That’s Why They Play the Game

As a diehard Yankee fan, the beginning of the Yankees new home-stand seemed like a nightmare. Their first four-game series, August 4-7, would be against the first-place Detroit Tigers. Max Scherzer, the newly acquired David Price, and Justin Verlander were scheduled to pitch the first three games. These three pitchers just happened to be the CY Young Award winners in the previous three years. The fourth game was no walk in the park because they would faceRick Porcello, a 13-game winner. The Yankees would counter with Brandon McCarthy, newly acquired from the Diamondbacks, the 40 year old Hiroki Kuroda, the 35-year old Chris Capuano, recently picked up on waivers, and the rookie Shane Greene.Kuroda is the only starter left from the opening day five-man rotation. What a mismatch!!!

The results of the four games are now history. What a surprise!!! The Yankee pitching, which consisted of two discarded veterans, a 40-year-old, and a rookie dominated the Tiger pitching, which consisted of the last three Cy Young Award winners. That’s why they play the game.Game 1 pitted Scherzer against McCarthy. McCarthy outpitched Scherzer and gave up only one unearned run in 6.2 innings. The Yankees won this hard-fought game 2-1. The Yankees had the opportunity to score more runs but with the bases loaded;Ezequiel Carrera, making his first start in center for theTigers, made a tremendous diving grab to rob Ellsbury. Relievers Adam Warren;Shawn Kelley and David Robertson worked the final three innings, sealing Girardi’s 700th career managerial win and the Yankees’ 58th of the season. It also marked New York’s 15th straight game that had been decided by two or fewer runs.

Game 2 had the newly acquired David Price pitching against Hiroki Kuroda. The Yankees blew a two-run lead and gave up a game–winning home run in the 12th inning losing the game 4-3.The loss spoiled a superb night from Hiroki Kuroda, whopitched one of his most efficient games this season, lasting seveninnings and surrendering three runs over just 91 pitches. The Yankee bullpen got a superb combined effort from relievers;Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, David Huff, Esmil Rogers, and the newly signed;Rich Hill. The game included the appearance of former Yankee;Joba Chamberlain, who wound up plunking;Derek Jeter in the back. Joba then mouthed his apology to an accepting Jeter. The Yankees got to Price with solo home runs by McCann and the newly acquired Martin Prado. The newly acquired Stephen Drew doubled and scored the Yankees third run. This was the Yankees 16th straight game decided by two or fewer runs.

Game 3 saw Verlander matched against the newly acquired 35-year-old Chris Capuano. Capuanopitched 6.2 strong innings. McCann hit his second home run in two nights which turned out to be the go-ahead run in the Yankees 5-1 win. The newly acquired Chase Headley also homered off Verlander, who remained winless in six starts at the new Yankee Stadium. Designated for assignment by the Red Sox, the soft-tossing Capuano waspurchased by the Yankees. He has been a pleasant surprise making three solid starts for the Yankees. Adam Warren relieved Capuano and got the win. Detroit’s only run was unearned.

Game 4 pitted 13-game winner Rick Porcello against the rookie Shane Greene. The Yankees won 1-0 with Greene pitching eight scoreless innings. After issuing a leadoff single in the ninth inning David Robertson came on to close the door getting his 31st save. Stephen Drew drove in the only Yankee run scoring Beltran with a ground-rule double.The two words I used throughout this posting were “newly acquired.” Kudos should be given to GM Cashman for his recent trades and acquisitions. The new Yankees consisting of Prado, Drew, Headley, McCarthy, and Capuano were allmajor contributors in the Yankees winning the series 3 to 1. Let’s hope this continues.

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