Another night, another Yankees win. This is what I live for. The Yankees faced the only AAA team allowed to play at the major league level, the Baltimore Orioles. They have been a slight pain in the dick for us this season but after trading basically anyone of value the last two weeks, the Orioles are basically a shell of themselves. No more Machado, no more Schoop, no more Britton, no more Gausman. This two game series should just be chalked up as automatic wins. So let’s jump into game one.
The Yankees tossed out Masahiro Tanaka tonight, who has been lights out his last couple of starts. He continued that tonight. He had a shaky first inning throwing 30 pitches but was able to calm himself down and cruise the rest of the night. He finished with 6 IP 8Ks 2 walks and zero runs allowed. If it wasn’t for his pitch count, there is zero doubt this guy could have tossed a complete game shutout. He had it working for him tonight with a bunch of swings and misses. He had it going tonight for sure and he is rounding into form just as he did last season. He also has currently not lost a game in his last 13 starts. Pretty impressive. He has been pitching out of his mind and it’s just in time for the playoff push and to hopefully overtake Boston in the division.
Offensively, the Yankees have been getting by just fine without Judge and Sanchez in the lineup. A lot of small ball mixed in with some timely big time knocks. That trend continued once again tonight. Yankees started off by scoring a run in the first. After Gardner and Gregorius both worked walks in their first at bats of the game, Gleyber Torres came up and ripped a hard grounder up the middle that was able to send Gardner from second to home. 1-0 Yankees. The Yankees tacked on another run in the third inning. Gardner led off with a single and followed it up by stealing second. Stanton hit a hard grounder, 114 mph off the bat, to short which was bobbled and resulted in Stanton being safe at first and Gardner advancing to third. Didi would follow that up with an RBI single that dumped into left field, Gardner would cross the plate for the second time tonight making it 2-0. Yankees seemed like they were on the verge of blowing this game wide open with runners on first and second and no outs. But nothing would come from it, as the Yankees left both men.
The Yankees would finish up their scoring in the fifth. It all started with a ball that ran inside and hit Stanton. Stanton nodded as he trotted to first as if it was a way to calm himself down before murdering a man in the middle of the Bronx. That was followed by another Didi single. Hicks would work a walk to load the bases and bring up Torres. Torres couldn’t get the job done and popped up to second for the first out of the inning. Greg Bird would hit a sac-fly to center scoring Stanton. 3-0 Yankees. Two outs and two runners on. Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs and now only have one run to show for it now. This is starting to seem like another missed opportunity for the Yankees as they continue to struggle with RISP.
That’s up until Miguel Andujar comes up and says fuck your narratives and our struggles with runners on base. He smoked an inside pitch to left field that almost reached the bleachers. A three run Miggy bomb and the Yankees have blown the game open making it 6-0.
I mean is there any doubt that this kid is going to win the AL Rookie of the Year. He has been stellar on the defensive side of the ball, basically stole Brandon Drury’s job right out from under him. He’s a doubles machine and now he’s just smacking homers all over the Bronx. What a stud this kid is.
A.J. Cole would come into pitch the seventh after Tanaka’s night would come to an end. After a 1-2-3 seventh inning things got a tad shaky for Cole. In the eighth inning in ran into some trouble. He let up a lead off single, followed by a walk. All with no outs. Jace Peterson would come up and rope a double to centerfield, a one hopper off the wall, this scored both runners on base, cutting the Yankees lead to 6-2. Cole would then get Adam Jones to ground out. Betances would come in and throw a band-aid on the small amount of damage Cole let up. Peterson would eventually come around to score on a passed ball and an error, cutting the lead to 6-3. A little too close for comfort. Betances would lock in and strike out Chris Davis and Trey Mancini to end the inning and the potential threat of the O’s coming back. Chapman would come out for the save in the ninth inning and once again have a lights out performance. He struck out the side on 13 pitches. Safe to say Chapman is back to being that dominant lefty arm out of the bullpen. He earned his 29th save of the season and solidified the Yankees third win a row but what made this win even sweeter is that Boston lost to the Phillies tonight. Which allowed the Yankees to gain some ground in the division race. Their win and the Boston loss now leaves the Yankees 5 games back for the lead in the division. With the two set to face off for a four game series starting Thursday and the Red Sox without Chris Sale, the Yankees leave themselves in a position to cut the gap significantly all without Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in the lineup. They just have to keep pushing and keep winning games like this tonight. Let’s go Yankees!!!