Bird, Severino Deliver In Must Win Game

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Greg Bird unloads on an Andrew Bellatti offering, clobbering a solo blast off a catwalk in deep right to add to the Yankees' lead at Tropicana Field on September 16, 2015

Game 145 / 80-65 / 2nd / -3 GB : While Toronto was pounding Atlanta, it was clear early on that the Yankees could not let this one slip. Luis Severino out-dueled pinstripe nemesis Chris Archer, Greg Bird led the offense and the ‘pen held it down — despite a few moments of sheer terror when Dellin Betances‘ command escaped him in the 7th.

Here’s the box score, full recap, and video highlights.

Yankees 3, Rays 1

  • Full Pack Betances   He did it again — walked the bags loaded, then pulled The Houdini, striking out the dangerous James Loney on three pitches with the game on the line.
  • Big Game Bird   His clutch RBI double off of Archer in the top of the second inning scored Carlos Beltran all the way from first. The young man is as poised as they come, getting big hits in big moments. Coming into this game, five of his six home runs have put the Yankees in the lead. The 7th dinger of his short season was an absolute moon shot in the top of the 9th extending the lead to 3-1, giving Andrew Miller a little breathing room.
  • 26th Time’s The Charm   Jacoby Ellsbury’s leadoff single against Archer snapped the longest hitless streak of his career — 25 at bats.
  • And The Best Part Is   That the Yankees are done with the most horrible, hideous, depressing, soulless excuse for a ‘stadium’ in major league baseball — Tropicana Field — for the season. The asinine ‘catwalk rules’ almost effected the outcome of the game, and who knows, perhaps the pennant race itself. The sooner this monstrosity is bulldozed, the better.
  • Nova Moved to Bullpen   A string of poor starts starts has forced the club to remove Ivan Nova from the rotation. In 14 starts, Nova has posted a 6-8 record with a 5.11 ERA since coming back from Tommy John surgery, and was shelled in the second game of last Saturday’s twin-bill against the Blue Jays, getting lifted in the second inning after allowing 6 earned runs. Hopefully he regain his mojo in the ‘pen, ala 2009 Phil Hughes. It’s disappointing because when he’s really on, he has no-hit stuff — but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it.


MEMORY LANE : On today’s date in 1948, Joe DiMaggio‘s 300th career homer is the lone run yielded by Detroit starter Fred Hutchinson in his 2-1 complete-game win over New York at Briggs Stadium. The ‘Yankee Clipper’ joins Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Rogers Hornsby, Chuck Klein and Hank Greenberg as the eighth major leaguer to reach the milestone. …

Today in 2008, Derek Jeter becomes the all-time hits leader at Yankee Stadium, which will be demolished at the end of the season. The team’s shortstop and captain surpasses Lou Gehrig‘s record with a first-inning single in a 6-2 loss to the White Sox, bringing his total to 1,270 at the 85 year-old ballpark.

(h/t: NationalPastime.com, Baseball-Reference.com, Today in Baseball History)
FOOTNOTES : A Happy 56th Birthday to Timothy ‘Rock’ Raines, who was part of the great Yankees teams of 1996-97-98 … Tomorrow is the Yankees last off-day of the season…
 

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