Clint Frazier took his share of the blame for the Yankees not getting enough clutch hits on Sunday, but he did provide the one big blast they did get. His two-run home run to right-centerfield in the fourth inning added to the strong first impression he has made with his upbeat personality, bat speed and bright red hair.
Frazier’s walk-off home run Saturday was vital to his development, Joe Girardi said, adding, “It’s a huge moment for him to come through in such a big situation, which leads to ‘I can do it at this level, I’ve done it before.’ ” He has three homers in seven major-league games, inspiring an immediate classic signature call from John Sterling (in a distinct Howard Cosell voice): “Downtown goes Frazier!”
With Matt Holliday expected back Friday, what Frazier’s role will be remains uncertain. In any case, he will spend the break at his new home in Buckhead, outside Atlanta, recharging. “I’ll come back and know that there’s work to be done, for me and the team,” he said.
Hicks isn’t close
Aaron Hicks “still is a ways away” from returning, Girardi said. The outfielder, who has an oblique injury, might be able to take batting practice in two weeks . . . Holliday went 1-for-4 for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in a rehab start and is 3-for-8 in two games as he recovers from the Epstein-Barr virus . . . Five Yankees relievers pitched 4 2⁄3 scoreless innings. Most impressive was Chad Green, perfect with four strikeouts in two innings.
Girardi recalls All-Star moment
Girardi’s most memorable All-Star break as a player occurred in 2000, when he was a veteran with the Cubs. He had planned a quiet week at home with his wife and 8-month-old daughter when he received a call from National League executive Katy Feeney asking if he would like to attend the game in Atlanta.
“I said, ‘As a player?’ ” he recalled Sunday. The answer back then was yes because the National League was down a catcher because Mike Piazza was out with the concussion he suffered when he was beaned by Roger Clemens. Within hours, the Girardi family was on a plane.
“It was a huge thrill for me. I had never been to an All-Star Game,” Girardi said. “I got to carry my daughter on the field when we were announced and that was special.”