Sunday, July 19, 2015

C.C.'s King For A Day As Tex's Gluten-Free Home Run Gun Clinches Mariners Series

Teixeira and Sabathia.
By Barry Millman

If you couldn't tell things were already leaning the Yankees' way after the clutch two-out game-tying hit from freshly reactivated Carlos Beltran or after their worst pitcher C.C. Sabathia battled King Felix to a one-run six-inning standstill and turned this series finale over to the bullpens, you don't know these Yankees. 

Like I've said all season, this team carries its balls in five-gallon buckets and games up late -- so don't leave early.

Enter Mark Teixeira and his gluten-free home run gun in the eighth inning. Add a third straight 98 mph fastball from the Mariners' scuffling former-closer-demoted-to-setup-guy Fernando Rodney and goodbye Mr. Spalding.

Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller slammed the door the rest of the way to seal the 2-1 rubber game win.

I'm still not quite sure what a gluten is, but I'll be disappointed as hell in Tex if ever goes near another one as long as he's a Yankee. He's already surpassed his home run total from last year and he's on track to play in more games than he has since 2011 since starting this new diet. Here's hoping the Rules Committee doesn't decide to add it to the PED list (Performance Enhancing Diet?) at the winter meetings because, whatever it is, it's done astounding things for his game and overall durability.

Side notes: ...The home run was Tex's 23rd of the year and 11th go-ahead big bang in the 8th inning or later of his career. His last one was an 11th-inning walkoff in Game 2 of the 2009 ALDS vs. the Twins. ...Dellin threw 16 pitches and walked two in the 8th but didn't allow a hit and got credited with the win. ...Andrew rang up his 20th consecutive save in as many chances this season. ...Alex Rodriguez singled in the first inning to reach career hit number 3,023, tying Lou Brock for 23rd on MLB's all-time list. Every time he swings his bat he's making history. Yankee fans are blessed to be witnessing it. 

For the rest of the stats, here's the official box score and
the video highlights in case you missed it.

The Yankees are now four games up on the Orioles who, coincidentally, are the next visitors to the Bronx for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.

Pitching matchups: Tuesday, Eovaldi (9-2, 4.50) vs. Chen (4-5, 2.78); Wednesday, Nova (1-3, 3.42) vs. Gausman (1-1, 5.00); Thursday, Tanaka (6-3, 3.65) vs. Jimenez (7-5, 3.29)

You can email Barry Millman at and follow him on Twitter @nyyankeefanfore.