Boy did that feel good. After scoring eight runs total in their previous five games, the Yankees broke out for eight runs in the span of two innings Sunday afternoon. The offensive explosion gave New York an 8-1 win and a split of the four-game series in Cleveland. Considering they lost the first two games, I’ll take it. It’s Sunday, so let’s recap this one with bullpen points:
- Cy Sevy: Luis Severino went into Sunday’s start with a 2.98 ERA (2.91 FIP) on the season and he left with a 2.91 ERA (2.91 FIP). He held the Indians to one run on two hits in 6.2 innings. Michael Brantley hit a first inning solo homer and Edwin Encarnacion hit a sixth inning ground ball single back up the middle, ending Severino’s afternoon. He struck out nine and allowed one walk. Domination. Severino is pitching to the best case scenario this year. I would’ve been happy with Jordan Montgomery numbers this season. He’s putting up Corey Kluber numbers.
- The Big Hit Arrives: When a team struggles offensively like the Yankees have struggled the last few days, and they finally get that big hit, it feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off their shoulders. Jacoby Ellsbury provided that big hit Sunday. The Yankees had already tied the game 1-1 in the sixth inning on Chase Headley’s sac fly, and when Ellsbury came to the plate, the bases were loaded with two outs. He jumped all over Carlos Carrasco’s 1-0 fastball and, off the bat, I thought it was gone. It had the sound and the look. It didn’t leave the yard though. Right fielder Abe Almonte went all Bobby Abreu near the wall, allowing Ellsbury’s line drive to clank off the wall for a bases clearing triple. Phew. The Yankees were up 4-1.
- Insurance Runs: Ellsbury’s triple seemed to wake the bats up. Ronald Torreyes got Ellsbury home with a two-out single, the kind of hit the Yankees haven’t been able to get for weeks. One inning later Clint Frazier drew a walk and Didi Gregorius singled to set up Aaron Judge for the line drive opposite field three-run home run. Statcast tells me the ball was 42 feet off the ground at its highest point, which is insane. Just a rocket. Not many players can hit a ball like that. The Judge home run officially broke the game open and gave the Yankees an 8-1 lead.
- Leftovers: Very strong work by the bullpen. Seven up, seven down for Tommy Kahnle, Adam Warren, and Chasen Shreve … the Yankees held the Indians to three baserunners (two hits, one walk) and this was their AL leading fourth game with no more than three baserunners allowed. The Rockies have done it four times too. No other team has done it more than once … every starter had at least one hit except Austin Romine. Three hits for Gregorius and two each for Ellsbury and Torreyes. Judge and the Fraziers each had a hit and a walk.
Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Here’s our Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees have an off-day Monday before beginning a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday night. That game will feature two first initial, middle initial veteran lefties: CC Sabathia and J.A. Happ.