The Yankees just keep winning. They have now taken seven in a row, and six of their first ten on this home stand. The Yankees will now pull within 3 games of the division lead which is tied with Boston and Toronto. They will also be tied with the loser of the Baltimore and Detroit game.
Masahiro Tanaka was absolutely brilliant tonight as he breezed through 7 scoreless innings. In the 8th Tanaka struck out the lead off batter, and then allowed a solo home run. After hitting a batter Girardi turned to Warren after that. Warren would hit a batter on an 0-2 count and put runners on first and second with just one out. The dangerous Evan Longoria stepped to the plate for the Ray’s and promptly grounded into a double play.
Tanaka would finish today’s game with a line score of 7.1 innings pitched, 1 run, and 10 strike outs. Tanaka did exactly what aces are expected to do. He have the Yankees much needed length after a series of short starts.
The Yankees went to Richard Bleier in the ninth inning to face Brad Miller. His first pitch he got Miller to hit a scorcher to Starlin Castro. He then struck out Logan Morrison. Dickerson singled, and Girardi had seen enough as he went to the bullpen. The Yankees turned to Clippard to finish off the game and he did so on the first pitch.
The Yankee offense had been very sluggish through the first five innings managing to only get one base hit. Chris Archer had kept the Yankees off balance all day.
In the bottom of the sixth the Yankees struck for three runs. Brett Gardner got a base hit, and a few pitches later Ellsbury hit a laser to right field to put the Yankees up 2-0. Gary Sanchez then stood up to bat next and blasted a homerun to left center to make it 3-0 on back-to-back home runs.
In the bottom of the eighth Brett Gardner led off the inning with a base hit, and Ellsbury followed that up with a ground rule double. There would be some ensuing comedy when the Rays went to try and intentionally walk Gary Sanchez. He let the ball go over the plate and Sanchez took a softball swing on the ball and hit it to the warning track in straight away centerfield. It would give the Yankees a 4-1 lead, and then Didi would also get a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead.
Eventually you expect to see the Yankees have a let down, but they just keep winning. The momentum from every game continues to carry over. You now expect the Yankees to win every game. Whereas before every game was somewhat of a question mark. Now, the Yankees are showing a resiliency that has not been seen in the Bronx for a long time.
The Baby Bombers have awoken the ghosts of Yankee Stadium, and the magic is back in the air. You can feel the electricity in the stadium once more, and with each growing day the Yankees playoff hopes get brighter. At one point they were as low as a 2.6% chance to make the playoffs.
The Yankees keep proving people wrong, and they keep pulling closer to a playoff birth, and with the right events the Yankees could be tied for the second wild card position with a win tomorrow.