Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Slumping Wells is the Hero

Vernon Wells came into his pinch-hit at bat in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and two outs having gone 0 for his last 11 and 9 for his last 87. All of those numbers went flying out the window when facing lefty Jake McGee as he lifted a bases clearing double to right-center field. The third run that scored on the double was initially called back to third base after the ball was touched by a fan before coming back out onto the field. The umpires conferred and made a judgment call saying that David Adams would have scored regardless of whether or not the fan would have touched the ball. You can't make any assumptions about Wells and his future, but after Zoilo Almonte went 1-2 with 2 walks and 3 RBI. Almonte certainly wants Wells' job and thus far he has shown that he is up for the challenge. It would only be of benefit for the Yankees to have the pair compete, trying to see who comes out on top in the end with more playing time. A positive in Almonte's game is that he is a switch-hitter, whereas Wells only hits righty. When it comes time to making a decision, the Yankees may go with Almonte purely because he can hit from both sides of the plate. Also, the rookie doesn't look like the big moment eludes him. He stays patient at the plate and works counts in his favor before finding a pitch that he likes. Before today, the Yankees were 3-21 when their opponents scored five or more runs. They buck that trend today as they come from behind down two runs late in the game, which is something that they have not done since earlier in the season when Wells and Hafner were hitting well.

CC Sabathia pitched a great game aside from making one mistake to Wil Myers which ended up off Gardner's glove and bounced into the seats into the short porch for his first career home run, a grand slam to give the Rays a 5-3 lead. The Yankees were 0-3 with three strikeouts with the bases loaded before Wells doubled in the tying and go-ahead runs. Sabathia qualified for the win after the Yankees scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Sabathia deserved better than what he was handed on the Myers grand slam. The ball was inches away from being caught by Gardner to end the inning and hold the Rays to one run. After the Yankees rally in the seventh, David Robertson pitched an impressive eighth inning and Rivera notched his 26th save of his farewell season. Having Mariano Rivera is beautiful, and watching him pitch is truly an honor as a fan of baseball in general.

The Yankees have at least a split of the four game set versus the Rays as they head into the final game tomorrow afternoon. The Yankees have done well on Old Timers Day and will look to close the series out with a win against the Rays following all the festivities.

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