set to go within an hour, we’ll recap this win in a bullet point format.
- The highlight of the game for me was Ken Singleton’s return to the YES broadcast. One of the simpler pleasures in life is getting to listen to Ken regale us with stories that accentuate the human element of baseball. It’s great to have you back, Kenny!
- When Cedric Mullins led off the bottom of the first with a home run off Michael King, it was hard not to let the negative thoughts start to creep in, as it felt like this had the potential to be “one of those games.” The Yankees asked King to limit the damage while also giving them length and, well - let’s just say he accomplished the minimum. King once again highlighted the value of having strikeout stuff, as he was not able to get batters out after running the count to two strikes. He finished the game giving up three earned runs on two home runs in four innings.
- Thankfully, Gary Sánchez returned the favor with this mammoth shot in the second. With two outs, El Gary ripped a first pitch hanging slider about twenty rows back in left. The exit velocity stood at 107.5 MPH and the ball was projected to travel 426 feet. Boy does he love hitting in Camden!
- Brett Gardner extended the Yankees lead to 3-1 in the top of the third. After Wade reached on an error, DJ blooped a single to right, and Luke Voit drew a walk, Gardy laced a line drive single up the middle to plate two. Mike Tauchman drew a bases loaded walk later in the inning to give the Yankees a three-run cushion.
- That lead was short-lived, as the Yankees handed the ball to Ben Heller after King gave up a two-run shot to Rio Ruiz. I simply cannot advise bringing Heller into a one-run game, and he proved why shortly later, giving up a game-tying home run to Renato Nuñez. What’s the definition of insanity? Oh yeah, doing the same thing over and over agin and expecting different results. Or in other words, the current Yankees pitching strategy. Boy did this feel like a repeat of the disaster on Thursday.
- The Yankees saved the fireworks for late. A symptom of this wackiest of seasons: because Miguel Andújar pinch ran for Voit, the DH, Jonathan Holder started the ninth as the runner on second. He advanced to third on a LeMahieu grounder to right before being plated by an Andújar opposite field line drive single. The Yankees added another in the inning on a Clint Frazier RBI single.
First pitch of game two is minutes away. Deivi García makes his much-anticipated second start of the season, while perhaps more excitingly, we could see the major league debut of Clarke Schmidt, who was called up following the game. Stay tuned!