Yankees power their way to a 7-0 win at Toronto

Good game. Would watch over and over. Jordan Montgomery had one of his best ML starts and the bats hit nothing but extra-base hits to rout the Blue Jays. The Yankees now stand at 32-21 with a .604 winning percentage.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Good Gumby

This is probably the best we’ve seen of Jordan Montgomery in his young career. He went 6 innings, allowed no runs, only 3 hits and struck out 5. Well, he also walked 3 but none of them ended up haunting the Yankees.

For what it’s worth, here is his pitch chart for the day:

bandicam-2017-06-04-05-12-53-007

What I see here is a lot of pitches towards the different edges of the strike zone (besides the up-and-in vs. RHB’s), which is good. Montgomery is not a guy who can overpower hitters by just throwing fastballs in the zone. It’s fun to watch him when he can locate with different pitches and fool hitters. Speaking of which, his curveball was absolutely working today. Per Brooks Baseball, batters whiffed on his curve 7 times, which may not sound like a lot but it’s good for a 29.2% rate. He’s not really a guy who gets swing-and-misses with his fastball (only 2 from today) so secondary pitches working like that is vital.

After today’s game, Montgomery’s ERA dropped to 3.67. His 3.54 FIP suggests that his peripherals reflect well on his basic stats. He’s been striking out close to a hitter per inning (8.47 K/9 IP) while limiting hits (50 allowed in 56.1 IP) and home runs (0.80 HR/9 IP). It’s really hard to ask more from a rookie starter. Montgomery is here to stay for awhile.

(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
(Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

All the extra base hits!

The Aarons hit a pair of RBI doubles to give Joe Biagini a pair of unearned runs in the third inning. Rob Refsnyder reached on base with a Troy Tulowitzki error and stole second. He moved to third on a long fly out off Brett Gardner‘s bat. With two outs and runner on third, Aaron Hicks hit a bloop double dropped perfectly between the second baseman and right fielder (a hit probability of 9%). Aaron Judge, however, hit an absolute bullet double 116.2 mph off the bat to make it 2-0 Yankees. It was hit so hard that it deflected off of Kevin “Superman” Pillar’s glove. It seemed like he might have been able to make a Sportscenter-worthy jump catch but he just couldn’t come down with it.

The Yankees scored another run in the seventh thanks to doubles. Starlin Castro led off the inning with a bloop double to left. Didi Gregorius, not to be outdone, followed it up with another bloop double to left to drive Castro in, 3-0 Yankees. It was not left fielder Darwin Barney’s finest defensive inning. At that point, the Yankees had four base hits and all of them were doubles.

But wait, the fun was just starting. In the top of the eighth inning, the Jays brought in Jason Grilli to relieve Joe Biagini. Gardner led off the inning with his 12th HR of the year. That was also his 12th homer in the past 124 at-bats, which is mind-boggling. The calendar just barely flipped to June and the man’s way ahead on pace to shatter his career-high (17 in 2014). He’s also hitting .270/.356/.524 after today. Not a slash that you’d expect from Gardner. That’s awfully similar to Edwin Encarnacion’s from last year (.263/.357/.529). I have no idea how long Gardy will keep it up but I’m enjoying it.

Grilli went on to retire Hicks (line out) and Judge (strike out) … then all heck broke loose. Matt Holliday, Castro and Gregorius hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to make it 7-0 in a hurry. So many home runs! That was immensely fun to watch. Holliday jogging back to the dugout, yelling “I got you Gardy!” was a crowd pleaser as well. These guys are winning and having fun. What more could you want? On the flip side, Grilli became just the third reliever ever to allow four home runs in no more than 0.2 IP, per Diane Firstman.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Leftovers

Many things went right for the Yankees in this game and one of them was bullpen. Adam Warren, Tyler Clippard, and Dellin Betances worked quite flawlessly (3.0 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 4 K’s combined) in a relatively stress-free ending to a game. Today was Betances’ first appearance since May 27 vs. the Athletics. It was not a save situation but I figured that Joe Girardi wanted to put him in for some work so he can stay sharp. Betances has been as good as any reliever this season – 33 strikeouts in 18.1 IP with only 1 ER allowed all season. Folks, he is… good.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s today’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees have secured at least a split in this series. They will go for the series win tomorrow with Luis Severino on the mound. He will face off Marcus Stroman. Should be a good matchup. Have a good Saturday, everyone.

Tanaka gets knocked around again as the Yankees fall 10-4 to the O’s

The Yankees, facing an Orioles team that had lost seven in a row prior to the series, yet again failed to win a series at the Camden Yards. The last time they won one in Baltimore was September 9 to 12 in 2013 (!!). That was the year Aaron Judge was drafted. Bad pitching and bad hitting with runners on base did it for the Yankees tonight. Let’s just recap it and forget.

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Tanaka, you okay?

It’s not great when a guy who was entrusted to be your ace prior to the season has allowed 22 ER in the past 4 starts. That is including the 13-K outing versus the Athletics last week.

Slumps happen but what Masahiro Tanaka is going through seems more dire. Tonight, he allowed 9 hits (5 XBH’s) and 7 ER in 5.1 IP to take the loss and balloon his ERA up to 6.34. As the amount of extra base hits may suggest, he wasn’t giving up just cheapie hits either. He allowed 9 batted balls with an exit velocity over 100 mph, which is bad.

The most damage was done in the third and fourth innings. With one out, Tanaka allowed two straight singles to J.J. Hardy and Seth Smith. Adam Jones followed it up with a deep double to center to bring in Hardy, 1-0 O’s. After Manny Machado struck out swinging, Mark Trumbo hit a laser into the right that had more carry than Aaron Judge was expecting. The liner sailed over the right fielder’s head and two more runs scored. Chris Davis added another run for Baltimore with an RBI single, 4-0 O’s. This could’ve been a much different game had Judge read the line drive better (which is not an easy to do, especially when it’s hit pretty hard) but at the same time, Tanaka wasn’t doing himself any favors.

Tanaka allowed more damage in the fourth. With two easy outs, Hardy doubled and Smith walked to bring Jones up to the plate. Jones hit the first pitch – a fastball right down the middle – over the left center fence for a three-run home run. 7-1 Orioles. It is … not what you want. This is some 2016 Michael Pineda shtick, allowing hard hits and runs after getting two outs. Frustrating.

It is a no-brainer to say this but as long as Yankees don’t send him to a 10-day DL, Tanaka will stay in the rotation and the front office hopes that he figures something out. A lot has to do with his command. Looking at his pitch chart, he threw a good amount towards the middle height of the strike zone and, boy, Orioles hitters didn’t let too many of them go.

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As the month of May closes, Tanaka has a 6.34 ERA/5.17 FIP in 61.0 IP. That is quite unexpected. He’s shown two brilliant starts in that stretch (the CGSHO vs. Red Sox, the 13-K game vs. the A’s) that illustrated what he’s capable of when he’s not in the funk but man, it is disheartening to see him like this.

Left on base

Everyone in the lineup besides Chase Headley had at least a base hit tonight. The Yankees had 11 hits and 5 walks, which seem to be a recipe for a good scoring game from the bats, right? However, they also managed to go 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base, including not cashing in in two bases-loaded opportunities (first and fifth innings). The 1st inning is the one that hurts the most. Brett Gardner led off the game with a single and Aaron Hicks erased it all by grounding into a double play. However, the Yankees got three straight baserunners on to load’em up and Headley grounded to second to end the inning. Had the Yankees taken advantage of getting four baserunners on that inning, we could be talking about a different game here.

But it was not an entirely lost night for the bats. They did score four runs. Judge went 2-for-4 with a walk and hit two lasers for base hits (112.1 mph double and 117.1 mph single). Rob Refsnyder got the first two hits of the season, Starlin Castro had a two-hit game and the first three hitters of the order (Gardner, Hicks and Matt Holliday) each had a base hit. Stinks that they couldn’t cash in with runners on scoring position though. Even with the pitching troubles, if they had two or three big hits with RISP, it would’ve been a closer and much more entertaining game.

(Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Leftovers

Giovanny Gallegos, who was called up again today, did not particularly impress, allowing 3 ER in 1.2 relief IP. He did throw 25 strikes in 32 pitches but the O’s hitters weren’t getting fooled much. Gallegos can strike hitters out (15.50 K/9IP in AAA this year) but he’s also been crushed to a 16.20 ERA in a brief ML career so far. I’d imagine they’ll keep him giving chances in long relief situations though.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will travel up north for a four-game series in Toronto, who just got two of their big bats – Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki – back into their lineup. This could get very fun.

Big flies and Big Mike lead Yankees to a 4-2 win over Royals

A two-game winning streak! It was a relatively stress-free win over the Royals on Monday. Good starting pitching, good hitting and good bullpen generally equal in a win and that’s pretty much what happened tonight.

(Elsa/Getty Images)
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Big Mike!

Tonight’s Michael Pineda was good, not perfect, but again, good. I’ll take a start like that any day. He got the obligatory HR out of the way in the third inning when he allowed one against Jorge Bonifacio on this meatball pitch.

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Fastball right down the middle of the plate. Don’t need Statcast to tell you how bad a pitch that was. Pineda allowed another run in that inning. Whit Merrifield reached on an infield single and Alcides Escobar followed it up with an RBI double right down the left field line to make it 2-0 Royals. That was all the damage Pineda allowed tonight. From the third inning and on, he had at least one baserunner every frame but he got out of it on the fourth, fifth and sixth innings unscathed.

One of the reasons why Pineda was able to limit the damage was because of the whiffs. He struck out six total and generated a 34.9% whiff rate on his slider (15 total in 43 pitches). He also got 9 whiffs with his changeup (out of 14 thrown), which is also a pretty good sign. He’ll give up hard-hit balls once in awhile but he can make hitters look quite foolish. That’s the polarity of the Michael Pineda.

His final line: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. His season ERA is down to 3.35. An interesting thing is that he’s allowed HR’s in a higher clip this year (1.84 HR/9 IP) than last year (1.38 HR/9 IP), yet he’s having a much better season. 23.4% of the fly balls he’s induced have turned into home runs (a bit less than one out of four), which is concerning. We’ll see if that number goes down or stays that way during the season though.

The home runs!

All four of the Yankee runs scored on home runs. I like. They did not hit Jason Vargas as hard as the last time they faced him (6 ER in 4 IP), but the damage was good enough to take a victory.

Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Brett Gardner got the scoring started with a solo home run off Vargas. That is his 9th home run in the previous 92 plate appearances, which is good for a 9.78 % rate. Quite crazy to think that he’s hitting home runs lately with the same frequency as, let’s say, 1927 Babe Ruth. He’s also hitting .281/.373/.527 this season, which is great. For reference, Yoenis Cespedes hit .280/.354/540 last year. Gardy’s line is probably not sustainable but boy, it’s fun to see him hit all the dingers.

(Elsa/Getty Images)
(Elsa/Getty Images)

The Yankees cashed in two more in the fourth. With Aaron Judge on second, Didi Gregorius hit a home run into the right field seats to make it 3-2 Yankees. Dude showed promise with how good he could hit back in the Spring Training and the World Baseball Classic, and he’s not lost a beat. The shortstop is hitting .333/.365/.444 after today (121 wRC+). I’ll take that from him all season.

New York got an insurance run in the eighth with a Chris Carter solo home run off Seth Maness. Carter is having a very bad season (.209/.296/.360), but at least he has a respectable .151 ISO, which is still not his normal level but hey, it’s something. That home run gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead, which they’d hold on for good.

Leftovers

Adam Warren, the new seventh-inning guy, came in to relieve Pineda with one out and runner on first. He struck out Merrifield but threw a wild pitch to let Jorge Soler go to the second base. With two outs, Escobar hit a grounder towards the middle. Starlin Castro caught it and threw it to first but the runner was ruled safe. In the meantime, Soler ran towards home to score a tying run. Well, it was the tying run until the Yankees decided to challenge the call at first. It seemed like a very, very close play but the umpires made the decision to overturn it relatively quickly. The run was cancelled and Yankees held a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Tyler Clippard threw a perfect 1-2-3 eighth and Dellin Betances held the Royals scoreless after allowing a leadoff single for his third save of the year. We all know that Clippard is a capable late-inning reliever but he’s having a great 2017 so far: 1.37 ERA/2.83 FIP is a number you’d expect from a top-flight set-up man or a closer. With Aroldis Chapman on the shelf, it’s been pretty vital that Clippard steps up, and he has. Dellin? He’s at 0.61 ERA/1.33 FIP with a 15.95 K/9 PI rate. Just destroying the competition right there.

Box score, standings and WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The YES broadcasters were having fun with win probability towards the end. Michael Kay ended the game with a “Strike three, win probability 100 percent!” call.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will play the Royals again tomorrow at YS3. It’ll be a repeat of the Danny Duffy – Jordan Montgomery matchup from this past Thursday.

Yankees let one slip, lose to the Rays 5-4

This was very much a winnable game. Just annoying that the stars didn’t align and Yankees missed out late in the game. There are a lot of “what ifs” in the game of baseball and, boy, there were too many of those in this game. Yankees are now 24-15, and in a bit of a 4-6 funk the last 10 games.

(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Take a 2-1 lead

The Yankees and Rays traded runs in the first. With one out, Jacoby Ellsbury singled and Matt Holliday doubled to put the runners in scoring position pretty quick into the game. starlin Castro followed it up with an RBI ground out to give New York a 1-0 lead. Aaron Judge singled to keep the pressure on Erasmo Ramirez, but Didi Gregorius struck out to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Luis Severino labored through the first. He faced six hitters and allowed a run on Logan Morrison RBI double. Not only was the strike zone was a little stingy, but also Severino himself was a bit off. Had that continued all night, it would have been a different game overall, but Severino found his groove starting in the second inning — he pitched four scoreless rest of the outing while striking out seven.

Acting manager Rob Thomson pulled Severino out after the fifth inning at 89 pitches … which was a curious decision. Severino went over 100 pitches five times this season prior to tonight. I feel like he could have at least gotten an out or two in the sixth. Anyways, I liked what I saw from him. It was a typical good Sevvy night — 11 whiffs from his slider (23.9% rate) and topping out at 99.9 mph per Brooks Baseball.

Losing It

After Severino finished, Jonathan Holder came into relief in the sixth. He struck out the first two hitters on six pitches, allowed a double to Daniel Robertson, but induced a ground out from Derek Norris to get out of the inning. An underrated part of 2017 so far has been Jonathan Holder quietly becoming a bullpen fixture. You can never have enough of good bullpen arms. However, that was the only bright spot for the ‘pen tonight.

Adam Warren came into the seventh and all hell broke loose. Here are the sequence of events that turned a 2-1 Yankees lead into a 4-2 Rays advantage:

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Few notes here: the first three singles were a bit annoying because they were all grounders that could’ve been caught if the infielders were positioned a little differently. But that’s the way the baseball goes. The most annoying moment of the inning, though, by far, was the Chasen Shreve vs. Rickie Weeks matchup. Shreve nicked the inside corner of the strike zone on a 2-2 count and the HP umpire Quinn Wolcott did not ring Weeks up. That was a borderline pitch that could’ve gone either way, and we are talking a whole different game if the inning ended here. On the next pitch, Weeks hit a tricky-hop grounder that Ronald Torreyes couldn’t handle and resulted in a double. One of those games. Would Chase Headley have handled it? I don’t know.

But fear not, the Yankees have the Fighting Spirit. Brett  Gardner reached the base with a walk and Matt Holliday hit a 2-run homer to tie the game up 4-4 in the eighth. The Yankees tried to keep the rally going with a Castro single right after. However, Judge grounded into a double play to end the inning.

(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

…. and they gave the lead right back. Tyler Clippard came into the bottom of the eighth to try to keep the game tied. He got Robertson strike out swinging, walked Norris, struck out Corey Dickerson, and walked Kevin Kiermaier to set up the inevitable Evan Longoria-the-hero moment for the Rays. If you’re familiar with how the Yankees fared against the Rays for the last several years, this was a deja-vu moment – Longoria hit a changeup into the left field for an RBI single and Tampa Bay took a 5-4 lead. I would’ve preferred Thomson bringing in Dellin Betances to face Longoria but Clippard is a pretty good pitcher himself. Hindsight is 20/20 but I was not complaining much about Thomson giving Clippard a chance to close the inning out.

Top of the ninth, with one of the best closers of the league pitching, Thomson let Chris Carter and Austin Romine try their luck and sat Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks sit on the bench. Brutal. The inning went as well as I had guessed and the Rays won 5-4.

Leftovers

Not often you see the Yankees lose when the top four hitters in the lineup reach on base twice or more each. Gardner, Ellsbury, Holliday, and Castro went 7-for-14 with 2 walks combined. The bottom part of the lineup went silent though. Gregorius, Carter, Romine, and Torreyes went 0-for-14 combined and that wasn’t enough for the Yankees tonight, at all.

Box score, standings and WPA Graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. 


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees are back at it again at the Trop tomorrow. Masahiro Tanaka will face Matt Andriese. Is this the start that Tanaka finally turns it around? We’ll see.

Yankees avoid a shutout, but lose to the Royals 5-1

After two easy wins to start off the series, the Royals returned the favor by beating the Yankees 5-1. Eh, I’ll still take a series win. The Yankees are still in the first place with a 24-14 record with a 1.5-game lead over the Orioles.

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Falling behind

The scoring started for the Royals in the second inning. With one out and two runners on base, Jordan Montgomery generated a grounder to third. Timing-wise, it should have been an easy double play. However, Starlin Castro‘s throw to Chris Carter bounced in front of the first baseman and Carter couldn’t handle it. Instead of ending the inning, the Royals followed it up by taking a 1-0 lead with a Whit Merrifield RBI single. Drew Butera followed it up with another RBI single to make it 2-0 Kansas City.

The Royals did more damage in the fifth. Merrifield reached with a bunt single and two hitters later, Montgomery walked Alcides Escobar to put two runners on base. Escobar almost never walks (that was his fifth of the season) and Montgomery paid for it against Mike Moustakas. The Royals’ Moose hit a three-run home run to give Kansas City a 5-0 lead. Welp. Montgomery finished the frame but that was the last one for him tonight.

It was yet another ho-hum start for Jordan Montgomery (5 IP, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K). There’s a lot to like about him – a young, tall lefty who can throw multiple pitches in any count – but he won’t get to the next level if he doesn’t cut down on walks (4.12 BB/9 IP after tonight). After tonight, Montgomery has a 4.81 ERA/3.93 FIP. Struggles like this is expected of a rookie starter. We’ll see how he learns from his mistakes though.

Shutdown by the Duffman

Simply said, Danny Duffy was overpowering. Dude was a good power pitcher in 2016, striking out 9.42 hitters per 9 IP, but injuries and fatigue made it a bit of an enigmatic season. He’s one of those guys that if he can stay healthy for a full season, he’d be considered one of the top starters of the league. Well, he looked like one tonight against the Yankees.

In 7 innings, Duffy struck out 10 Yankees hitters while allowing only 2 hits. I don’t have the data handy for the best SP performance against the Yankees lineup this year but this has got to be one of the tops. Duffy’s killer pitch was his slider, which he got a whopping 13 whiffs per Brooks Baseball. He generated three whiffs total on other pitches so yeah, that slider really set the tone for his dominance tonight.

The Yankee bats did try to rally though. Jacoby Ellsbury reached on a bunt base hit to lead off the fourth and two batters later, Matt Holliday walked to put the runner on scoring position. However, Castro struck out swinging and Aaron Judge flew out to end that threat quite quickly. They had another good chance in the 5th. Duffy started the inning by allowing a base hit to Chase Headley and walking Didi Gregorius. However, Aaron Hicks swung at the first pitch slider to ground into the double play to kill the tension almost immediately. Yeesh. One of those nights.

Leftovers

Chad Green impressed again in his long relief appearance. He came in relief after Montgomery’s 5 IP outing and struck out 6 in three scoreless innings. Not bad. He now has 11 strikeouts and 1 walk in 7.2 IP so far in the MLB with a 0.00 ERA. Green is pitching like a guy who wants a bigger role and I wonder what the management thinks of it. He did have a 4.73 ERA in the Triple-A before getting called up so there’s also that to take into the factor but he’s also seen flashes of success in his ML stint last year. He’s an interesting case. I personally think he should get a shot at the rotation at some point but can’t say when would be a good time.

The Yankees were 2-for-14 in RISP tonight. Not great. A pair of outfielders – Aaron Judge and Jacoby Ellsbury – had a 2-for-4 night so that’s a silver lining. Gregorius, who drove in the sole Yankee run, was 1-for-3 with a walk. If you haven’t noticed, Didi is having a good season, hitting .320/.358/.413 after tonight.

Box score, standings, WPA graph

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees start a three-game series at the Trop tomorrow. Luis Severino will be up against Erasmo Ramirez.

Yankee bats get quieted by Lance McCullers Jr. in a 5-1 loss

Well … at least they didn’t get shut out. But boy, that was a forgettable one. Lance McCullers Jr. is a pretty good pitcher and he pretty much toyed with the Yankee lineup for the most of his outing. Meanwhile, Jordan Montgomery went up against the powerful Astros lineup and the result was so-so (4 ER, 6 IP but 1 BB in 7 K). The offense managed to pick up a run in the bottom of the ninth but that was it. 5-1 Astros. The Yankees are now on a three-game losing streak.

(Elsas/Getty)
(Elsas/Getty)

McCullers’d

Just like Dallas Keuchel yesterday, the Yankee bats let McCullers cruise through the lineup early on. Unlike Keuchel, McCullers is a power pitcher who can get whiffs from his mid-90’s fastball, nasty breaking ball and changeup. Last season, he had some trouble limiting the walks (5.00 BB/9 IP) but that’s not the case so far in 2017: 2.42 BB/9 IP after tonight’s outing. He’s also striking a ton while at it (10.61 K/9 IP). I genuinely think we’re seeing a future Cy winner in development.

For the first five innings, the Yankees only had two baserunners and they were both on Aaron Judge‘s base hits. It was particularly brutal in the fifth. Judge doubled to deep left (114 mph exit velo) to lead off the inning. With the Yankees lineup, you’d think that they could drive in a run or two, right? Nope. McCullers struck out the next three hitters swinging to strand Judge at second. Maybe the lineup is in a bit of a funk but at the same time, they ran into a talented pitcher who had everything clicking tonight.

The Yankees had the best chance against McCullers in the sixth. They got two runners on base with one out (Brett Gardner single and Matt Holliday reaching on an Alex Bregman error). However, Starlin Castro and Jacoby Ellsbury both followed it up with weak grounders to immediately kill that rally. Just been that kind of night for New York.

(Elsa/Getty Images)
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Just trailing the entire game

It was a 0-0 pitching duel until the top of the fourth. Montgomery allowed ground ball singles to Carlos Correa and Marwin Gonzalez. Brian McCann, as he did many times back when he was with the Yankees, hit a fastball in his happy zone into the right field second deck. 3-0 Astros. Houston added another run in the fifth. George Springer led off the inning with a double. Montgomery got the next two hitters out without advancing Springer to the third. However, Correa hit a bloop single that fell right in front of Judge. The right fielder’s throw home was way over Gary Sanchez‘s head but that wouldn’t have mattered – Springer scored easily to make it 4-0 Astros.

I didn’t have too high expectations for Montgomery. 1 BB and 7 K’s are pretty great, especially considering he had walk problems prior to tonight. 4 ER in 6 IP do leave something to be desired. It’s a lot to ask for a rookie pitcher to pitch a gem against the Astros lineup though. He’s still learning and developing. For what it’s worth, this 89 mph cutter to get Jake Marisnick to strike out swinging was a gem. Boy, I hope he throws more of it.

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In the meantime, Astros brought in their bullpen arms starting in the bottom of the seventh. Will Harris and Luke Gregerson each threw a perfect frame with three strikeouts combined. Were the Yankees, who displayed one of the best offenses in the baseball up to this series, finally going to get shut out? Well…

Adding one in the end

Trailing 5-0 into the bottom of ninth, the Yankees were in the danger of being shut out for the first time this season. With the Indians being zeroed earlier today, only the Yanks, Nationals and Twins (!) were the remaining teams this season that haven’t been shut out.

Because it wasn’t a save situation, Astros put in James Hoyt instead of Ken Giles. Hoyt has a neat back story. Check out this read. Anyways, Holliday reached on an infield single to start the frame. Hoyt struck out Castro but Ellsbury singled to right to put the runner on scoring position. Judge struck out swinging and the hopes of Yankees getting a run seemed pretty dim. However, never fear, Didi Gregorius singled to right-center to finally avoid a shutout! But well, that was it. Hoyt struck out Ronald Torreyes to end the game and that was it. 5-1 Astros. Bleh. I won’t be watching the re-run of this game.

Leftovers
On a game that majorly stunk, there were few saving graces. For instance, Giovanny Gallegos made his ML debut in the ninth inning. He threw two pitches and retired Carlos Correa to end the top of the ninth. I’m hoping he gets more looks in the ML.

But wait, there’s more! Aaron Judge, who had been in a little bit of slump lately, went 2-for-4 tonight with a pair of rocket base hits. Didi Gregorius also had a 2-for-4 night and, as I mentioned, drove in the Yankees’ only run of the night.

Also, there was an egregious display of #umpshow in the bottom of the seventh. Chase Headley showed a bunt but the Will Harris cut fastball nicked his finger. The game delayed a bit with the trainer and Girardi tending to the third baseman. However, Headley insisted in staying in the game and it seemed like the game was going to go on … then he got into an argument with home plate ump Adrian Johnson and got ejected. That was a very confusing situation. After the game, Girardi said that McCann asked Headley if the ball hit him and Headley responded. However, Johnson thought that Headley was talking to him and the situation escalated from there. For what it’s worth, here is Adrian Johnson’s version of the story. In my opinion, it was a gross misunderstanding and mishandling of the situation from the ump. It happens but it’s not a good look.

Box score, standings, WPA graph

Here is tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph.


Source: FanGraphs


There is supposed to be a 1 pm EST game tomorrow, but we’ll see. The weather doesn’t seem promising from what I’ve heard. If it happens, it’ll be a match of Luis Severino vs. Mike Fiers. I predict this losing streak will stop at some point – we’ll see if it’ll be at the next game.

Game 31: Continue Winnin’

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

This road trip, in risk of sounding like a broken record, has gone pretty well for the Yankees. They could make it perfect with a win tonight before they head back to the Bronx for a four-game series against the Astros this weekend. With this streak, Yankees have already gone on the best 30-game start since 2010, when they also went 21-9. A victory tonight would make it their best since 2003. There have been a lot of good Yankees team from that time period so having that hot of a start this year is pretty neat.

Here is the Reds squadron and here’s the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. C Gary Sanchez
  3. 2B Starlin Castro
  4. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  5. RF Aaron Judge
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 1B Chris Carter
  8. 3B Ronald Torreyes
  9. P C.C. Sabathia

Seeing some scattered thunderstorms in the Cincy forecasts tonight. I don’t know how severe the rain might get but hope not big enough to affect the game status. This game is not on YES Network – it will a FOX national broadcast game so make sure to tune in there to watch it. It’s a 7:05 pm EST start so I hope you’re ready to watch it as soon as you read this.