Not According to Plan. But Yankee Fireworks Win It — July 4, 2019: NY 8 Tampa 4

The plan was working until the very last moment — and then the Yanks had to improvise this win, reaching into their back pocket for their own aerial fireworks perfectly synchronized with the 4th of July fireworks.

A happy J.A. Happ pitched 1-run ball into the 6th, and the vaunted Yankee bullpen came in to protect a 3-1 lead over 2nd-place Tampa. Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, and Zack Britton did their jobs. The plan — to have the starter give the Yanks 5 or 6 good innings and then bring in the vaunted ballpen — was working.  But Aroldis Chapman blew the save in the 9th.

Yankee Fireworks Synchronized with July 4th Fireworks

Not a problem — the Yankee offense immediately went to work in the top of the 10th — Gio Urshela and Aaron Judge walking to lead off, Brett Gardner loading the bases with nobody out on an infield single, and DJ LeMahieu singling home 2 runs before an out was recorded.

An out later — at just after 9 pm as the 4th of July Fireworks were going off all over the East Coast — Gary Sanchez hit a 3-run aerial bomb. Like bombs bursting in air. Five (5) runs. Ballgame. If you were outside someplace watching the fireworks, you were checking your cell phone for the scores coming in at the same time. Or had radio on, or tv on in a place you could see it.

Tampa scrimmaged a run in the bottom of the 10th off Luis Cessa who couldn’t quite finish the save — David Hale had to come in to get the final out. But the Yanks were never in real jeopardy.

The win moved the Yanks to 56-29, 7.5 games over 2nd place Tampa; 11 games over Boston. This is the way the Boston Red Sox were winning games last year. Blow a lead in the 9th? No problem. Here’s not 1 but 5 runs immediately.


Mike Tauchman and Mike Ford were playing in this game — so it was like old times — the Yanks of the early season when everyone was on the IL. And Tauchman singled in Ford for the Yanks 1st run of the game in the 3rd to tie it 1-1 off terrific Tampa Bay starter Yonny Chirinos. Aaron Hicks doubled in Tauchman to give the Yanks the lead, 2-1. In the 7th Edwin Encarnacion got another run off Chirinos with a homerun to make it 3-1 and that was it for the offense. Chirinos ended up pitching 7 strong innings and is now 7-4 3.15. But Happ matched him. The plan was working. And then the improvisation at the end.


Before the game, it was announced that Gleyber Torres was added to the All Star game as an injury replacement. Gleyber went 0-4 in this game but his current overall stats are 19-50-.294 (.361 OBP).

The Boxscore

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