The Yankees put on a show last night. Five home runs, a pitching clinic by James Paxton, and a fun YES TV booth – a perfect night…
Even for the Yankees, it doesn’t get much better than it was last night with 55,000 fans jammed into Dodger Stadium. Five home runs flew into the night, including a bases-loaded blast into the right-field stands by Sir Didi Gregorius (2), from which the Yankees never looked back. Aaron Judge (He’s Back!), Gary Sanchez, and the ever-amazing Gleyber Torres also connected.
James Paxton Dominates The Dodgers
Brilliant is the only word to describe the pitching clinic put on by James Paxton, who showed the kind of stuff that enabled him to twirl a no-hitter when he was with Seattle. Mixing in a blend of 94-96 mph fastballs with a newly-found and trusted knuckle curveball and disappearing sliders, the Yankees decidedly have their number two behind Masahiro Tanaka.
The unexpected highlight of the night, however, came from the YES TV Booth where David Cone and Alex Rodriguez conducted a clinic on baseball. Entertaining and informative, it was as though the two were settled in our home, sitting on the couch, and just talking baseball. More on this later.
Coming off a four-game losing streak that included a three-game sweep by the A’s in Oakland, the game featured a playoff atmosphere, at least for a while. A 10-2 crushing of the Dodgers moves the Yankees to within one game of claiming the best record in baseball, by which the team can have home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Coming Up – Games 2 And 3
The second game of the series with the Dodgers is a 4:05 pm (EST) afternoon contest. CC Sabathia makes a start for the Yankees, his second since coming off the Injured List. Sabathia will be looking to make a recovery from his affliction with “homerunitis” which destroyed his first outing.
On Sunday, ESPN has the national telecast with a 7:00 pm (EST) start. The series finale features a marquee matchup between Domingo German (16-3, 4.15 ERA) and the Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 2.71). German is coming off a start that did not go particularly well. The Oakland A’s tagged him with six runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings. Two of those hits were home runs.
German has reached the point in the season where the Yankees are keeping a watchful eye on his innings pitched, which is now at 121.1 innings. At some point (soon), Aaron Boone and Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild will decide on how to tone German down, saving what he has left in the tank for the postseason.
The Rodriguez And Cone Show
As mentioned previously, fans watching the game on the YES network received a bonus last night. Rodriguez, who apparently could not find anything better to do in Tinseltown on a Friday night, wandered into the booth to team up with Cone to deliver a plethora of baseball nuggets.
This was not a paid gig for Rodriguez. The man loves the game of baseball, even to the point where if you ask him – it captures his soul more than J-Lo. Maybe that’s a stretch, but Rodriguez is astute and humorous in the booth. Switching off with “Coney,” A-Rod’s chosen name for David Cone, the two traded and battled each other with one-uppers that provided insight to the game from both pitching and hitting perspectives.
The two were so in sync that Michael Kay rested his golden voice for most of the game. Relief from his tendency to dominate any conversation with an ego that almost surpasses his competitor on the radio, Mike Francesa.
Say what you want about Alex Rodriguez and his past sins. Managing somehow, he’s reinvented himself in a way no one dreamed possible. Grown-up maybe is the right adjective? More likely, he’s found his niche. Rodriguez will part of the ESPN team covering Sunday night’s game. Don’t expect the same form of entertainment from the ESPN conglomerate.
That one is, however, a paid gig for A-Rod. A man has to make a living somehow…