Call it another mental health outing.
Lost in the madness that transpired from the brawl Thursday in Detroit was Tommy Kahnle striking out three batters before unleashing a pitch behind Miguel Cabrera. That one pitch is what the average fan will recall.
But it was a good outing for Kahnle, who had been struggling for the Yankees. And though he allowed one inherited runner to score Saturday, he recorded his second straight solid effort.
“I’ve been struggling the last two weeks trying to find command back with my fastball. Over the last two outings I feel I started to get it back,” said Kahnle, who pitched one inning, giving up one hit, in the Yankees’ 6-3 win over Seattle at the Stadium.
And Kahnle was good in Detroit. Even if most won’t remember.
“I came in with the three strikeouts. But that day I was commanding my fastball much better than I had been the previous weeks,” said Kahnle who said it was “exactly” what his frame of mind needed.
“He’s been ahead in the count. I think it’s important for him so he can use his really good changeup and he can make guys chase. So I think that’s been the big thing,” manager Joe Girardi said.
When the Yankees acquired third baseman Todd Frazier from the White Sox, Chase Headley frequently shifted corners and got time at first base with Greg Bird on the disabled list. Now Bird is back. So what’s up with Headley?
“He’s going to DH some, he’s going to play first some, he’s going to play third some,” manager Joe Girardi said of Headley, who started at third Saturday. “I’ve already talked to him and he’s just going to move around a little bit more now.”
But nothing is etched in stone with the three-headed formation that will cover first, third and DH — except production equals playing time.
“It’s important to keep everyone fresh,” Girardi said. “It’s important to see how guys are doing. Let’s not forget we’re in the business of performance and you have to perform to play so we’ll make decisions day by day.”
Headley, who went 0-for-1 with a sacrifice bunt and two walks, made just his second start at third base since July 19.
A couple of public service announcements: the Yankees’ game with Boston next Sunday, Sept. 3, an ESPN game is a 7:35 p.m. start. The following day, Labor Day, Sept. 4, in Baltimore is now a 2:05 game. The schedule originally showed it as a 1:35 p.m. start.
Girardi said there was nothing new on the appeals planned by catchers Gary Sanchez (four games) and Austin Romine (two games) against their suspensions imposed by Major League Baseball for their involvements in the brawl with the Tigers.
Brett Gardner was 3-for-4, his fifth multiple hit game in his last eight. … Dellin Betances, who converted his fourth straight save, has an 0.64 ERA in 14 games since July 27.
Aroldis Chapman, Friday’s loser, continues to insist he is going through a bad stretch and there is nothing mechanically wrong. One theory is that Chapman’s 100-mph ability simply doesn’t intimidate as it once did because others can amp it up to triple digits as well. But whatever notion you adhere to, Girardi said he believes it all comes down to location, location, location.
“When you sit and watch tape and try and analyze, a lot of times you won’t see there’s a whole lot different. And a lot of times, it comes down to location, and being able to execute pitches; and I think that has been the issue as much as anything,” Girardi said. “To me it’s more about executing the pitch.”
“I think intimidation is one thing, but also not seeing it on a daily basis is another,” Girardi said. “But I think the hitters are more accustomed to it than they were. That’s why I say it comes down to executing pitches, the location of your pitches, as much as anything. As far as mechanical things, there’s really not a whole lot different. But players are used to it.”