The Double Steal, the Easy Win, and Refsnyder Can Hit

Easy win over the Orioles last night — 8-6. That’s a controversial statement. Yanks had a 7-0 lead but Joe Girardi kept a tiring Ivan Nova in too long in the 7th as the Orioles scored 6 runs on a homer by Mark Trumbo, a homer by Pedro Alvarez, and a 3-run homer by Adam Jones.

Maybe it was the wine; maybe it was the 42 x 162 + playoffs = over 7,000 Yankee games I’ve seen/heard/read about but I never thought the Orioles were in it — they’d shot their load. That’s what a 7-run lead gets you — the other team can score 6 runs and you still have the lead!

Other reasons:

  • The Orioles would never get the tieing run into scoring position, let alone get someone to 3rd with less than 2 outs. That’s when you bite your nails. Worrying about a game-tieing homer? Not me. Seen too many games. And the Yanks have a great ballpen. And the wine was making me quite relaxed.
  • The Yanks brought in Andrew Miller and it was light’s out for the Orioles in the 7th.
  • NY got an insurance run on an Alex Rodriguez seeing-eye single up the middle in the 9th.
  • Aroldis Chapman allowed a walk in the 9th but retired the side relatively easily.

Yanks are now 26-29 and a win today (Sunday) means they take the series from the Orioles even after blowing a 5-2 lead and losing Friday night.

Play of the Game = Double Steal Includes Steal of Home

The play of the game — and ended up being the winning run — was a double-steal in the top of the 6th that had Brett Gardner steal second and Jacoby Ellsbury steal home on the backend.

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Brett Gardner steals second on front-end of double steal, with Jacoby Ellsbury breaking for home. Photo by Greg Fiume, Getty

And what a Great call by homeplate ump Tony Randazzo — who got it right as Ellsbury stole standing up — with the naked eye watching live on TV you had no idea if he was safe or not it happened so fast. Only slow motion showed him to be safe. Great call ump.

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Jacoby Ellsbury steals home on backend of double steal as catcher Matt Wieters applies tag a hair too late. Ump Tony Randazzo with the Great and accurate call. Photo by Greg Fiume, Getty

Ellsbury stole home on his own a month ago — these are the plays of the year for the Yanks — Joe Girardi is implementing exciting baseball on the bases, when he’s got Gartner/Ellsbury on.

Other Good News Amidst the Injuries

Rob Refsnyder looks like a ‘keeper’. He can hit, hit, hit. He went 1-4 last night and is batting .294. And now with Mark Teixeria out with a knee injury, Refsnyder is playing every day at 1st base. Many players start their career as not-so-great-fielding middle infielders and excel at another position — see Bobby Murcer, who started as a shortstop then was moved to centerfield after he almost hit some fans in the first row with his throws to first.

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ARod and Rob Refsnyder. Photo by Greg Fiume

And Chase Headley continues to hit and play an excellent 3rd base. His average popped up to .242 during the game but ended at .239 after a 1-4. He was batting .150 a month ago but now appears heading back to his lifetime (after 4,000 at bats) .263. He is also hitting the ball with authority now — hit a shot into the right field foul seats last night besides the double he hit to deep center in the 3rd.

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Chase Headley hits double. Photo by Patrick Semansky AP

Injuries

Austin Romine had to be removed from the game after badly injuring a finger on a warm up throw from Chapman last night; it looked like a tough loss as he has been hitting/catching well. And Gary Sanchez (batting .290 with 3 homers in AAA) will not be the replacement as he’s injured on the DL also. But the good news is that Romine just hurt the fingernail and is expecting to be available today.

Yanks have been stung by injuries — Chasen Shreve is out, as is Johnny Barbato, and Greg Bird of course for the year, ARod was out, and now Teixeira — which may be the only good news. They’ll miss his defense at first but his hitting has been .180 awful.

 

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