The Yankees are back home, and there is debate over whether home field advantage is actually a thing. I’m not sure I believe it has an overall effect on the final score, but I do believe there is an effect on home team morale and thus confidence. On the other hand, if the team is truly good, it doesn’t really matter at all where they play. They’re just going to play well regardless.
Luis Severino, however, wasn’t having a particular “SevySharp” kind of night, and still his outcome was pretty positive over the visiting Angels in tonight’s opener. He threw 99 pitches in his 6 innings, gave up 4 hits, 4 walks, and a single run, and struck out 5 batters. That lone allowed run was a 2-out solo home run to the young star power-hitter on the Angels’ roster.
Chad Green came out for the 7th, gave up 2 hits, and still got out of the inning unscathed. Robertson threw 2 outs in the 8th, gave up a walk that advance to scoring position on a wild pitch, and was replaced by Chapman. Aroldis Chapman had a great 4-out save, sailing through the batters and keeping the Angels to that lone allowed run.
And as strong as the Yankees’ pitching staff was today, the Angels’ staff was actually pretty good themselves, many statistics quite comparable all game. The 2nd inning was by far the weirdest inning all night. Sanchez led-off the inning with a single but then got out when Didi Gregorius hit into a grounder. Originally, the call was a double play, but the Yankees saw Gregorius tag the bag at 1st before the ball made it to the 1st baseman and challenged it. So it was overturned as a single out at 2nd. Hicks worked a walk, and then another out later, Andujar’s walk loaded the bases.
And then it got messy. So Gleyber Torres singled, which easily scored Didi Gregorius as the 3rd baseman (who fielded Torres’ hit) threw the ball to 1st too slow. The ball was mishandled on both ends, so Hicks saw the opportunity to make an attempt for home too. But after contemplating which runner to get out, the Angels’ defense kicked into action and got Hicks trying to come home and end the inning. Leaving most of us watching in a bit of a “what just happened here” blur.
The game remained tied and the starters exited the game, handing it over to their respective bullpens. It would fall to the rookies again to find the lone opportunity to break the tie. In the 7th, Gleyber Torres hit a big 2-out solo home run, making this his 4th straight game to hit a home run, becoming the youngest player in the AL to do so. It was also his 9th home run of the season, and he’s only played in 28 games (of the 47).
Final score: 2-1 Yankees
During the game, the 2 best plays of the game were when Aaron Judge threw bullets from right field to cut down runners trying to advance on the Yankees. We’ve promoted “Don’t Run on Gary”, but maybe it should just be “Don’t Run on the Yankees”. Judge threw a 100.5 mph fireball straight to home plate so that Sanchez tagged the runner coming home in the 3rd inning. He also fired a powerful rocket to 2nd for a waiting Gregorius to tag out the runner trying to stretch a long single into a double. Yeah, “Don’t Run on Aaron” either.
Roster moves: Meanwhile, the Yankees moved some players around their organization, especially with talks of players like Bird coming off the DL shortly, probably this weekend. On the free day travel day yesterday, the Yankees opted recently signed pitcher Ryan Bollinger back to AA Trenton and outfielder Billy McKinney to AAA Scranton.
Today, they activated reliever Tommy Kahnle from the disabled list (after shoulder issues). They also parted ways with a few veterans in their farm system, releasing Adam Lind from AAA Scranton and trading catcher Erik Kratz to the Brewers for “future considerations” (which means either a player to be named later or cash).
Plus, they also re-signed catcher Wilkin Castillo to a minor league contract. Castillo was with the Yankees organization last season after they signed him before being released and choosing free agency in the off-season. He played for the Atlantic League (an independent baseball league) with the Long Island Ducks and is now assigned to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.