On March 30th, I drafted an article about a pitcher named Bryan Mitchell. He was having a dominant Spring Training after a rough 2015, punctuated by a disabled list stint after being struck by a comebacker in the face, and was on his way to having a prominent role in the Yankees bullpen or rotation. I, like many others, had high hopes for Mitchell and his contributions to the team.
Then, the next day, Mitchell landed awkwardly while covering first base and broke a bone in his foot. He would be out indefinitely, and Joe Girardi didn’t sound optimistic about his chances of reaching the big leagues this season. I thought my article was rendered obsolete, and Mitchell’s 2016 season would be a lost one.
Over five months later, on Wednesday night, Mitchell toed the rubber at Yankees Stadium for the first time since 2015…and proceeded to throw five innings of shutout baseball. Mitchell allowed just six baserunners, and was efficient with 80 pitches. He did everything the Yankees could have asked of him, and, along with a three inning relief outing from the new fireman, Luis Severino, carried the Yankees to a huge 2-0 win.
The Yankees have reached the point in the season where every game is considered ‘must-win,’ and every win is considered the ‘most important win of the season,’ but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. The Yankees, against all odds, managed to sweep the first place Blue Jays, and are now just 4 games out of first place and 2.5 games out of the Wild Card. The gutsy performances by Mitchell and Severino were two of the biggest outings of this season, and Starlin Castro’s home run (as well as Brian McCann’s RBI single) were massive contributions that will allow the Yankees to continue on one of the most unexpected and remarkable runs in baseball.
The Play: Starlin Castro gets to 20 home runs (+.124)
Starlin Castro, with the help of Mr. Gary Sanchez, has carried the Yankees over the past month. He continued to do so on Wednesday by putting the Yankees up 1-0 in the third inning with his 20th home run of the season.
Yankees: Starlin Castro (1-4, HR, R, RBI, K)
Blue Jays: Troy Tulowitzki (2-4, 2B)
The Highlight: Brian McCann drives in a run
Well, it wasn’t the biggest play ever, but in a 2-0 shutout, there’s not much else to show. It was a clean game, and there’s nothing wrong with that. McCann’s had a rough season, but that was his 53rd RBI of the year and he’s delivered a couple big hits recently.
The Yankees get to stay home, playing the Tampa Bay Rays in a four-game series stretching from Thursday to Sunday. It will begin with CC Sabathia (4.20 ERA) taking on Alex Cobb (3.60 ERA).
Source: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports