GAME 90: Out of nowhere, tonight was a ‘character’ game. An unexpected quick quiz of who this team is, and how they would respond to a hard loss last night, followed by a day of potentially devastating news. Among many others, Mark Teixiera and Jacoby Ellsbury answered that question tonight in Cleveland.
The day began with reports that ace Masahiro Tanaka was headed for an MRI — with initial rumors of Tommy John surgery bouncing around like a Pensy Pinky — which was the ‘high bounce’ ball of choice for any kid playing stickball on the streets of New York City in the 1950’s and 60’s. It was reported tonight that Tanaka will go on the 15-day DL with elbow inflammation.
Then the news of Brett Gardner scratched (abdominal strain). Then Carlos Beltran (errant BP ball in batting cage, 1 — Carlos, 0). Things weren’t looking good.
New arrival Brandon McCarthy survived a shaky first inning, allowing 3 unearned runs, but settling down to give the Yankees 6.2 innings in a solid overall start. McCarthy scattered 9 hits, walking one, and charged with only 1 earned run in a 101-pitch effort.
After McCarthy departed Cleveland was held down by Matt Thorton, Dellin Betances, Adam Warren, David Huff, Shawn Kelley, who gave way to eventual winner Chase Whitley, then David Robertson, who earned his 22nd save.
Ellsbury, Teixiera Lead Offense
Teixiera blasted two home runs that both kept the Yanks in the game, then gave them the lead. Ellsbury’s clutch blast in the 14th was the dagger, and Robertson made it stand, thanks in part to a great catch in deep left by Zolio Almonte to end it.
Here’s the box score and Bryan Hoch’s recap from mlb.com.
MEMORY LANE: A very Happy 85th Birthday to Hector Lopez, who was born on today’s date in 1929 in Colon, Panama. A talented, versatile player, Lopez played both infield and outfield positions for Yankees between 1959 and 1966. He played in five World Series for the Bombers, hitting .429 in three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960, and .333 in four games against the Cincinnati Reds in 1961. (Source: Baseball Almanac) …