It wasn't pretty or easy, but the Yankees squeaked one out last night to join the ranks of the double-digit win teams. And on Sauv Blanc Day at The Stadium no less! Congratulations, boys. The Michael Pineda Experience was in full effect to start the game last night. He got 2 quick outs in the top of the 1st and then gave up a double down the line and a 2-run home run to David Ortiz on a 2-strike slider that hung right in the kill zone. It looked like we were going to be in for another long night, but to his credit Pineda got it together and pitched 5 more innings without allowing another run. He had to work out of trouble at times, but he managed to do so without giving up any more back-breaking 2-out, 2-strike hits. That's a step in the right direction for him.
The offensive output came in 3 short bursts. Brian McCann doubled in Jacoby Ellsbury to cut the Boston lead in half in the bottom of the 1st and Dustin Ackley singled in Starlin Castro to tie the game in the 2nd. We stayed knotted up into the late innings when Aaron Hicks finally came through with a big hit. Rick Porcello threw him a first pitch changeup to start the bottom of the 7th and Hicks was on it all the way, driving it out into the right field bleachers for a go-ahead home run. It was left up just enough to square up and it sure looked like Hicks was waiting for it.
The finish was not without drama. Dellin Betances got into some trouble with 2 outs in the 8th and Joe went to Andrew Miller for the 4-out save. Miller himself got into big trouble by loading the bases with 1 out in the 9th, but he got some help from home plate umpire Ron Kulpa during David Ortiz's at-bat. Say what you want about the 3-1 pitch, and it looked like it was a strike, but the 3-2 pitch was low. Kulpa gave Miller the call, punched out Ortiz, and Miller got Hanley Ramirez swinging to end the game. I'll take it.
- Ellsbury left the game with a hip injury after scoring on McCann's double in the 1st. Looked like he tweaked it rounding third and stopping after stealing the base. He's being called day-to-day for now.
- 6 IP, 8 H, 2 ER for Pineda. Like I said, step in the right direction but he still has to get waaaayyyyyyy better with 2 strikes.
- Hicks was 1-2 with the big homer and a walk. He's got his batting average up above .100.
- This was Betances' third straight day pitching and Joe only used him for 15 pitches before going to Miller. No chance we see him today.