GAME 129: Michael Pineda (now 3-2, .195) not only turned in a dominant performance in Kansas City, he actually got some run support for a change. In a make-up game against the Royals, The Bronx Bombers looked like The Bronx Bombers again. Eight runs, three home runs and 13 hits, even while going 2-9 with RISP. Here’s the box score and recap.
In his third start since coming off the 60-Day DL, Pineda is looking increasingly sharp. He scattered 5 hits over 6.1 innings, walked none, and mowed down 10 straight at one point. A strong relief performance by David Huff brought it to the finish line — 2.2 innings, 2 hits, and 21 strikes out of 25 pitches thrown.
GAMENOTES: Both super small samples, but Stephen Drew is showing some ownage over KC starter James Shields, hitting .545 (6-11) coming into tonight’s game, as well as Martin Prado .400 (2-5) — and both Drew and Prado took Shields deep tonight. On the subject of ownage, Shields is now 9-16 versus the Yankees in 30 career starts.
JOE VERSUS THE REPLAY: More good decisions from skipper Joe Girardi on challenges. His call to review Jacoby Ellsbury‘s tag-up in the 7th was huge (see video below). It took four camera angles, but Ellsbury was clearly safe and the overturn of the call made the score 6-1. As of July 31st, 73% of Girardi’s challenges were successful, behind only Marlin’s manager Mike Redmond (76%). On that date, Joe ranked #23 on the list of managers who challenged calls with a total of 19. Cubs manager Rick Renteria led with 36 challenges, followed by Tampa’s Joe Maddon with 34. Brian Price of the Reds brings up the bottom with only 14 challenges.
HIGHWATER MARK: At 68-61, the Yankees are 7 games over .500 for the first time this season. With 33 games to play, they remain 6 games behind Baltimore for the AL East title, and 3.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the first Wild Card slot at this writing. UPDATE: M’s lose to Texas, Yanks now 2.5 out of first WC slot, and 1.5 behind Detroit for the second slot.
THE GAUNTLET: Tonight was the first of a tough 7-game, 3-city road trip for the Bombers. Tomorrow the club travels to Detroit for 3, then up to Toronto for 3. Here’s a preview of the probable pitching matchups for the week.
THE RECORD BOOK: Ichiro‘s 2 singles tonight ties Hank Aaron for 12th place on the all-time singles list. Ellsbury’s single in the 7th was his 1,000th career hit.
Today in Yankees Baseball History
MEMORY LANE: On April 25th, 1956 the Yankees unconditionally released Phil Rizzuto, after claiming Enos Slaughter off waivers from the Kansas City Athletics. Ballentine Beer, a major sponsor of the Yankees, insisted that Rizzuto be hired as the team’s broadcaster the next season.
Yankees GM George Weiss had to fire announcer Jim Woods, who was just hired the year before. Holy cow! ‘The Scooter’ would go on to do over 40 years of both radio and television broadcasting for the team.
(Sources: TodayInBaseballHistory.com and Baseball-Reference.com)