The Yankees do not run a local, only an express train. The excitement continued to rain at Yankee Stadium on Sunday where the Bombers lulled the A’s to sleep…
The Yankees continue to win. On the verge of being shut out for the first time since June 30, 2018, the Yankees not only avoided being shutout after seven fruitless innings, but the Yankee mystique walked off the Oakland A’s for a second consecutive day.
Down 4-0 entering their half of the eighth inning, here’s the scoring summary for the remainder of the game:
Count the number of Yankees involved and contributing to the scoring outburst. There’s seven! Contained in the rally, there’s a sacrifice fly, an infield single, and of course the old Yankees standby, two home runs – one to tie the game and one to nail it down.
The mix of veteran and rookie input, the Yankees trademark this season, showed up again. Yankee’s sparkplug and”Ole Reliable” Brett Gardner hit the tying home run while Mike Ford added the walk-off shot on a drive deep to center field.
Following Saturday’s eleven-inning affair (also a walk-off win), in which Aaron Boone was forced to use all of the A-Team in his bullpen, the task fell to Ryan Dull and Chance Adams to hold down the A’s.
Callups from Triple-A Scranton when the rosters expanded to 40, both pitchers hurled one inning apiece, surrendering a total of four runs with Dull taking most of the beating.
On a day when J.A. Happ pitched his most exceptional game of the year, tossing six complete innings yielding no runs on only one hit, it looked like the sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium would hit the Major Deegan “Expressway” without a Yankee win.
Not this time, though. Rarely do the Yankees lose in their home ballpark. The team is thirty games over .500 at Yankee Stadium (51-21). As good as that mark is, it’s still a long ways away from the team record of 65 wins at home set by the 1961 team, who featured Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Whitey Ford, and Yogi Berra.
Yankee Stadium Is Where The Team Needs To Be
Still, as a benchmark, the Yankees record at home this year accents the need to keep pressing to earn the advantage of playing at Yankee Stadium throughout the postseason.
The battle for the best record in baseball remains nip and tuck between the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers. The loss column for each team becomes more critical than their win total. After all, you can’t win a game that’s already in the loss column. With only 48 losses after Sunday, the team looks good in that respect.
But as we know, in baseball, the only game that counts is the one you are playing today. Players look neither behind nor ahead. It’s the only way to survive and thrive in a grueling season of 162 games.
As fans though, we can afford the luxury of looking ahead at the Yankees Schedule for the next two weeks. The Texas Rangers close out the homestand with three games beginning on Labor Day.
The Yankees go on the road then to meet the surging Red Sox for four games at Fenway Park. The two-week window closes with a softened schedule and three games each against the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays.
Aaron Boone: Manager Of The Year In Waiting
Aaron Boone has been masterful in juggling the Yankees lineup while being as frugal as he can using his stellar bullpen. The mantra for team’s starting pitchers has to be – six innings or bust – to keep those arms fresh in the bullpen.
The influx of pitchers from the minors will help Boone, but if you ask him, he’d probably not go that route in a tight contest, as the game was scoreless after Happ left.
Adam Ottavino held the A’s scoreless in the ninth, but again, using minor leaguers before him is not the way Boone would have chosen if his regulars in the pen were available.
If necessary, all of the callups, including the much-renowned DH/outfielder Clint Frazier (0-2 with a walk Sunday), will get their turn in February when Spring Training camp opens for the 2020 season.
But this – this – is all about the Yankees winning their first World Series since 2009 and number twenty-eight in the team’s legendary history.
In baseball, these opportunities don’t come along every day. And when they do, every little bit helps toward achieving the ultimate goal. And that includes securing home-field advantage throughout the postseason…