This week was a reminder to all that the success the New York Yankees had shown in the late 1990s and the 2000s are all officially behind us. With 22-year veteran Alex Rodriguez announcing his retirement just the week before, this leaves just three players left on roster of the 2009 championship team. As much as people like to hold on to the past, it is safe to be said with the departure of Rodriguez that a new era of not only Yankees baseball, but baseball in general is upon us. The Yankees have tons of young talent waiting for their names to be called two of which are Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin.
Despite it potentially being his last week as a player in Major League Baseball, Rodriguez’s name was not put into the starting lineup because of manager Joe Girardi. This action happened more than once this week and was not liked at all amongst fans. Nevertheless, the Yankees headed to Fenway Park to take on their rival the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately, struggles from starting pitcher Luis Severino were continuing, as Dustin Pedroia and Andrew Benintendi seem to have his number throughout the entire game. Facing off against Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello, the Yankees were in for a tough road. Porcello got the job done lasting for eight whole innings, only allowing two runs and striking out six. The Yankees did give the Red Sox a run for their money, scoring one and loading the bases against closer Craig Kimbrel, but it was not enough. Matt Barnes came in and struck out Mark Teixeira to give the Sox a 5-3 win.
It looked like it was going to be a long night for the Yankees, as starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was forced to leave the game after the first inning. This was due to right elbow discomfort and as a result he was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Not only does the team have to worry about the potential outcome of the injury, but what relievers are going to be throwing, and if they can throw for later games. The Yankees were down 4-1 going into the seventh inning when Joe Girardi decided to put in Alex Rodriguez, with runners on first and second, for a pinch hit opportunity. Like the day before, A-Rod wasn’t in the starting lineup. In what was his only at-bat, it ended up being a fly ball to Mookie Betts in right field. However, the Bombers came in big scoring five runs the same inning, highlighted by a bases loaded double off the bat of Starlin Castro that gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead. The Yankees were able to bring in three more the next inning, which were added insurance runs to what was a 9-4 Yankees victory.
A-Rod was finally starting in what was his last game in Fenway Park in a Yankee uniform. The matchup was Michael Pineda against Eduardo Rodriguez, no relation, and neither starter was truly bad this particular outing. E-Rod in particular, was cruising along only allowing four base runners through seven innings. The Yankees offense did strike however, once again loading the bases this time against Brad Ziegler. The Yankees were able to catch a break, as a Jacoby Ellsbury line drive was misplayed by young outfielder Andrew Benintendi, turning into another bases loaded double. This gave the Yankees the lead and soon after A-Rod was given an opportunity in which he grounded out, but with just one away, turned into another RBI. Yankees’ closer Dellin Betances sealed the deal with tying runners on base and the Yankees won 4-2.
The next day was August 12th. This marked to what is likely the end to an illustrious career for Mr. Alex Rodriguez. The game preceded with a ceremony honoring his accomplishments, in which soon ended with torrential rainfall. The Yankees were at home and were against Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay Rays. A-Rod immediately made fans jump out of their seats with an RBI double in the first inning that tied the game up at 1. To help A-Rod out, Starlin Castro had a game and then some driving in two on an RBI single and two more later in the game on a home run. Aaron Hicks also went oppo giving the Yankees a 6-3 lead. A-Rod finished the game 1-4 with his only hit being the double. A-Rod’s day got even better, as Joe Girardi let him play third base, a position he played for most of his tenure with the Yankees, for one batter. After a Betances strikeout, Rodriguez was taken off the field and was given a standing ovation to what closes the door to an amazing player.
Moving on and keeping heads high, the Yankees called up two players by the names of Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge. The 24-year olds were set to make their Major League debuts batting seventh and eighth in the lineup respectively. Many players in the league get called up for the first time and can absolutely produce and many players can struggle to get going. The two kids welcomed themselves instantly hitting back-to-back dingers each giving the Yankees an early 2-0 lead. This is the first time two players have homered in their first at bats in the same game in MLB history.
Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka blew the lead the next inning giving up a home run to Rays’ Brad Miller, but Starlin Castro had something to say about that tying the game off of a solo home run. The next inning really gave the Yankees some separation. An Aaron Hicks no doubter gave the Yankees a cushioning lead. It was a true game of the long ball, as that was all needed in a 8-4 Yankees victory.
Trying to get their first sweep since June, Luis Severino was matched up against Jake Odorizzi. Same as earlier in the week, Severino couldn’t get anything going, in fact he was demolished. Lasting less than four innings and giving up eight hits and seven runs, the 22-year-old was demoted to Triple-A following the game. One of the few things that went right for the Yankees this game was that Aaron Judge hit his second homerun in just two games. However, the Yankees got destroyed this game and they lost this one by a score of 12-3.
Batter of the Week: Starlin Castro
GM – 6
AVG – .280
R – 3
AB – 25
H – 7
HR – 2
RBI – 7
Pitcher of the Week: Dellin Betances
GM – 3
SV – 2
IP – 3.0
H – 1
BB – 1
SO – 8
ER – 0
The Yankees hope to continue their run for a potential Wild Card spot with a three game series against the first place Toronto Blue Jays. Following after, the team will travel over to Anaheim to take on Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels.
Matchups vs. Toronto
R.A. Dickey (8-12) vs. Chad Green (1-2)
Marco Estrada (7-5) vs. Michael Pineda (6-10)
J.A. Happ (16-3) vs. C.C. Sabathia (7-9)
Matchups at Los Angeles
Masahiro Tanaka (9-4) vs. Jered Weaver (8-10)
Luis Cessa (2-0) vs. Ricky Nolasco (4-9)
TBD – Jhoulys Chacin (3-8)
– The New York Yankee Weekly Report by David Bieber for FingerLakes1.com.