Saturday, August 23, 2014

YANKEES SHOW SIGNS OF LIFE AS PRADO CARRIES THE TEAM

The 2014 Yankees still have a heartbeat! And tonight at the stadium, the Bombers put their heart on display.


On a day where the ace-in-the-making, Shane Greene, began his start by giving up two singles and a home run to the first three White Sox to stride to the plate, the yankees found their offense in the nick of time to pull out the victory. That offense came in the form of Martin Prado.

After that first inning, where Greene yielded a total of four hits and a walk, the Yanks seemed destined to begin yet another series with a loss. All season the team has struggled to get more than three runs on the board in any game, and through the first two innings, the offense appeared to be its typical self; going o for 4 with runners in scoring position. As it has done all year, the team was getting runner on but not getting them home.

Enter Prado.


In the bottom of the third, with the Yankees trailing 3-0, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a single to right, and one out later Prado belted the first pitch he saw in the at-bat over the left field wall.

Meanwhile, Greene settled into a groove and after that rough first inning the right-hander gave Chicago only five more hits, while striking out seven and going  five innings. It showed what a great promise the 25-year-old hurler has in being able to bounce back and keep the team in the game. He showed fans why they should be excited about the Yankees pitching.

In the fifth, the Yankees had a chase to blow the game open as Brett Gardner was hit by a pitch and our captain, Derek Jeter, followed with a single. Ellsbury brought Gardner home with the tying run with a double, but that is where the rally ended. With no one out and runners at second and third, Mark Teixeira checked his swing and grounded weakly to first, Prado struck out, and Brian McCann flew out to the wall in right. It was the microcosm of the Yankees season and an example of the teams Achilles heel - the weak RISP performance. Still, they had tied the game and on this day the relief corps did their job. Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson went the final four innings, going up just two hits and walking none, while striking out six batters. Combined with Greene, they posted a total of 13 strike outs.

The stage was set for heroics in the bottom of the ninth, as Ichiro Suzuki singled and Gardner sacrificed him to second base. Jeter lined out to center, and with two outs, Ellsbury was intentionally walked. Teixeira walked to load the bases for Prado. This time the "curse of the RISP" was broken, and the second baseman grounded a single to center to plate the winning run. He was mobbed by the team as the stadium erupted.


Yes, the Yankees are still alive in the playoff hunt - and it's not going to be an easy road to reach October play - but tonight they showed heart in coming back, as well as a renewed excitement that has been missing, more often than not.


Final: Yankees 4 - White Sox 3




--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1
 

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