It had everything: Home runs, rally-killing double plays, a hit batter, a bench clearing, a paranoid relief pitcher, and a very amused Yankees team. A Yankee team that won by a score of 9-5, giving them a chance to go for the Subway Series win tonight at the Stadium.
For years I pined for the return of sizzle to this annual event, whose novelty wore off long ago. I thought we'd never see it again. But thanks to Steven Matz and Hansel Robles, and to Mark Teixeira's reaction to them both, the series became the entertaining spectacle MLB's powers-that-be probably envisioned for it when it began 19 years ago.
Lots of positives for the Yankees in this one:
1. Luis Severino returned to his 2015 dominance- 4.1IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 5SO
2. Chase Headley contributed- 1-3, 2 RBI
3. Aaron Hicks has been swinging the bat better lately. Last night- 1-4
4. Mark Teixeira- 1-1, 3RBI (3-run HR) and that all-important HBP
5. Rob Refsnyder- 2-4, RBI (sac fly)
6. Gary Sanchez- 1-4 (first MLB hit)
The best thing about the night was the combined contribution from the kids (and when I say kids, I'm including Aaron Hicks. Hopefully, what we've seen from him in this series can be built on).
As for Mark Teixeira, his home run was an opposite field job. He has been going the other way throughout the Subway Series. Why now, at the end of his Yankee career? Is he afraid of being released during these last two months? Whatever. I just hope he keeps doing it. Oh, and his reaction to being hit? Perfectly understandable, what with all the injuries he has suffered over the last few years.
It will be Nathan Eovaldi against Bartolo Colon in the series finale tonight. The big question as we approach the game will be whether or not Alex Rodriguez, who has out-of-this-world numbers against Bart, will be in the lineup. If he isn't, the writing on the wall will only get clearer. We shall see.