Red Sox 5, Yankees 1: Bad offense, bad bullpen let a game slip away


Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees are likely going to be a second place team this year and they looked every bit the part against the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon. Out-hit, out-pitched, out-defended, out-managed. Pretty gross effort all around. The final score was 5-1. It’s Sunday, so I’m going to recap this mess of a game with bullet points:

  • Sonny’s Grind: Tough afternoon for Sonny Gray. Kinda remarkable he was able to hold the Red Sox to two runs in five innings. The two-run double to Jackie Bradley Jr. was annoying, though the bigger mistake that inning was being unable to put away Sandy Leon in an 0-2 count with two outs. Leon singled to extend the inning. Gray did not have a finish pitch at all. He struck out zero of the 23 batters he faced. Only four swings and misses compared to 17 foul balls.
  • One Run & Done: Really weak showing by the offense. Three hits and three walks scattered. Brett Gardner wrapped his 20th home run of the season around the Pesky Pole in the sixth inning for his team’s only run. And that was it. The Yankees did not have a baserunner the rest of the way. Fourteen up, 14 down to end the game. Their best chances to score came in the second and fourth, when they had two on with two outs. Tyler Austin struck out to end the inning both times.
  • Anti-Shutdown Bullpen: Aroldis Chapman threw 1.1 scoreless innings both don’t be fooled. He didn’t look good. Had no idea where the ball was going and the Red Sox took some big comfy swings against him. Chapman was also the team’s most effective reliever Sunday. Adam Warren allowed a run and Tommy Kahnle allowed two runs when Caleb Smith couldn’t strand the inherited runners. Smith did wiggle out of a bases loaded, no outs jam though, so good for him. Kahnle, meanwhile, has had a rough last week or so.
  • Leftovers: Gardner went 2-for-4 and the rest of the Yankees went 1-for-26. Chase Headley had the other hit, a double … Aaron Judge went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and really shouldn’t be hitting third these days … also, Mookie Betts straight up deked Judge into a lollipop throw. Betts was on second, it was a routine fly ball, and after pretending he would stay at second, Betts took off for third once he saw the toss to the cutoff man. Can’t happen and it shouldn’t happen again.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Don’t miss our Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees have an off-day Monday and the road trip will continue Tuesday night in Detroit. Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to come off the disabled list to make that start. Lefty Matt Boyd will be on the bump for the Tigers.

Austin’s power gives the Yankees a 4-3 win over the Red Sox in Sabathia’s return from the DL

Was it easy? No. But a win is a win, and that was an impressive win considering the tough loss Friday night. The Yankees rebounded to beat Chris Sale and the Red Sox 4-3 on Saturday night. They’re 3-1 against Sale this year, you know. They’d be 4-0 if Aroldis Chapman could protect a one-run lead.

This is a good photo. (Adam Glanzman/Getty)
This is a good photo. (Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Austin’s Power
I have to say, of all the weird baseball stuff that could’ve happened Saturday night, Tyler Austin taking Sale way deep over the Green Monster for a three-run home run is not something I would’ve seen coming. It’s not that Austin doesn’t have power, he definitely does, but Sale is just so damn good. Austin took him for a ride twice in this game, in fact. He ripped a long line drive Jackie Bradley Jr. had to jump to catch at the center field wall.

That three-run second inning rally started with what looked like a home run off the bat from Didi Gregorius. Well struck to right field. Almost certainly a home run into the short porch at Yankee Stadium. At Fenway Park, it was a ground rule double into the right field corner. Todd Frazier took a pitch to the calf to put two runners on base for Austin, who went up and got a high fastball. It was crushed. Gone off the bat. Look at this thing:

Don’t sleep on the bat flip. It’s kinda hard to see in the video, so here’s a better clip. Love it. I don’t care that Austin has been in the big leagues for like ten minutes. You crush a no-doubter against Chris Sale during one of the most meaningful Yankees-Red Sox games in about five years, and you deserve to enjoy it. Pimp every homer like it’s your last.

Between the three-run homer and the fly ball Bradley caught at the wall, Austin hit about 850 feet worth of baseball against Sale in his first two at-bats Saturday. Can’t imagine many players have squared him up that well twice in one game this season. Exit velocity on the homer: 108.6 mph. Exit velocity on the caught line drive: 106.1 mph. I like Garrett Cooper. Seems like a nice guy. But it’s nice to have a righty platoon bat who can hit for power.

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
(Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Big Stoppa
The Yankees are now a perfect 8-0 when CC Sabathia starts following a Yankees’ loss this season, and in those eight starts, Sabathia has a 1.46 ERA and is averaging 6.1 innings per start. The big man has stepped up and stopped (potential) losing streak after (potential) losing streak this year. He did it again Saturday night.

Against the Red Sox, Sabathia showed zero ill-effects from his recent knee trouble, and cruised through four scoreless innings on only 42 pitches. The Red Sox finally broke through for two runs in the fifth and it was a stupid little rally. A walk (Xander Bogaerts), a soft line drive single (Rafael Devers), a run-scoring tapper to second (Sandy Leon), and a run-scoring soft line drive single to left (Bradley) got two runs on the board for Boston.

Sabathia appeared to hit a bit of a wall in the sixth inning, though he was able to strand Mookie Betts at second base following his leadoff double. There was definitely some luck that inning, because Hanley Ramirez smashed a line drive that Frazier dove to grab at third base. Chase Headley also made a nice play hustling to catch a foul pop-up near the dugout for the third and final out. Sabathia’s final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Give me like nine more starts like that this year, CC.

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
(Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Homegrown Bullpen
With Chapman having been (temporarily?) demoted, the Yankees went with three homegrown relievers to close out Saturday’s win. Fortunately, Frazier gave the Yankees an insurance run first. He went down and golfed a Sale slider into the very first row of the Green Monster seats for a solo homer. Can of corn in pretty much every other ballpark. In Fenway Park, it’s a homer. Frazier really fits that park well with all the fly balls to right.

Anyway, the 4-2 lead turned into a 4-3 lead two batters into the seventh inning. Adam Warren gave up a solo home run to Devers that hit inside the yellow line in center field, and deflected into the seats behind the bullpens. The ground rules say that’s a home run. For real. From the official ground rules site:

Batted ball in flight striking left of line in right-center field at a point above the bullpen and continuing into the bullpen: Home Run.

So what’s the point of the yellow line then? Eh, whatever. Warren recorded one more out before giving way to David Robertson, who finished the seventh with a one-pitch out. The eighth inning got a little hairy. The Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs on a strikeout/wild pitch (Andrew Benintendi), a double (Hanley), and an intentional walk (Mitch Moreland). I didn’t like the intentional walk. It gave Robertson no margin for an error. A hit batter or a walk ties the game.

Fortunately Robertson is a boss and he struck out Bogaerts on three curveballs, each nastier than the one before it, to end the inning. A nice big fist pump followed. Dellin Betances, the closer du jour, nailed down the save thanks to Gary Sanchez‘s rocket arm. Leon reached base on a strikeout/wild pitch with one out and, predictably, pinch-runner Brock Holt tried to steal second to get the tying run into scoring position. Everyone runs on Dellin. But Sanchez threw him out. Go look at this throw. Look at it.

Good gravy. That’s why you don’t move Sanchez to first base or DH, folks. That’s why you work and work and keep working with him on his blocking. Gary is a special hitter with a special arm and you keep him at catcher because he’s a special player there. Move him to first base or DH and he’s just another guy. What an unbelievable throw. Statcast clocked it at 86.4 mph. 86.4 mph!

After that throw, Betances got Bradley to hit a routine fly ball to left field to end the game. That’s my closer. The final bullpen line: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. The walk was intentional. Three relievers came in to nail down an important win and all three came up from the farm system. Yeah, Warren and Robertson spent a little time elsewhere, but they’re back in pinstripes now, and I couldn’t be happier.

Don't run on Gary. (Adam Glanzman/Getty)
Don’t run on Gary. (Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Leftovers
The Yankees won despite the 3-4-5 hitters (Aaron Judge, Sanchez, Headley) going a combined 0-for-12. Judge did draw a walk, but he also struck out three times, including once with runners on first and second and two outs in the eighth. The Yankees ultimately did not need the insurance runs, though they would’ve been nice.

During that eighth inning rally pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate on the stupid contact play that never works because it’s stupid and dumb. Austin reached base on a double, Ellsbury pinch-run, and Ronald Torreyes bunted him up. Bunting after pinch-running your fastest pinch-runner is an underrated weird baseball move. Gardner hit a hard-hit grounder to Devers at third, who came home for the out. Womp womp.

Two hits for Gardner and Austin and three for Gregorius. Gardner saw 20 pitches in four at-bats against Sale and didn’t swing and miss once. That’s impressive. Sale chews up left-handed hitters. Frazier hit his home run and Aaron Hicks hit a pop-up double off the wall. Can of corn turned double. Fenway Park is cool sometimes.

And finally, with his second inning strikeout of former Yankee Chris Young, Sabathia now has more strikeouts than any other left-handed pitcher in AL history. That is pretty ridiculous. Here’s the leaderboard coming into this game. Congrats, big guy.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has the box score and updated standings and MLB.com has the video highlights. We have a Bullpen Workload page. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees and Red Sox wrap-up this three-game series Sunday afternoon. That’s a 1:30pm ET start. Sonny Gray and Rick Porcello are the scheduled starting pitchers.

Game 122: Sabathia Returns

(Adam Glanzman/Getty)
(Adam Glanzman/Getty)

Tough loss last night. Another tough loss last night. The Yankees have made a habit of those lately. Pretty annoying. The best thing about baseball is that they play everyday, so tonight the Yankees have a chance to erase that memory and grab a win. There are still six weeks left in the season, but to have a realistic chance at the AL East title, they have to start beating the Red Sox. They’ve lost their last three games against Boston and in two of the three they let a late lead slip away. Can’t happen.

CC Sabathia returns to the mound tonight following a quick little ten-day hiatus related to his achy right knee. Sabathia left his last start in pain and it seemed like he would miss time, and he did, but it seemed like it would be an extended disable list stint. Instead, cortisone and lubrication injections did the trick, and Sabathia is on the mound tonight. He’s thrown 14 scoreless innings against the Red Sox this year, you know. Hopefully he ups that to about 21 scoreless innings today. Here is the Red Sox’ lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. C Gary Sanchez
  5. 1B Chase Headley
  6. SS Didi Gregorius
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. DH Tyler Austin
  9. 2B Ronald Torreyes
    RHP CC Sabathia

Much nicer weather in Boston tonight. A little cloudy but otherwise on the cool side. Nice night for a ballgame. Then again, the forecast said it was supposed to rain all night last night and that didn’t happen, so who knows. Tonight’s game will begin a little after 7pm ET. You can watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game.

Roster Move: Jordan Montgomery was sent down to Triple-A to clear a roster spot for Sabathia, the Yankees announced. Montgomery was originally called back up to fill in for Sabathia. I imagine the Yankees will go back to their plan to limit his workload now.

Closer Update: Aroldis Chapman is out as closer, at least temporarily. Joe Girardi said he does “not necessarily” have a set closer right now and will use Chapman “at any point” in the game. Given Girardi’s tendencies, I imagine he’s going bump everyone up an inning, meaning Dellin Betances in the ninth and David Robertson in the eighth. We’ll see.

Rotation Update: Masahiro Tanaka (shoulder) will be activated and rejoin the rotation Tuesday in Detroit. That’s the first day he’s eligible to be activated off the disabled list.

Bullpen lets another game slip away in 9-6 loss to Red Sox

The Yankees have outdone themselves again. Another new Worst Loss of the Season. Why couldn’t it rain Friday like the forecast said it would? The final score was 9-6 Red Sox in the series opener. The Yankees are now five games back in the AL East.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Top of the Seventh
For all intents and purposes, this game boils down to the one inning. The seventh. The entire inning took one hour and five minutes. For one inning! Good grief. The Yankees went into the seventh inning trailing 3-2. The Red Sox got their three runs from a Rafael Devers two-run homer and a Christian Vazquez solo homer. Todd Frazier got the Yankees on the board with a two-run shot.

Drew Pomeranz had to leave the game in the fourth inning with back spams, meaning the BoSox were already four innings deep into their bullpen when the seventh inning started. An awful lot happened in the top of the seventh, so let’s annotate the play-by-play.

yankees-red-sox-top-of-7th(1) First pitch of the inning: over the Green Monster and onto Lansdowne Street. Over the wall in the gap too, not pulled down the line. Gary Sanchez is such a damn stud. He’s underrated, somehow. Perhaps the Passed Ball Vilification Tour made everyone forget how good this guy is. He’s a star. Star. The solo shot tied the game.

(2) I’m sure this is confirmation bias, but it seems like Frazier really locks it in and has his best at-bats in big spots. He pop-ups and strikes out a lot, though when there’s men on base, he really battles and puts together quality at-bats. Frazier took several closes pitches during his seventh inning walk to load the bases.

(3) Coming into Friday’s game, Ronald Torreyes had swung at the first pitch in 46.0% of his plate appearances this season. That’s swings regardless of outcome. Hit, foul ball, swing and miss, whatever. The MLB average is 28.7%. Why anyone throws him a first pitch fastball in the zone, I’ll never understand. Heath Hembree did exactly that in that seventh inning and Torreyes banged it off the Green Monster for a go-ahead two-run single.

(4) Eight of the previous nine Yankees to bat had reached base prior to Austin Romine‘s strikeout, which was a pretty terrible at-bat in which he chased a pitch out of the zone for strike three. The Yankees really need a new backup catcher next season. I have no idea what Romine brings to the table, at least in terms of quantifiable positive impact on a baseball game.

(6) I skipped a (5) in the play-by-play image and I don’t feel like going back and changing it, so we’re skipping from (4) to (6) here. Anyway, tough night for Aaron Hicks, who got took a pitch to the foot from both sides of the plate. At least they were breaking balls? Still, that can’t feel good. The second hit-by-pitch drove in an insurance run to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead.

(7) In a game like this, there is not one at-bat that lost the Yankees the game, but perhaps the most damaging was Aaron Judge striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. A fly ball scores a run there. Judge did work a good at-bat, he saw seven pitches and spit on some nasty sliders down, but he swung through a fastball on the outside corner for strike three. I mean, a three-run lead should be enough. You can never have enough runs in Fenway Park though. No. 3 hitter at the plate with the bases loaded and no outs? Gotta get a run in there. Judge didn’t.

(8) In his second at-bat of the seventh inning, Sanchez ripped a line drive at Hanley Ramirez for the final out of the inning. Off the bat, I thought it was into right field for a single. The Red Sox had Hanley positioned well though. Somehow Sanchez and Judge went a combined 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left 14 (!) men on base Friday night. Good gravy. Anyway, the Yankees went into that inning down 3-2, and they left up 6-3.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

The Bottom of the Seventh
Probably time to stop bringing Tommy Kahnle into the game in the middle of an inning, huh? You know what the most annoying part is? He keeps getting beat on his third best pitch. It happened last week and it happened again Friday night. Last Sunday Kahnle allowed the go-ahead single to Andrew Benintendi on his fourth consecutive changeup. Geez.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in that seventh inning on a single (Vazquez), a walk (Jackie Bradley Jr.), and an infield single (Eduardo Nunez). Chad Green allowed the hit to Vazquez and the walk to Nunez. Kahnle allowed the infield single. I mean, what can you do? Not walk the No. 9 hitter for starters, but the infield single is just dumb luck, really. Mookie Betts got a run in with a sac fly, which cut the lead to 6-4, but also gave the Yankees the second out.

It went downhill from there. Against Benintendi, the guy who beat him last week, Kahnle went fastball (called strike), changeup (ball), changeup (single). Changeup! Why? Benintendi pulled the single into right field to score another run and cut New York’s lead to 6-5. Kahnle then walked Hanley to reload the bases, which brought pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland to the plate. Changeup (swinging strike), changeup (swinging strike), changeup (single). Sure, why not. Moreland singled up the middle to score two runs to turn the 6-5 lead into a 7-6 deficit.

A few things. One, why in the world is Kahnle throwing so many changeups? The guy throws 100 with a nasty slider, and he keeps giving up back-breaking hits on his changeup. He’s throwing it back-to-back and back-to-back-to-back and it speeds up the hitter’s bat. A 98 mph fastball to Moreland after the two changeups would’ve look like a 108 mph fastball. Instead, another changeup, two runs scored. Sigh.

And two, where in the world was David Robertson? He didn’t throw as much as a warm-up pitch in that seventh inning. I thought Robertson should’ve been in the game to face Ramirez. He definitely should’ve been in the game to face Moreland. The infield single is whatever. A loud fly ball to center, a run-scoring single, and a walk is not whatever. Should be alarm bells going off after that. This series is basically the division race. Maybe a little urgency is in order?

Asleep at the Wheel
Aroldis Chapman against the Red Sox this year: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 10 BB, 7 K. Impressive, really. Chapman was brought in to pitch the bottom of the eighth with the Yankees down a run and he coughed up two insurance runs. He’s now allowed a run in four straight outings — only the second time in his career he’s done that — and two runs in three straight outings. Chapman has no business pitching in a close game right now. None whatsoever.

During that eighth inning rally Chapman a) didn’t pay any attention to the runners and allowed a double steal, and b) didn’t bother to back up the plate on Bradley’s two-run single. Girardi went out to the mound and appeared to scold Chapman after that. Maybe someone will scold Girardi for letting Romine bat against Craig Kimbrel leading off the ninth inning? What the hell was that? I know the chances of coming back down three runs against Kimbrel are tiny, but you’ve got to at least pretend to give a crap. Goodness.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Leftovers
Not the best outing for Jordan Montgomery, who seems to be having his workload limited within starts right now. He’s thrown five innings (65 pitches), 5.1 innings (84 pitches), and five innings (77 pitches) in his last three starts. Hmmm. Montgomery allowed three runs on the Devers and Vazquez homers in his five innings Friday. Bit of a grind.

Rare bad outing for Green, who walked two and allowed a clean single in 1.1 innings. He was charged with two runs after Kahnle barfed all over everything. The overall bullpen line: 3 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Green, Kahnle, and Chapman threw 78 pitches to get nine outs. Girardi had Caleb Smith warming in the seventh as Kahnle faced Hanley and Moreland. Caleb Smith! I do not understand.

The Yankees went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position overall. The Torreyes two-run single was the one hit. Sanchez went 0-for-3 and Judge went 0-for-2 in those spots. In addition to his seventh inning strikeout against Reed, Judge also grounded out against Joe Kelly to end the sixth inning with the bases loaded. At the end of the day, the bullpen couldn’t protect a three-run lead. But Judge had two chances to do some serious damage and didn’t. Rough.

Brett Gardner (three hits and a walk), Chase Headley (two hits and two walks), and Frazier (two hits and two walks) each reached base four times. Hicks (two hit-by-pitches) and Judge (hit and walk) reached base twice. Every starter in the lineup reached base at least once. The Yankees had plenty of chances. They had one 1-2-3 inning offensively: the ninth against Kimbrel.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
ESPN has the box score and updated standings, and MLB.com has the video highlights. We have a Bullpen Workload page. Here’s the loss probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Same two teams Saturday night, in the second game of this three-game series. CC Sabathia is coming off the disabled list to make that start. Chris Sale will be on the mound for the Red Sox. Trap game?

Game 121: The Most Important Series of the Season (Again)

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Once again, the Yankees will play their most important series of the season this weekend. Most important to date, that is. There’ll be another most important series of the season pretty soon. That’s usually how it goes. The Yankees are up in Boston for a three-game set with the Red Sox, the team they are chasing in the AL East. The deficit: four games. The Yankees won’t be leaving this series in first place no matter what.

Now, the bad news: the forecast is not good tonight. It’s supposed to rain basically from first pitch through tomorrow morning. I thought they would call the game this afternoon, but nope. I guess the Red Sox want to keep the gates open for a little while to rack up some concession sales. The chances of a delay and/or postponement appear to be high tonight, but for now, the game is on. Here is the Red Sox’s lineup and here is the Yankees’ lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. CF Aaron Hicks
  3. RF Aaron Judge
  4. DH Gary Sanchez
  5. SS Didi Gregorius
  6. 1B Chase Headley
  7. 3B Todd Frazier
  8. 2B Ronald Torreyes
  9. C Austin Romine
    LHP Jordan Montgomery

Like I said, rain in the forecast. Pretty much all night. Tonight’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:10pm ET and you’ll be able to watch on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy the game, if they do play.

Injury Updates: Masahiro Tanaka (shoulder) threw a 37-pitch bullpen session today and everything went well. He is slated to rejoin the rotation next week, pretty much as soon as he’s eligible to be activated … Aroldis Chapman (hamstring) is good to go and will be the closer tonight.

Subway Sweep! Sanchez stays hot in 7-5 win over the Mets

Good series. Great series. The Yankees took all four Subway Series games from the Mets and have won eight of their last dozen games overall. Thursday night’s final score was 7-5 and the game was not nearly as close as the score would lead you to believe.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Gary Bonds
So I guess Gary Sanchez is going to go off every August? That is a-okay with me. Sanchez went into Thursday’s game 15-for-47 (.319) with four home runs in 14 August games, and he left it 17-for-51 (.333) with five home runs in 15 August games. Credit the one-game benching or the lunch with Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez if you want. Me? I’m going to credit Gary Sanchez for being really, really good at baseball.

Sanchez gave the Yankees a real quick 3-0 lead Thursday night with a first inning three-run home run. I was just getting settled in to watch and Gary was already launching bombs. Brett Gardner reached on Steven Matz’s throwing error — he fielded a weak tapper and airmailed the throw to first — and Aaron Hicks walked, setting up that three-run home run. It was an eight-pitch at-bat. Sanchez fell behind 0-2 and fouled off three two-strike pitches before Matz left a changeup up. Gary is locked in.

The Yankees broke the game open in the fourth inning. Three straight singles loaded the bases with no outs. Tyler Austin and Ronald Torreyes had legit singles, then Luis Severino‘s bunt attempt blooped into no man’s land for a single. Dominic Smith missed the diving catch and Severino was safe. First career hit. Gardner laced a two-run double into the left field corner and Sanchez pulled a two-run single through the left side, and the rout was on. The Yankees led 7-0 after four.

The final line on Matz: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 B, 4 K. He now has a 6.08 ERA (5.03 FIP) in 13 starts and 66.2 innings this season. Man. Remember kids, build around young bats like Sanchez and Aaron Judge (and Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres). Not pitchers. Pitchers break. The Yankees put a hurtin’ on Matz and took all the excitement out of the final Subway Series game within four innings.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Stellar Severino
Nice rebound start for Severino, who got hammered for ten runs — ten runs! — last time out. I thought his stuff and delivery were as good as they’ve been all year. Everything was smooth and athletic and the ball was exploding out of his hand. I was a bit surprised Joe Girardi sent him back out for the seventh inning with a 7-0 lead and his pitch count at 93, but whatever. There’s an off-day Monday and Severino’s going to get an extra day to rest before his next start.

Severino’s final pitching line: 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K. It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Mets had a runner reach third base, and you can blame the run on Judge more than Severino. Judge dropped a fly ball in the right field corner and was (correctly) charged with a two-base error. Looked like he kinda got caught looking for the wall there. A single followed to score the runner who shouldn’t have been on base in the first place. Meh. It happens.

Overall though, very nice start for Severino, especially after that dud against the Red Sox. He pitched aggressively, he pitched to both sides of the plate, he looked like himself, basically. That rough outing last weekend didn’t carry over at all. If anything, Severino pitched angry. He’s now sitting on a 3.18 ERA (3.02 FIP) in 150 innings this season. His previous career high is 161.2 innings in 2015. Hmmm.

(Mike Stobe/Getty)
(Mike Stobe/Getty)

Leftovers
Bryan Mitchell made the game unnecessarily interesting in the ninth. Double, single, walk, grand slam. Dude. Just like that, it was 7-5 and Dellin Betances was on the mound. Groan. Betances got the final three outs on eleven pitches, so no big deal. Also, shout out to Chasen Shreve, who threw 1.2 scoreless innings and struck out Michael Conforto with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh.

Two hits for Sanchez — he hit a fly ball to the wall in the third inning for an out — as well as Didi Gregorius and Austin. Gardner, Torreyes, and Severino each had a hit as well. Hicks and Gregorius drew the walks. Judge had a tough night, going for 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a hit-by-pitch, plus the two-base error. Ouch. The Yankees went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position, so that’s cool.

And finally, the Yankees are done with interleague play this season. They went 15-5 with a +29 run differential against the Mets and various NL Central opponents. Who knew?

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and updated standings, head over to ESPN. For the video highlights, go to MLB.com. Here is our Bullpen Workload page and here is the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Subway Series is over and the Yankees are going to Boston for another three-game weekend series against the Red Sox. They played them just last weekend. Left-ballers Jordan Montgomery and Drew Pomeranz are the scheduled starting pitchers for Friday night’s opener at Fenway Park.

Yankees 5, Mets 3: Yankees win third straight behind Judge’s dinger, Didi’s double

Different ballpark, same result. The Subway Series shifted to Citi Field on Wednesday and the Yankees won yet again, this time by the score of 5-3. They’ve won three straight games, all against the Mets, and seven of their last eleven games overall.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Yes In-Didi
Might as well start with the late innings. The Yankees and Mets traded runs through six innings, so when the Yankees came to the plate in the seventh, the score was tied 3-3. The game-winning rally started with a Ronald Torreyes leadoff double. He yanked it fair inside the third base bag and it rolled all the way to the wall. A Brett Gardner pinch-bunt followed. A pinch-bunt. Gotta love NL ball.

Anyway, the pinch-bunt moved Torreyes to third with one out, and two walks later, the bases were full of Yankees and the batter’s box was full of Aaron Judge. Alas, our large adult hero popped up on the infield for the second out, and the rally was on life support. Fortunately, Didi Gregorius was able to get himself into a fastball count, and he hooked a Paul Sewald offering into the right field corner for a two-run double. Torreyes and Jacoby Ellsbury scored, and Aaron Hicks stopped at third. How could anyone not love Didi?

Underrated moment of that seventh inning really: home plate umpire Chad Whitson totally blowing a strike three call on Hicks. Look at this thing:

aaron-hicks-ball-four

What should’ve been strike three was called ball four. Of course, it was called ball four because Sewald missed his spot by the entire width of the plate. Catcher Rene Rivera set up outside, the pitch was way inside, and he had to reach across the plate. Usually the umpire calls it a ball when that happens. Blame Sewald and Rivera, not Whitson. The walk loaded the bases and set up Gregorius for the game-winning double.

Long Leash For Jaime
Kind of a weird start for Jaime Garcia, who allowed two runs through the first five innings, but was behind almost every batter. Only eleven of the 22 batters he faced saw a first pitch strike — I’m surprised it was that many — and seven of those 22 saw a three-ball count. Somehow Garcia only walked three. Two runs in five innings is fine. I’d take that from my fifth starter any day.

The problem is Garcia was sent back out for the sixth inning even though he was about to go through the lineup the third time. Batters against him the third time around this year: .329/.404/.573. Yeah. I mean, Garcia’s pitch count was sitting at 80 when he went out for the sixth, plus his lineup spot was due up in the bottom half of the inning, so I understand why Joe Girardi sent back out. I was hoping he’d take the two runs in five innings and go to the bullpen.

Garcia did not retire a batter in the sixth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a single, then was thrown out trying to advance on a ball in the dirt. Yoenis Cespedes worked a walk, and Michael Conforto followed with a double into the left-center field gap. That gave the Mets runners on second and third with one out, and ended Garcia’s night. The Yankees led 3-2 at the time. Garcia’s final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. Meh. Next time don’t try to squeeze one more inning out of Jaime, Joe.

All Rise (And Watch The Ball Sail Over Your Head)
Is Judge coming out of his slump? He reached base multiple times for the fourth straight game, and one of his times on base Wednesday was a classic Aaron Judge jaw-dropping home run. He put a ball into Citi Field’s third deck in left field. To the director’s cut:

Good gravy. I’ve seen players hit balls up there in batting practice, mostly Cespedes and Giancarlo Stanton, but in a game? I’ve never seen that before, either on television at the ballpark. The official distance: 457 feet. The exit velocity: 117 mph. Been a while since we’ve seen Judge hit a bomb like that. Since he nearly hit a ball out of Safeco Field, right? Judge just put his head down and ran the bases too. Didn’t look to see where it landed. The next homer I see him admire will be the first.

The Judge home run gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. They tied the game 1-1 in the third inning thanks to some shoddy defense. Chase Headley drew a walk, moved to second a wild pitch, and then moved to third on a passed ball. Garrett Cooper brought Headley home with a run-scoring ground out. I prefer monster homers into the third deck, but to each his own.

The B-Team Bullpen
The Yankees did not have Aroldis Chapman (hamstring) or Dellin Betances (workload) on Wednesday, and presumably not Chad Green (workload) either, which meant Girardi had to rely on his B-Team relievers. Those guys are pretty good too, fortunately. Tommy Kahnle replaced Garcia and allowed a sac fly to tie the game, but otherwise limited the damage after being brought in with runners on second and third and one out.

Adam Warren handled seventh and eighth inning duties like a boss. He retired six of seven batters faced — the one baserunner was a Juan Lagares bunt single — including striking out Brandon Nimmo, Cabrera, and Cespedes. Warren is now sitting on a 1.73 ERA (2.56 FIP) this season and he is maybe the fourth best reliever in the bullpen. David Robertson served as the closer du jour and slammed the door in the ninth. He’s the third different Yankee to record a save in their last five wins.

Just like old times. (Elsa/Getty)
Just like old times. (Elsa/Getty)

Leftovers
Two hits for Judge, two hits for Headley, and two hits for Torreyes. Ellsbury and Gregorius each had one hit as well. The Yankees went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and the one hit was Didi’s two-run double. Timing is everything. Ellsbury, Hicks, Gregorius, Headley, and Gary Sanchez drew the walks. Ellsbury stole a base. Turn back the clock game for him.

I am Mad Online the Yankees did not bunt towards Travis d’Arnaud. The Mets had to scratch both Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes before the game, forcing them to play d’Arnaud a third base, a position he’d never played before. I was expecting Ellsbury to bunt at him the first pitch of the game. Alas. The Mets had Cabrera and d’Arnaud swapping positions all game. Cabrera played second against left-handed hitters and third against righties, so if the hitter pulled the ball with authority, it’d be hit at the experienced infielder. Smart!

And finally, Judge struck out in his final at-bat, and has now struck out in 33 consecutive games. That breaks Adam Dunn’s record for position players. (Bill Stoneman holds the overall record at 35 games.) Am I the only one who doesn’t care? Did anyone even know who held the “most consecutive games with a strikeout” record until, like, last week?

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
For the box score and updated standings, go to ESPN. For the video highlights, go to MLB.com. We have a Bullpen Workload page that may or may not be relevant to your interests. Here’s the win probability graph:


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees are going for the Subway Sweep. They’ve already clinched the series win and now it’s time to get greedy. Luis Severino and Steven Matz are the scheduled starters for Thursday night. The Yankees head out on the road for a week after that, so check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch them live for the last time for a little while.