You know how extra-inning games can be thrilling? This was definitely not that. The Yankees and Angels opened their four-game series with 14 mostly action-less innings Monday night. Neither team generated much offense. The Yankees because they’re hurt, the Angels because they’re not very good. In the end, the Yankees outlasted the Halos and picked up a 4-3 win. They’ve won six of their last seven games. I usually bullet point recap West Coast night games, but I’ll do some full recaps this week since it is RAB’s final week. Just not tonight. Let’s get to it:
- Two Against Harvey: Matt Harvey went into this start with a 9.64 ERA (5.38 FIP) on the young season, so of course the Yankees made him look like vintage Harvey. Luke Voit hit a solo homer in the first and Kyle Higashioka scored on a Gleyber Torres sacrifice fly in the third, though he would’ve been out by a mile had Jonathan Lucroy handled the throw at the plate. Higashioka was dead to rights. Harvey retired eleven of the final 12 batters he faced. Between this and the Homer Bailey game the other day, the 2019 Yankees have made some washed up hurlers look like they still have something left in the tank lately.
- Seven Strong For Happ: For the first time in 2019, J.A. Happ did not allow a first inning run(s). He waited until the second inning to give up Lucroy’s two-run homer. To Happ’s credit, he did settle down quite nicely after that, retiring 16 of the 18 batters he faced following the homer. It was easily his best start of the year. Happ again scaled back on his four-seamer (38.2%) and upped his two-seamer (24.8%), so the adjustment stuck. Now he just needs to work on that 2.45 HR/9.
- 12th Inning Lead: At one point the Yankees went 23 batters between hits Monday night. Gio Urshela singled with two outs in the fourth. Their next hit? Clint Frazier’s leadoff double in the 12th. Goodness. Mike Tauchman moved Clint to third with a ground ball and Urshela brought him home with a sac fly. Hooray! Oh by the way, Frazier jammed his left ankle on a pickoff play at second base and was in obvious pain. He stayed in, taped up his ankle, and limped around noticeably. Great. Just great. I have no idea who the Yankees would’ve put in the outfield if Clint had to come out. Maybe DJ LeMahieu?
- Blown Save: It was clear Aroldis Chapman was not sharp right out of the gate in the 12th inning. He didn’t have his good fastball on back-to-back days (averaged 97.6 mph) and was middle-middle with everything. A leadoff single, a stolen base, a two-out (and two-strike) hit batsman, and a two-out single allowed the Angels to tie the game in the 12th. Lefty Brian Goodwin had the game-tying single against Chapman. One-run lead with the highest paid closer in baseball history on the mound against the bottom of the lineup, and he didn’t close it out. Shrug.
- 14th Inning Lead: For real, big shoutout to Lucroy. His sloppy defense helped the Yankees score their second and fourth runs. Torres struck out to start the 14th inning, but the ball got away from Lucroy, and his incredibly routine throw to first base was airmailed. Lobbed it over the bag. Hilarious. Torres reached, advanced to second on a pitch in the dirt (thanks again Lucroy!), and later scored on Urshela’s two-out single. (Kept the right Gio!) The Yankees struck out four times in that 14th inning and I don’t even care. Jonathan Holder, who tossed a perfect 13th inning, intentionally walked the tying on base in the 14th (WHAT) to get to the pitcher’s spot with two outs (oh okay). The Angels found themselves in a bit of a roster pickle after Zack Cozart exited with an injury in the 12th inning. Peter Bourjos had to play second base. Yeah. Anyway, Holder struck out Trevor Cahill to end the game, mercifully.
- Leftovers: The Yankees had five hits: Voit’s homer, Urshela’s two singles, Frazier’s double, and a Higashioka double. Brett Gardner drew two walks and Mike Ford was intentionally walked twice (!) … one day after Sunday’s disaster, Adam Ottavino bounced back with two scoreless innings Monday. Only 23 pitches too. Tommy Kahnle tossed a scoreless tenth, and Luis Cessa got Albert Pujols to ground out to strand two runners in the 11th … and finally, Voit’s league-leading on-base streak is up to 33 games. It’s the longest by a Yankee since Derek Jeter’s 36-gamer in 2012-13.
Here are the box score and video highlights, updated standings, and our Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees and Angels will be back at it with the second game of his four-game series Tuesday night. Jonathan Loaisiga will be called up
to make the spot start in that one because the Yankees want to give their regular starters an extra day of rest and be available out of the bullpen. Domingo German will start on regular rest. (The Yankees shifted gears after the marathon tonight.) Chris Stratton will be on the mound for the Halos. That’s another 10:07pm ET start.