Yankees waste away an early lead, drop the series opener to the Rangers 11-5

After Yankees took a 5-1 lead, the Rangers scored ten unanswered runs against Masahiro Tanaka and the bullpen to take the first game of the series. Early on, it seemed like the Yankees could win this game in a laugher but it totally turned around. Tanaka unraveled, the bullpen bled out more runs and the offense stopped hitting. Not a good formula.

(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The upward spiral

In the top of the second, against Martin Perez, the Yankees got a rally going. Matt Holliday reached with a single to lead off. Didi Gregorius hit a grounder to second that should have been turned as a GIDP but Rougned Odor’s throw to second pulled Elvis Andrus off the bag and both runners were safe. Chase Headley squared a single to right field to load the bases with no out. Jacoby Ellsbury, who’s been on fire lately, lined an RBI single to score Holliday to give Yankees a lead. Perez hit Todd Frazier on his second pitch to push another run across. Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge struck out back-to-back to alleviate things for Perez but Gary Sanchez hit a 2-run single to tack on more runs. 4-0 Yankees.

The Rangers got one back on the next frame. Leading off the inning, Nomar Mazara simply crushed – I mean 453 feet crushed – a solo homer to make it a three-run lead for New York. However, Gregorius added a run by hitting a solo homer into the right field seats – 5-1 Yankees. With the offense clicking so far and Tanaka looking solid, it should be a walk in the park for the Bombers, right? Nope. That’s why you play the game…

(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The downward spiral

Texas added more runs in the bottom of the third. Robinson Chirinos singled past Didi with one out and Delino DeShields Jr. followed it up with a double down the third base line to for an RBI. After a Shi-Soo Choo flyout, Andrus added an RBI double of his own to make it 5-3. All of sudden, the 5-1 early lead looked awful shaky.

The Rangers struck big time in the bottom of the fifth. Odor started it off with a single and Chirinos hit a doubled past Frazier to drive him in. 5-4. DeShields followed it up with a single to left to put the runners on corners with no outs. Facing Choo, Tanaka threw a wild pitch past Sanchez and it became a tie game. Things even got worse as Choo hit a flyball towards the deep left part of the ballpark and the ball bounced off Gardner’s glove. Ideally, Gardner would’ve made the catch, but it was not an easy one to get to in the first place.

That double by Choo would have scored DeShields had he not been held up. As a result, Tanaka left the game with two runners on scoring position with no outs. As Tommy Kahnle allowed the remaining two runners to score with an Andrus single, seven earned runs were charged to Tanaka’s final line – 4.0 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 1 HR, 7 K. His ERA rose to 4.82 and it was easily his worst start in awhile. Pitchers are allowed to have stinkers once in awhile. Right now, it’s just not an ideal timing with the Yankees trying to chase the Red Sox in the AL East standings.

Rangers threatened once again in the bottom of the seventh. Caleb Smith started the inning and allowed a base hit to Choo and a walk to Andrus. Mazara hit a big liner that hit the right field wall that should have drove a run in. However, Choo misjudged the fly and ended up third instead of home. With no out and bases loaded, Joe Girardi put in Ben Heller to remedy the situation. And it, uh, didn’t go well. Here’s how the rest of the inning went.

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7-5 to 11-5 just like that. Ugly. And that’s how the score remained for good.

Leftovers

After Kahnle and Chasen Shreve, Girardi pretty much ran out the B-side portion of the ‘pen tonight – Heller, Smith and Bryan Mitchell. The three relievers combined for 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB and 2 K’s. The silver lining of this was that Mitchell looked pretty decent (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K) but Smith and Heller didn’t really inspire confidence.

Sanchez was back in the lineup after serving the 3-game suspension and did not seem to miss a beat, going 2-for-3 with a walk. He scorched the two base hits and the out that he made was a line out that went right towards 3B Joey Gallo.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA

Here are tonight’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA from Fangraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will have their staff ace Luis Severino on the mound to try to start a winning streak going on. The Rangers will have Andrew Cashner up. It’ll be a 1:05 pm EST start at the Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Homers galore on a Sonny day as the Yankees beat O’s 9-1

They did it. The Yankees finally won a series at the Camden Yards. It is their first since Sept. 9-12, 2013. Phil Hughes started that series finale, David Huff relieved, Eduardo Nunez was the starting third baseman, Alfonso Soriano hit third and Mariano Rivera got the win. Since then, they lost 11 consecutive series in Baltimore… which snapped today. Thank God. Sonny Gray and the bullpen corps held the O’s hitters to one run and the lineup gathered four dingers and nine runs to make it an easy win. Good game. Would watch again.

(Robb Carr/Getty Images)
(Robb Carr/Getty Images)

The scoring

The Yankees didn’t waste any time. In the top of the first, Brett Gardner worked a walk to lead it off. The next two hitters – Chase Headley and Starlin Castro – struck out, but Gardy stole the second base to put himself in the scoring position. Didi Gregorius, today’s cleanup hitter, hit a double down the first base line to drive a run in. Aaron Judge, not to be outdone, hit a monster blast into the right-center seats for a 2-run homer. 3-0 Yankees.

Two innings later, Yankees got another rally going. Didi reached on an infield single (originally ruled an error by Tim Beckham but later changed) and Judge walked to set up a RISP situation. Matt Holliday jerked a single into right field to bring Gardy in. With runners on first and third, Jacoby Ellsbury grounded into an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 5-0 Yankees. The barrage continued on in the 4th inning. With Mike Wright pitching for the Orioles, Gardner hit a double and Headley followed it up with a two-run homer to make it a seven-run lead.

The Yankees took a break in the fifth but went right back at it in the sixth. With two outs, Castro received a Donnie Hart fastball down the zone and drove it into the home bullpen. Think you were done with home runs? Todd Frazier hit a solo homer off Richard Rodriguez in the seventh inning – his 23rd of the year.  9-1 Yankees. And that’s how the score would remain for good. Easy peasy.

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

Sonny day real estate

Sonny Gray allowed the lone run in the sixth inning and it was unearned. With runners on first and second and two outs, Gray induced a grounder from Trey Mancini that should have been an easy 6-4 putout. However, Gregorius was off-balance when tossing the ball to Castro and it sailed way over his head, leading to an Oriole run.

Let’s talk about the positives. In 5.2 IP, Gray induced 10 ground outs and only 2 in the air. After allowing dinger after dinger the last start vs. Red Sox, it was pretty neat to see him get back to his ground ball-heavy game. After getting through the first three innings easily, Gray labored a bit in the last 2.2 IP, allowing a baserunner in scoring position in each frame. However, it’s hard not to chalk it up as a good start for Gray, who improved to 9-9 this season with a 3.22 ERA.

Leftovers

After Gray departed with two outs in the sixth inning, Girardi brought in Chad Green, who had thrown 36 pitches in 2.1 IP just this past Monday. With expanded rosters and a seven-run lead, Girardi maybe could have brought in someone like Ben Heller in this situation… but at the same time, Orioles lineup isn’t something to be taken lightly. That was probably the best chance that the O’s had to try to turn the game around. After blowing a 6-1 lead two days ago, I’d assume Girardi wanted no part of that possibility. Luckily, Green immediately denied the O’s by striking out Seth Smith. Green went on to take care of another inning after that. I’d have to guess Girardi will give him a rest tomorrow.

Tommy Kahnle came in the eighth inning and threw a scoreless frame. After him, the Scranton Wilkes-Barre relief ace Ben Heller actually got to pitch the ninth! He ended the game pretty swiftly, tossing a perfect, 12-pitch frame. If you missed the game, check out this snake-like fastball by Heller. It is sort of mesmerizing.

You know your offense really had it going when Austin Romine had a two-hit game. Each starter had at least a base hit (13 total). Judge stayed on-brand by hitting a homer, walking once and striking out twice. Gregorius had a particularly good day, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Gardner, who went 2-for-3, also had two walks and saw 30 pitches total – 6 pitches per plate appearance, not bad.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA

Here are today’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA chart from Fangraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will head down south for a three-game series against the Rangers. Masahiro Tanaka will be up on the mound against Martin Perez on Friday night.

Yankees fall 7-6 to the O’s on a walk-off home run by Machado

So close, yet so far. The Yankees took a 6-1 lead early that was reduced to a 6-5 lead late. They managed to hold it until the bottom of the ninth with two outs, but Dellin Betances allowed a two-run walk-off home run to Manny Machado to lose it. Brutal game. Would have been a good opportunity to gain ground in AL East and AL Wild Card standings. Let’s recap this game and never talk about it again.

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

Not great CC

CC Sabathia got into a little pickle in the first. After getting the first two outs, he issued a free pass to Jonathan Schoop and an infield single to Adam Jones (it was a dribbler that went down along the third base line and never crossed to the foul territory). A wild pitch made it runners on second and third with Trey Mancini up. Mancini hit a soft grounder just out of CC’s reach and Didi Gregorius could not come up with a clean scoop. 1-0 Orioles. Just an unlucky inning for Sabathia.

Fast forward to bottom of the third, with the Yankees having taken a 6-1 lead, the Orioles got one right back. Leading off the inning, a very good baseball player Manny Machado got a low offering from CC and drove it into the home bullpen for a solo HR. The O’s added another homer in the fifth with a Schoop bomb. He sat on the first pitch that Sabathia threw and did not miss any of it. The game got dicier when Mark Trumbo hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to make it 6-5. It was the first time all season that Sabathia allowed three home runs in a game. Basically, CC got unlucky in the first inning and made mistakes to three big power hitters of the Orioles. Not a highlight reel night.

Piling it on

After going quiet in the first two innings, the Yankees struck in the bottom of the third. Austin Romine singled to lead off the inning. After a Brett Gardner line out, Aaron Judge walked and Starlin Castro got hit in the forearm to load the bases. Gregorius squared up on a hanging breaking ball into the right field for a two-RBI single. After Matt Holliday walked to load the bases, Buck Showalter pulled the plug on Jeremy Hellickson and brought in the former Yankee Richard Bleier.

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

Against Bleier, Greg Bird hit a fly ball to center that looked like a sure sac fly… but Jones dropped it. It seemed like he was surely going to get it but he may have rushed it to try to start the throw quickly. As a result, all baserunners moved up and Yankees took a 3-1 lead. Todd Frazier followed it up with a RBI fielder’s choice ground out for a 4-1 score. Jacoby Ellsbury continued on the piling by hitting a hard single just past Tim Beckham’s reach. Both runners on scoring position scored to make it 6-1 Yankees (three earned and three unearned runs). What an odd inning but I’ll take it. It would also be the only inning that the Yankees scored all game.

Hold onto your butts

Because Sabathia only went 5.1 IP with a one-run lead, the Yankees had to utilize their bullpen to hold it against the red-hot Orioles lineup (remember, they have been on a roll prior to this series). Tommy Kahnle took care of the last two outs of the sixth inning.

Meanwhile, Yankees had a chance to score in the top of the eighth. Ellsbury led off with a single. A hitter later, Gardner hit a dribbler that ended up becoming an infield single. With one out and runners on first and second, Judge stepped in and… struck out. Castro followed it up with a pop out to strand two. That missed opportunity would loom large later on.

The Yankees turned to Aroldis Chapman for the eighth inning. The narrative for him this season is that, well, he’s been on the struggle train. However, he turned in a nice 1-2-3 inning tonight, taking care of Trumbo and Mancini with ground outs and Chris Davis with a looking strike out. Just like the last time out, his fastball life seemed to be noticeably back. Again, having a good Chapman in the September stretch (and beyond) would be very critical.

After being shut down 1-2-3 by Zach Britton in the top of the ninth, Yankees put in Betances to close it out. Wellington Castillo gave it a ride but he hit it to the deepest part of the ballpark and Ellsbury hauled it in for an out. Pedro Alvarez, pinch-hitting for the first ML at-bat of the season, predictably struck out. Two outs, one more to go. Betances walked Beckham on five pitches and had to face the dangerous Manny Machado to finish it out. However, on the second offering, Betances hung a 84-mph curveball and Machado simply hammered it out of there (431 feet – he got a lot of it). Oof. One great talent eclipsed the other. 7-6 Orioles. Game over.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA

Here’s tonight’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB.com and WPA from Fangraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees will look to take the series tomorrow with Sonny Gray on the mound, assuming the weather cooperates. The Orioles will have Kevin Gausman. Will New York finally win a series at the Camden Yards? Stay tuned.

Severino sensational, lineup blasts four homers to trounce the Red Sox 9-2

Great game. Would watch again and again. It was a simple winning formula against a good team and an exceptional pitcher in Chris Sale – score a lot of runs and limit the damage. The Yankees are now 3.5 games back the Red Sox in the AL East standings and 2 games ahead the Twins in the AL Wild Card standings. Let’s recap this thing.

(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Make him work

The Yankees drew the first blood in the pitching duel (or, rather, what was supposed to be a pitching duel). Leading off the bottom of the third, Chase Headley hit a hanging 0-2 slider from Sale just over the left field fence to give Yankees a 1-0 lead. Sale wanted the pitch down but it was left up in the zone and Headley just rode it out.

New York tacked on more in the fourth. With one out, Matt Holliday battled Sale to a 3-2 count and drove a fastball up into the visitor’s bullpen to make it 2-0. Todd Frazier followed it up with a homer of his own. On a 2-2 count, Sale located a slider just below the zone that… again, hung. Frazier did what big league hitters do against hanging sliders – hit it out. 3-0 Yankees.

Chris Sale is an undisputed Cy Young candidate this season. However, Yankee hitters really, really made him work tonight. By the end of the fourth inning, he had already thrown 96 pitches. The Yankees did have some blown opportunities in the first two innings of the game. In the bottom of first, Headley and Gary Sanchez reached base with a single each but Starlin Castro and Aaron Judge both struck out to end the inning. In the second, Holliday and Jacoby Ellsbury reached bases but the Yankees, once again, came up empty-handed. However, the silver lining was there – they upped the pitch count on Sale, forcing the Red Sox to get into their bullpen in the fifth inning. Even though Sale didn’t have the greatest game, that alone is pretty valuable.

(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Sevsational

Ho-hum, what can we say at this point? Luis Severino is the undisputed ace of the staff and he pitched like one tonight. He pitched six strong innings, struck out nine and allowed only two base hits. His ERA is now down to 3.03 and his peripherals (3.12 FIP, 10.68 K/9 IP, 2.39 BB/9 IP) are impressive as usual. Also he’s only 23. We are witnessing perhaps the best season by a young Yankee starter in ages.

Severino got into a bit of trouble in the sixth inning. With one out, Eduardo Nunez reached on an error by Frazier. To be fair, it was a hard-hit ball with a tricky hop. It could have easily be called as a single. Andrew Benintendi lined out to Brett Gardner to make it two outs. Mookie Betts followed it up with another hard grounder to third. Frazier handled it with his glove but the throw was too low for Headley to handle. As the ball past by him, both runners advanced to second and third. On a 1-2 count on Mitch Moreland, the Red Sox scored their first run with a passed ball that snuck under Sanchez’s glove. However, Severino got out of it quickly by striking out Moreland on the very next pitch. Two E5’s and a passed ball were what it took for Severino to give up a run tonight. Go figure.

Lastly – a milestone alert. Sevy reached 200th strikeout of the season tonight. He’s the second Yankee starter ever 23-year old or younger to accomplish the feat – the other being Al Downing back in 1964. He’s also the first AL pitcher 23-years or younger to strike out 200 in a season since Felix Hernandez in 2009. Not bad company at all.

Six runs in the sixth

The Yankees blew it open in the bottom of the sixth. Frazier struck out against Joe Kelly and John Farrell put in lefty Robby Scott to face Ellsbury and Gardner. And, of course, both of them reach via single and walk respectively. Farrell, in an attempt to keep the game close, brought in Addison Reed to face Headley. Well, it worked against Headley for sure, as Reed struck him out swinging. However, Sanchez beat out a throw from rafael Devers for an infield single to drive in Holliday. It was originally ruled as out but they overturned it after Girardi’s challenge.

(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

With a 4-1 lead, Castro laid the hammer on the Red Sox. He hit a fastball away into right field for a bases-clearing 3-run double. Up next, Judge hit a two-run homer to make it 9-1. He hit one really deep (469 feet per Statcast) and the Stadium went absolutely crazy. In the last game against the Red Sox this season, capping off a big inning with a big homer from a big man… that’s just awesome. That’s his 38th of the season and the first since August 16 vs. the Mets. It’s been long overdue. I say this every time but hopefully, this is the homer that gets him going in September.

Leftovers

After a long rest and with a 8-run lead, Joe Girardi decided to call it a night for Severino and put Tommy Kahnle in for the seventh inning. It’s hard to say that things can get dicey when you have a 8-run cushion, but because Kahnle is supposed to be a shutdown reliever that Yankees would rely on a lot for this stretch, the fans were not pleased when he let the first two hitters reach bases (Dustin Pedroia walk and Deven Marrero single). However, he struck out the next two and got Jackie Bradley Jr. to pop out. No harm done.

Chasen Shreve pitched a clean eighth and Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth to close it out. Well, the latter allowed a garbage-time run to shorten the Red Sox deficit to seven runs but that was pretty much it. 9-2 Yankees win.

While guys like Headley, Sanchez and Castro had big nights (7-for-14, 5 RBI combined), the bottom of the order also came up big. Holliday, Frazier and Ellsbury combined for a 5-for-9 night with 2 RBI and 3 walks.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA

Here are tonight’s box score and updated standings from ESPN, video highlights from MLB dot com and WPA from Fangraphs.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees are heading to Baltimore for a three-game series at the Camden Yards. Jordan Montgomery will be on the hill against Dylan Bundy for a 2:05 pm start.

Home runs too much for Gray as the Yankees fall 4-1 to the Red Sox

Not a great outcome. Sonny Gray showed flashes of brilliance but also allowed three home runs and took a loss. Meanwhile, the bats got shut down by Doug Fister and the Red Sox bullpen. The losing formula is as simple as that. The Yankees will have to win the next two games to gain ground in the division race.

(Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
(Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

Strikeouts and dingers

The Yankees struck quick with the bats this game. Brett Gardner started things off with a double to lead off the bottom of the first and Aaron Judge followed it up with a two-bagger of his own to make it 1-0 Yankees. That ended up being the only threat that the Yankee bats had going on tonight.

On the other side, Sonny Gray pitched an electric first two innings to start it out, striking out three while allowing one baserunner (on a wild pitch on a swinging strike three). However, that was the high point for the Yankees in this game.

In the third inning, Red Sox struck back with two runs. With one out, Brock Holt worked a 3-2 walk and Eduardo Nunez lined a two-run home run over the left field fence to make it 2-1 Red Sox. Remember when he dropped an easy pop up to give Yankees a 2-1 lead last night? Different story this time. Fast forward to the fifth inning, Boston added another on a solo dinger by Andrew Benintendi. Two outs in the inning, Gray threw a 93 mph fastball right down the pipe for the first pitch and Benintendi did not miss any.

The Red Sox home run machine did not stop there. In the top of the seventh, Hanley Ramirez hammered one over the center field fence to make it 4-1. Gray’s not really been a home run-prone guy in his career but that rate’s gonna go up a bit pitching at the Yankee Stadium.

Gray did look nasty when he was on though. He struck out nine in seven innings and got 12 whiffs overall. You could tell with your own eyes that his curveball was working, his fastball was moving everywhere, etc. He had a good stuff tonight! However, this is the big leagues and the mistakes towards the middle of the plate won’t cut it. You can see from his pitch chart that a decent amount of pitches that ended up towards the meaty part of the zone were put in play.

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Tonight was the first time that Gray allowed more than 2 ER as a Yankee. Oh well. It wasn’t that he pitched particularly poorly either – he made some mistakes but the bats couldn’t get it going against Doug Fister to support Gray. Speaking of which…

One run & done

Doug Fister gets talked about like he’s the worst starter in the Red Sox rotation but he actually has not been bad at all the past several outings. Prior to tonight, he had a 3.65 ERA in the past 6 appearances (5 starts). During that span, he’s struck out 33, allowed only 3 HR’s and a .593 OPS against so… yeah. His velocity is back to the low-90’s range, which is where it was during his prime years with the Tigers and Nationals. I don’t know how long he’ll sustain this upswing of performance, but for the Red Sox, it is a very encouraging sign to see him at that range given that his decline correlated a lot with his velocity decrease.

Up to the bottom of the sixth, he allowed only three hits total and none since the two-out single in the second inning. Fister made his career as a crafty starter that can change speeds and eye levels (helps to be really tall in that regards) and he certainly showed it tonight. He held the Yankees to 4 total hits and 1 ER in 7 IP while striking out five. The bats have seen the better days (e.g.: last night). Hopefully they’ll show more signs of life tomorrow and beyond.

Leftovers 

Aroldis Chapman came into pitch the eighth against his kryptonite team and he looked… actually really good? He was generating whiffs (6 total in 18 pitches), throwing strikes and the velocity was way up, hitting 104.2 mph per Statcast. It was easily the best that Chapman has looked in months. Maybe it’s him being very rested or maybe they found some kinks in his mechanics but Yankees could really use him down the stretch in the pennant race.

As you could tell from the final score, Yankees didn’t get much support from their big bats. The 3-4-5 guys (Sanchez – Gregorius – Castro) went for a combined 0-for-12. That ain’t gonna cut it.

Box score, video highlights, updated standings, WPA

Here are tonight’s box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA.


Source: FanGraphs


The Yankees are back at it tomorrow against the Red Sox tomorrow at the Bronx for a 1:05 pm start. Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound and it will be Drew Pomeranz on the other side.

No Merritt to this performance: Yankees get swept after a 9-4 loss to the Indians


Source: FanGraphs

So much for winning a game in this series at all. The Yankees suffered another listless loss n the second game of the doubleheader as they got swept by the Indians. They are now five games behind Boston in the AL East standings and have only a 1.5 game lead in the first AL Wild Card spot. Not what you want, folks! Following Mike’s example, we’re also doing it bullet-point style for this recap.

  • Another bad first inning: The game did not start too promisingly for the Yankees. Francisco Lindor singled off Jordan Montgomery to begin the top of the first and Austin Jackson worked a walk. A hitter later, Edwin Encarnacion squared an RBI single to center to make it 1-0 Indians. Carlos Santana followed it up with a double that bounced off the third base bag to drive Jackson in. With runners on second and third, Yandy Diaz hit a single to left to drive both of ’em in to make it 4-0. Not ideal at all. The Indians ended up batting around and Montgomery threw 42 pitches. All kinds of yikes here. Montgomery managed to last through four innings, which feels miraculous given that he spent half of his pitch limits in the first inning.
  • Bird is the word: The Yankees got a run in the bottom of the second thanks to… Greg Bird! Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks got on base with a single each and Bird followed it up with one of his own to make it a 4-1 game. Fast forward to bottom of the ninth, well after Indians lefty Ryan Merritt was out of the game, with Todd Frazier (walk) and Hicks (single) on base, Bird crushed an inside fastball into the right field seats for a three-run homer. Not a lot of things to get excited about in today’s games but man, it is nice to see Bird hit in the majors. His 4 RBI’s today raised his season total up to 9. Hopefully this game gets things going for him because, with major bats slumping in the lineup, the Yankees need someone to step up.
  • Post-Monty: After Montgomery departed, Joe Girardi put in Chase Shreve in the top of the fifth to keep it a three-run game. However, Encarnacion immediately made it a four-run game with a massive solo home run into the left field seats. That was 2012-16 all over again, watching Encarnacion jog around the Yankee Stadium bases with an invisible parrot on his arm. Shreve surrendered another in the sixth. Erik Gonzalez doubled to lead off the inning. After Lindor grounded out, Jackson hit a deep fly into the center that bounced off Hicks’ reaching glove and resulted as an RBI double. It’s been that kind of a game. 6-1 Tribe. But wait, we’re not done there. With Caleb Smith pitching, the Indians tacked on three more on a Yan Gomes two-run HR in the seventh and a Lindor solo dinger in the eighth. Okay, it’s over.

Here are the box score, video highlights, updated standings and WPA. It was not a great display of baseball from the Yankees for the past three games, to say the least. Gotta hope that they turn it around quickly starting tomorrow because the Red Sox are coming to town for a four-game set. CC Sabathia will be on the mound against Eduardo Rodriguez tomorrow at 7:05 pm EST.

Brett Gardner’s grand slam fuels the Yankees’ 13-4 win over the Astros

(Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Bob Levey/Getty Images)

A win to close out this dreadful month of June. The Yankees bats attacked the Houston bullpen (and Nori Aoki) to score 12 runs from the sixth through ninth innings. Michael Pineda wasn’t perfect but he did an adequate enough job to bounce back from his previous outing (7 ER, 4 IP vs. Texas) and earned his 8th win of the year. It’s Friday night so let’s do this bullet-point style.

  • Trailing: The Astros scored one right out of the gate in the bottom of the first. George Springer doubled to lead it off, Reddick’s grounder advanced him to third and Jose Altuve slapped a very, very low slider to the center field for a sac fly. 1-0 Astros. Bleh. Not the end of the world, but with their best starter on the mound, not a great thing to fall behind. (But what do I know? The Yankees certainly showed me as the game went on.)
  • Multiple attempts at offense: The Yankees tied it up in the top of the third. Brett Gardner led the frame off with a double, which is good! However, Jacoby Ellsbury and Aaron Judge both struck out swinging to make it two outs. That is bad! Didi Gregorius, on the other hand, lined an RBI double to right to tie the game at 1-1. The bats were back in business in the fourth. Austin Romine led off the inning with a single (that could have been a home run but missed by a few inches, and because it was hit hard, he didn’t have enough time to go for the second base) and Ronald Torreyes followed it up with a bloop double to the left. With runners on second and third with no outs, Tyler Wade and Chris Carter struck out back-to-back to immediately make it two outs. During Gardner’s at-bat, Lance McCullers Jr. uncorked a wild pitch that had a perfect bounce back to the catcher and they were able to tag Romine out, who ran to home trying to score. Welp.
  • Bigger deficit: The ‘Stros immediately made it tough for the Yankees. In the bottom of the fourth, Altuve hit a single just past diving Gregorius and Carlos Correa followed it up with a hard single to right (with both runners advancing on Tyler Wade’s throw that got past Chase Headley). Brian McCann struck out swinging but Carlos Beltran‘s groundout brought Altuve home, and Marwin Gonzalez hit an RBI single to center to score Correa. 3-1 Astros.
  • The weird, weird sixth inning: McCullers Jr., being one of the best pitchers in the AL, seemed overpowering to many Yankee bats. However, he wasn’t all that efficient, having to exit in the middle of the sixth inning with 97 pitches thrown. A.J. Hinch put Michael Feliz in to relieve McCullers and the floodgates opened. With runners on first and second, Torreyes got the rally started with an RBI single. Wade followed it up with a strike out but Carter (!) hit a hard liner that went off Correa’s glove and Romine hustled home to tie the game at 3. Gardner and Ellsbury each followed it up with a pair of RBI singles to make it 5-3. With runners on second and third, Judge walked but the ball got past the catcher and Ellsbury was able to score. 6-3 Yankees. That went from 0 to 100 real quick.
  • Daggers: A three-run lead! But you never know against these powerful Houston bats. It would have been nice to tack on more runs and that’s exactly what the Yankee bats did. The Yankees got the top of the seventh started by loading the bases with no outs (Headley single, Romine single, Torreyes walk). However, the scoring chance dimmed as Wade grounded into fielder’s choice for a force out at home and Carter struck out swinging. Gardner, on the other hand, delivered a two-out grand slam to make it 10-3. That was pretty exhilarating to watch. Two innings later, the Yankees scored three more against … outfielder Nori Aoki. With Aoki floating 74 mph pitches from the mound, Torreyes and Wade drew back-to-back walks and Carter hit an RBI double to make it 11-4. Gardner hit a sac fly and Ellsbury followed it up with an RBI ground out to continue the carnage. 13-4 Yankees. And, of course, Aoki got Judge to fly out to end the inning. That’s baseball.
  • Leftovers: Bryan Mitchell threw the last three innings of the game and allowed only a run. Aaron Judge had his 33-game on-base streak going but had a relatively quiet night, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and two walks. Five of the Yankees hitters (Gardner, Didi, Romine, Torreyes and Carter) had a multi-hit game so that’ll do pretty well.

Here’s tonight’s box score, updated standings and WPA graph. The Yankees are back at it again tomorrow at the Minute Maid Park. Jordan Montgomery will be up against Francis Martes. Would be nice to win this one and take the series.


Source: FanGraphs