LADY AT THE BAT: Key Moments Help Yankees Win Close Game At Fenway

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Key Moments Help Yankees Win Close Game At Fenway

The Yankees 3-1 win in last night’s game against the Boston Red Sox contained a lot of promising elements, particularly for a team with playoff aspirations. While it’s great advice to not look too far ahead, it's still nice to see the Yankees win a close game that featured:
  • Timely hitting (Stephen Drew with a 2-run double and solo blast from Brett Gardner)
  • Solid defense (Chase Headley snagging a liner down the 3B line with a RISP) 
  • Effective pitching (6 IP from starter Michael Pineda and three scoreless innings from the bullpen
  • A little bit of luck (Mookie Betts was called out on a double steal in the bottom of the 8th inning but replays seem to show he should have been called safe.)
As much fun as it is when the Yankees put up double digit runs, games like that tend to be rarer as the calendar turns to September. Between the cooler weather, expanded rosters and managers trying to out-maneuver each other as they try to make the playoffs, offense tends to slow down.

Despite the weekend shellacking of the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees offense is clearly not at full strength. Between Mark Teixeira being sidelined with what has to be the worst bone bruise in the history of the game, the fact that Greg Bird is going through some expected rookie struggles with the bat and Jacoby Ellsbury is still trying to find his groove, means it's important that the Yankees find ways to win these close games. Odds are that they’ll be in their fair share of them.

After letting their division lead slip away in August, the Yankees are now in the position of watching their rivals win (or hopefully lose) in the clubhouse after the game and hoping for the best. As Joe Girardi would say, “It’s not what you want," but if the Yankees can improve on their 21-21 record in one-run games by winning these types of games, they will be where they want to be in the end.

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