The Yanks first game in Minnesota did not quite go to plan. Sure Mitchell looked good enough to get the job done but he was shaky and didn’t really look like a starting pitcher out there. The fact he managed to keep the Twins down to two runs is something that really must be applauded. It was nothing short of heroic given how hittable he looked throughout the game.
Let’s not kid ourselves though. This was not a good game for the Yankees. From that moment in the bottom of the second when the Rosario doubled to deep centre field and batted in Vargas for the first run off Mitchell, the Yankees really seemed to slip out of contention for this game.
But the Yankees are not a team that will give up and to be fair to them they really battled hard to keep in the game and by the time Headley was batted in by Cooper (who really looked good out and seems to be a clever grab by Cashman) in the top of the seventh the Yanks had brought the game within reach. In fact, they had really put the pressure on the Twins in the top of the eighth inning when Judge was intentionally walked. But Holliday and Didi both killed off the momentum of that inning with Holliday grounding out into a double play and Didi doing something really weird and bunting with two out. I mean who does that? And then lays down a really bad bunt that gives neither himself a shot at getting on base, or Frasier who was on third a shot at getting home.
Then Caleb Smith, a rookie the Yankees called up to be in the pen following the marathon in Boston, who looked good for a first start in the Majors during his first two innings, seemed to fall apart in the bottom of the eighth and gave up two runs. Joe explained that he was hoping to pull Smith for the eighth if the Yankees had scored a run to take the lead, but so depleted was the pen after the weekend that he thought he would just ride it out and let Smith pitch the eighth hoping that he would hold the score for the last inning. But it was not to be. Such ideas make sense only if they have the players to put them into action and this game always looked like one the Yankees were going to find difficult to win.
Tonight’s game sees Cessa go up against Colon in what will be an interesting match up and for most fans it is always great to see a guy like Bartolo Colon playing even still in his 40s, the last remaining player from the Expos still out there doing his thing. But the Twins are tipped to win this with a win probability at 52%. Judge is set to rest this one out which will be good, but the Yankees have got to bat well and get some runs on the board and Cessa who has not looked sharp will need them to do that because the pressure is on his shoulders to do well and if he can keep the runs down low and even half as good a job as Bryan Mitchell did yesterday he will have done well. It looks like a bit of a slog for the Yankees to win this one without the bats doing the job. I hope they can wake them up tonight.