Great game. Would watch again – especially that Aaron Judge home run. (Or both. Honestly, both.) I honestly do not think there could be a more glorious regular season win than this. It seemed that the pitching management was the main story prior to this game but nah, the bats decided to explode. It’s the Sunday so let’s do it bullet-point style.
- First inning outburst: 12 pitches in, the Yankees already had five runs. The hitters anticipated fastballs from Kevin Gausman and took aggressive hacks early in the count. Brett Gardner led off the bottom of the first with a single, Aaron Hicks flied out, Judge hit a single and sent Gardner to third. Matt Holliday walked to load the bases and Starlin Castro followed it up with a 2-run single to give Yankees their first runs. Gary Sanchez, in an 0-1 count, got a 96 mph fastball right over the plate and punished it ruthlessly for a 450-feet, 3-run bomb. Again, all those things happened in 12 pitches! Talk about going from 0 to 100 real quick.
- Allowing doubles after doubles: Chad Green had a nice first couple of innings, striking out three and allowing only one baserunner (a walk). However, he was working on a 60-pitch limit so wasn’t really expected to go deep into the game. Lo and behold, after giving up two doubles (and a run) in a row to start the third, Joe Girardi sub’d him out at 53 pitches. Chasen Shreve, relieving Green, basically the same thing with his first two hitters by giving up back-to-back doubles to Seth Smith and Jonathan Schoop, making it a 5-3 game. All of a sudden, that 5-0 early outburst seemed like a distant memory. However, Shreve induced a groundout from Adam Jones and struck out Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo to get out of the inning. Yankees would not allow any more runs for the rest of the game.
- Power explosion: The Yankees scored two more on a Holliday 2-RBI single on the fourth, making it 7-3. You’d think that *might* be a good enough lead to hold for the rest of the game, but the bats are always hankerin’ for more runs. Heading into the bottom of the sixth, the score was still at 7-3… until Judge came up to bat. He got a 85 mph changeup in a 1-1 count up in the zone… and absolutely demolished it. The ball cleared the left field bleachers. Statcast measured it at 495 feet while ESPN got it at 496. Either way, it was an incredible, ridiculous display of Judge’s prodigious power. That was his 20th home run of the year and boy, he did it in a style. Don’t let the distance distract you from the fact that he hit it at 118.6 mph exit velo, which is also ridiculously high. Anyways, right after that insane HR, Holliday reached on an error by Schoop and Castro followed it up with his third home run in as many days to make it 10-3. Flash forward to bottom of the seventh, the O’s had their prospect Jimmy Yacabonis make an ML debut and boy, the Yankees gave him a rude welcome. After Ronald Torreyes and Gardner walked, Hicks hit a bullet to deep right center for a 2-RBI double. Judge, while most people in the venue were still in awe of his previous home run, followed it up by sending a laser into the right field seats for a 2-run HR, making it 14-3 Yankees. At this point, I am running out of darn words to express what Judge is doing to the Major League pitching. I’ll throw you some numbers: he’s hitting .344/.450/.718 with 21 HR’s this season (207 wRC+) with 3.9 fWAR… and it’s not even mid-June! I am enjoying this ride as much as possible. We are witnessing something special right now in 2017.
- The debut: Not to be buried by all the home runs, one of the top arms of the system – RHP Domingo German – made his ML debut today. He came to the Yankees in the deal that sent Nathan Eovaldi to the New York. German had to undergo a Tommy John surgery not long after the trade and went through AA and AAA this season before earning the call to the Bronx. He is known for his live arm and he brought it. Brooks Baseball had his four-seamer averaging 96.5 mph while topping out at 99.0. He tossed 2.2 scoreless innings while allowing two hits, a walk and striking out a hitter. I’ll gladly take it.
- Leftovers: Prior to German, Jonathan Holder and Adam Warren pitched 3.1 IP scoreless innings combined to keep the Yankee lead at 5-3 (to 7-3 and 10-3). Didi Gregorius and Chris Carter each had two hits. Didi, by the way, is hitting .327/.348/.500 after today. Sure, that OBP might be a little low for how much he’s hitting but look at that slugging percentage. How many of you thought he could touch a .500 SLG% when they first traded for him?
Here’s the box score, standings and video highlights. The Yankees head to Anaheim for the beginning of the West Coast trip. They’ll have Masahiro Tanaka on the mound against Alex Meyer tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, folks.