The previous three games against the Red Sox were grueling and somewhat torturous at times. None of that matters right now. They avoided the sweep, they won their 10,000th game in franchise history, and they are headed back to the postseason after a two year absence. What an incredible season for the New York Yankees.
The Bronx Bombers lived up to their nickname today. Carlos Beltran, a definite candidate for the Yankee' second half MVP, hit a home run in the second inning to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. Brendan Ryan would tack on another run with a base hit through the left side, scoring John Ryan Murphy from second base. The Red Sox answered back in the top of the fifth inning, as Mookie Betts' single scored Deven Marrero and cut the lead to 2-1.
The later innings would be all about the Yankees' Baby Bombers on offense. In the bottom of the seventh, Greg Bird would give the Yankees an insurance run with a dinger of his own. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Rob Refsnyder absolutely crushed a ball into the back of the visitor's bullpen wall, just shy of landing in the left field bleachers over 430 feet away. The added bonus of seeing the team's young talent contribute in such a big way is a very promising sign for the future.
While the offense was obviously impressive, pitching is what got the job done tonight. After giving up a combined 24 runs in the previous three games, the Yankees needed CC Sabathia to come out strong tonight and that's exactly what he did. Sabathia went five innings, giving up six hits and one run while walking three and striking out three. If you are not kneeling before an altar to his new knee brace, you probably should be. Adam Warren followed CC with three incredibly strong innings of his own with a nice defensive back handed play mixed in. Three innings, one hit, no walks, no runs, and three strikeouts. Dellin Betances, who has caused some fans to clench their chests a bit recently, came on in the top of the ninth to close out this game and send the Yankees into the 2015 postseason. This is a preview of what the Yankees' pitching staff can bring into said postseason. We'll see what happens, but there is definitely room for hope.
With this win, their 10,00th franchise win, the Yankees need to win one more game in order to make sure the Wild Card game is played in the Bronx, weather permitting, next Tuesday. Even with that, Joe Girardi is sure to give his most important players some much needed rest after a long month. We will wait to see who the Yankees will play on Tuesday, but for now, breathe a sigh of relief.
In a season in which few people predicted this to happen, your New York Yankees are heading to the playoffs. Rejoice!