Well that was a pretty fun game. The sell mode Yankees opened up a 4-game series with the crosstown rival Mets last night, and they did it with a victory despite a poor start from CC Sabathia.
To me, CC's outing last night was reminiscent of his 2013-2014 days, when he seemingly had to battle for every out and got killed by the longball. The Mets knocked him around pretty good in 5+ innings and made him work hard. I think he was at or around 90 pitches at the start of the 6th inning and it showed. With 2 out and 1 on, Sabthia grooved a first-pitch meatball to Matt Reynolds that was crushed for a 3-run home run. Bad pitch and a bad hitter to throw that bad pitch to.
That homer made it 5-3 and the Mets looked like they were in control heading to final 3 innings. But you know those scrappy 2016 Yankees. They can never be counted out and they proved it by coming up with a big 2-run rally in the top of the 8th. Brett Gardner led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a 2-out base hit by Brian McCann. Joe pinch ran Ronald Torreyes for McCann, which turned into a great move when a wild pitch moved him into scoring position. Didi Gregorius came up and battled Addison Reed for 7 pitches, fouling off a bunch of tough sliders with 2 strikes. Reed went back to the fastball for the 8th pitch and Didi dunked it out into left for a 2-run single to tie the game. It was a great at-bat.
Another leadoff walk by Jacoby Ellsbury got things started in the top of the 10th, and the Yankees manufactured the hell out of the go-ahead run. Mark Teixeira beat the shift with a single the other way and Ben Gamel sac bunted both runners into scoring position. After Didi struck out, Starlin Castro came up and hit a deep fly ball to bring home Ellsbury. You just have to love those gritty Yankees.
We got our first look at Dellin Betances, regular closer, and he made things interested by putting 2 on with 1 out. But he got Rene Rivera to ground back to him to keep the lead runner at third and struck out Curtis Granderson on 3 pitches to end it.
- Ellsbury and Gardner each went 2-4 with 2 runs scored and a ribbie. Good things happen when the table setters actually do their job.
- Other than them, there wasn't a whole lot of offense. Didi's 2-run single was his only hit in 5 trips. Take out the top 2 and the rest of the lineup was 3-25.
- Tyler Clippard made his Yankee re-debut in the bottom of the 7th and worked a scoreless innings with 2 strikeouts. He's obviously not the pitcher he was, but I thought he looked pretty good.
- Really nice job by Adam Warren in the 8th and 9th innings. He didn't give up a hit, struck out 2, and looked exactly like the pitcher he was last year. If Rothschild has fixed him already, that Chapman trade is even better for the Yanks.