Yankees win third in a row by routing Indians

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There were no fireworks today.

After Friday’s benches-clearing incident and Saturday’s ejection of Mitch Talbot following an Alex Rodriguez plunking, the Indians and Yankees played a calm one Sunday that again sent the Yankee faithful home happy.

The Bombers broke open a 1-0 game in the fifth, scoring five times on their way to a 9-1 victory.  Freddy Garcia, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings in the second shortest start of his career Tuesday against the Red Sox, pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball for the victory.

The Yankees amassed nine runs despite failing to homer in the contest.  Curtis Granderson, who had homered in three straight games, went 4-for-4 with a double and a sac fly.  Brett Gardner went 3-for-4 with a triple, two doubles and three runs scored.  Alex Rodriguez had three hits and three RBI.

Derek Jeter also had some fun, going 2-for-5 with two RBI.  With four games left on the Yankees’ current homestand, he’s at 2,993 career hits.

The Bombers got to Josh Tomlin, who is fading just like his peripherals said he would.  After starting the season 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA, he’s given up 22 runs over 24 innings in his last four outings.  His ERA stands at 4.14 now and likely will continue to climb.

A.J. Burnett will try to send the Yankees to a four-game sweep when he takes on Carlos Carrasco in the series finale Monday.

The Nats want Trea Turner to attempt 75-80 stolen bases this year

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When it comes to cliche spring training stories, we talk a lot about “Best Shape of His Life.” Sometimes we talk about the “[Pitcher] has been working on a changeup” or “[Hitter] has made an adjustment to his swing” stories too. Then there’s the “we’re really going to focus on fundamentals” quotes managers love to give in February and March. They’re evergreens. 

Another one in that category is the “we’re going to run more” or “we plan to be aggressive on the base paths this year.” You hear that from at least one or two managers every spring. I imagine because, like the fundamentals one, it deals with something over which they have at least some moderate control. It’s a good quote.

We’re hearing it from Nats training camp this year with respect to one particularly speedy player in Trea Turner. From Mark Zuckerman at MASN:

Davey Martinez called Trea Turner into his office this week and told the speedy shortstop he wants him to attempt more stolen bases this season. How many? Let’s just say even the ultra-aggressive Turner was taken aback.

“Yeah, he gave me a number,” Turner said. “And I was like: ‘Wow, all right.’”

Martinez later revealed to assembled reporters that he thinks if Turner “attempts 75-80, we’ll be in great shape.”

Turner led the National League with 43 stolen bases on 52 attempts in 2018. The year before he attempted 54, which was his career high. Only only four players have attempted 80 or more stolen bases in the past ten years, so yes, 75-80 would be quite the escalation.

Which is not to say it’s silly. On a very basic level, yeah, if he is stealing bases more often, even without changing his basic approach, the Nats WILL be in great shape because it’ll likely mean that he’s on base more, and that’s good. If it’s merely a matter of him being more aggressive in the same number of times on base, well, let me know, but I’m not holding my breath.

I guess it’s nice to have goals, though.