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Winning amidst farewells: Yankees vs. Indians series recap

On a day when Mark Teixeira announced his retirement at the end of the 2016 season, the Yankees welcomed the Cleveland Indians to Yankee Stadium for a three game set.  The transition to the next generation of Yankees is in full force and certainly not completed at this time.  It has been an unusual season thus far.  Hopefully, the team can play solid and still be somewhat competitive during this transitional time.  However, the sight of younger and fresh players is a sight for sore eyes and everyone is watching with great anticipation.

Offensive breakout

Michael Pineda got the start in the series opener on Friday night and pretty much had one of his typical starts for 2016.  He looked solid through the first four innings, but ran into a bit of trouble in the fifth.  With runners on second and third and two outs, an opportunity was lost to get out of the inning with a hanging slider.  Chris Gimenez put it in the left field seats for a three-run home run.  Such has been the norm for Pineda with two outs this season.  His final line would be 6 IP, 6 hits and 4 runs, with 6 strikeouts.

The offense would more than put up enough runs on Friday, scoring early and often.  They had a 6-0 lead in the third, thanks in large part to Starlin Castro‘s grand slam.  After the Gimenez home run cut the lead in half, the Yankees tacked on runs in every inning the rest of the way.  Every player in the starting lineup collected at least one hit with Jacoby Ellsbury leading the way with four.  The Yankees put up 13 runs on 16 hits and 8 walks.  Outstanding numbers for this club.

Yankees get Kluber-ed

So, with the Yankee offense breaking out on Friday night and with the recent trend towards putting up a clunker of a game after playing well the previous day, did anyone expect a win on Saturday?  The offense jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings and the thought was that maybe the offensive output could continue.  The runs came courtesy of a Gary Sanchez RBI double and a wild pitch.  Unfortunately, that was about all they would get off of Corey Kluber.  He would go 8 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 8.

C.C. Sabathia would get the start for the Yankees and while he didn’t have his best stuff, he did keep the team in the game.   The biggest damage against Sabathia was a pair of solo home runs, the second of which gave the Indians a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning.  The big left-hander would go 5.2 innings with 6 hits and 4 walks.  The bullpen would cough up a pair runs over the final 3.2 innings as the Indians would win the middle game 5-2.

This team has had no real identity this season.  The only consistency has been inconsistency.  Masahiro Tanaka will try to get things back on track Sunday as the Yankees look for a series win against the Indians.

Another series W

After Alex Rodriguez would be the second player to announce his retirement plans in the past three days, Tanaka would indeed give the Yankees a bit of a bounceback start after coughing up a career high of seven runs in his previous start.  His line of 6 IP, 6 hits, 1 run, and 6 strikeouts would be good enough to earn him his eighth win of the season.  After pitching around trouble in the third and fourth innings, the Indians would tally a run in the seventh as Adam Warren would allow an inherited runner to score.  Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances would manage to close things out, although Clippard was charged with an unearned run.

The offense would do just enough against Carlos Carrasco to get the win on Sunday.  They would score right away in the first as Brett Gardner would triple and come home on Jacoby Ellsbury’s sacrifice fly.  Didi would crank one to the short porch in right field in the fourth for a 2-0 lead and a Teixeira double in the fifth would give the Bombers their third and final run of the contest.  The Yankees made the most of their five hits on the day and in spite of seeming asleep at the wheel defensively with three errors, managed to pull out a 3-2 win.

It was another win after a loss for the Yankees, but they have managed to win 5 out of 7 against the first place Indians in the past few weeks.  After an off day on Monday, they will hit the road for a short three game set with the Red Sox.